Google eyes Microsoft’s market

Janet Babin Aug 28, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: Google unveiled a new piece of software today for companies. It sounds an awful lot like something Microsoft might sell. From the Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio, Janet Babin reports.

JANET BABIN: Google’s new business applications software is called Google Apps for Your Domain. It includes a set of Web-based programs for e-mail, calendar scheduling, voice and instant messaging. For now the service is ad-based, so it’s free.

Om Malik runs the tech news blog GigaOm. He’s thinking about switching his company over to Google Apps.

OM MALIK:“I love the idea of calendar and mail in one package on the Web and being able to access it anywhere you are.”

Like when he works from Starbucks.

But one thing Google Apps doesn’t have, yet, is spreadsheet or word processing software. The company says it’s considering adding them to the Apps mix to work alongside Desktop systems like Microsoft Office.

But Tim Bajarin with consulting group Creative Strategies says Google Apps is clearly going after Microsoft’s core customers.

TIM BAJARIN: Google has Microsoft squarely in their targets and are creating a new set of services that really wants to take away Microsoft business customers.”

But because the Google Apps system is Web-based, Om Malik says one subpoena or hacker could theoretically expose a business’s secrets.

MALIK:“Some data breech happens then you don’t feel you have control over your information.”

So he’s staying with Microsoft for now.

In another sign of Google’s expansion into news business, Google ads will appear on international eBay sites.

As part of that deal, eBay and Google will work to merge their text and talk Web phone services.

In New York, I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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