Google Gets Serious with Low-End Web Apps

I often try and come off as an expert, but the truth is, I've misread the market more times than Dick Cheney misread intelligence reports. Of course, he's still vice president and, for some reason, I'm still allowed to write this newsletter. So only you, the potential IT customer, can tell me whether Google's new desktop apps plans are compelling or not.

Here's Google's plan: Stage one involves giving away a bundle of old stuff like IM, Gmail, Web creation tools and calendaring. Snooze. The next step involves the word processor and spreadsheet they've already announced. I'm still underwhelmed. But instead of just loading these tools on a bunch of servers, Google will add tech support and directory integration.

Google is wisely steering clear of calling this an Office killer. And here is where it gets either brilliant or just plain weird -- you decide. Google wants you to create Word and Excel docs, plug them into the Google word processor or spreadsheet and use these files to collaborate over the Web. Nobody likes to take all these extra steps, but let's face it, Redmond's collaboration strategy is a mess. Which of a dozen or so tools do I use? Send your guesses to [email protected].

And please tell us if this Google plan makes sense: [email protected].

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IE7 -- So This Is News?
When was the last time you saw a hot news story about Firefox, Opera or Safari? These are all fine, safe browsers, but the holier-than-thou IE still steals all the headlines. Case in point: this story I'm bringing you now (I guess I'm also part of the problem).

IE7 is now in release candidate stage and should be done by the end of the year. This is good news, but it's not like Microsoft just ended world hunger (though Bill Gates, God bless him, is working on the problem -- and no, I'm not being sarcastic). IE7 has a few new features -- none that I'm particularly excited about, but the real test is security. Will it be a spyware sponge like IE6, or actually allow our computers to keep running for more than two months? Do you like IE7? Let us know at [email protected].

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.


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