A thorough and insightful reality check by Network World’s John Fontana; excerpt:
Even critics, however, believe Google has the right model to succeed — delivering the software as a service to corporate users.
Microsoft, whose Office suite boasts more than a 90% share of the market, is among those critics.
It endorsed the online model in October when it introduced the first online versions of fully functional Office applications available via a browser. Office Web Applications are in private testing and are slated for inclusion with Office 14. Microsoft already has its toe in the water with Office Live Workspaces and with Exchange and SharePoint Online Services.
While the future may hold promise, the current position for GAPE is the role of worthy alternative and not as serious contender to replace Office or other collaboration platforms.
Google, however, may make its mark not by rising to the top of the heap, but by redefining collaboration and carving the most innovative turns around Web 2.0.
"The Google model is not wrong, it is just immature," says Guy Creese, a Burton Group analyst who for years has been tracking Google's efforts to produce online productivity tools