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back to article Google to plug self into Microsoft Office

Google has acquired a company founded by a pair of Microsoft veterans intent on creating "a bridge between Microsoft Office and Google Apps". With a blog post this morning, the Mountain View Chocolate Factory announced the acquisition of DocVerse, a three-year-old San Francisco startup that provides online document sharing and …

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Gates Halo

Actually Not Disruptive

I can't entirely see why this would piss Microsoft off. In the corporate world if people use this they're paying for Google Apps, but not using the web interface (which Google harp on about forever and a day) and still paying the license fee to Microsoft. Both companies make money from this arrangement. Also, as a user is likely to upload to Google apps through the Office client, and Download through the Office client, why will they ever need to use the Google interface? They wont. They'll just see Google Apps as this dumb box in the cloud to store their documents. Which is exactly what Microsoft Office Live is which comes free as of June/July when Office 2010 comes out.

Really can't see the disruptive angle Google are pitching with this one, and can only see it fading away in a couple of months when built into office is the same feature but going into a Microsoft server/internal sharepoint site rather than Google Apps.

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Gates Horns

# Actually Not Disruptive

It'll definitely piss MS off, they aren't just into getting one sale, this time, they're into market control including everything about what you're supposed to value in their software.

Weening people off office one step at a time is the issue. Next thing you know Google will want a Win7 Explorer alternative shell.

Once you have people switching their GUI, they don't mind so much if the underlying code changes so long as their ready-built box loads, runs what they need, and has the support of a large company (like Google).

One problem though, Google needs to start abandoning the idea that everything is in beta forever. Evolution is inevitable, but give it to people one chunk at a time "IF" they opt-in.

Sometimes the industry control Google has is as alarming as that MS has, but splitting it down the middle in as many areas as possible is still a form of competition that should make for better products all around.

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Re: GUI

I think this is the crux of the point, I would imagine the Google plug in would be something similar to the Office Live plugin, which just adds a menu option in the standard Office GUI, people will struggle to notice the difference which you're right, in one way weens people off Microsoft (they'll skip sharepoint instead of Google Apps), however they're then keeping them tucked into that MS office skillset and mindset than will stop them transferring to anything else.

You're also right about the need for google to abandon everything in the browser. Does anyone remember a couple of years back when they stood up and said that the OS was a layer that didn't matter, it was all about the browser (Oh and here's Chrome for you). Then suddenly, hmmm, people are just using Chrome as a browser, they still care about the OS. Well here's Chrome OS, but we're still all about the web so its completely useless offline. And then the Google Phone, so in a couple of years they've moved from saying its only the browser that matters, to now its the hardware they're making!

I think Microsoft's Software plus services strategy is the best one in comparison (its definately the one most people are adopting at the moment anyway)

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Pirate

Compatibility

@idasben

The difference is that if you use Googe Docs as your cloud storage, you can freely cooperate with anyone using OOo, or working from any non-Redmond-approved platforms (ARM netbooks).

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FAIL

Google docs in the enterprise?

Well, I can tell you that the SMM's (Security Maffia Morons) in the large company I work for have just blocked the Google Docs domain in the company's proxyserver because of so-called security concerns. I can tell you this says a lot about the dumb arses in our group management team who hire these people who couldn't find their own arse unless someone pointed it out to them.

I would really like to know... is it just stupidity or is there something else going on here? They say it is a company rule, no 'online storage'. They better realise that if they come with ANY other solution that uses some form of online storage, I will raise such a shitstorm in the company they will wonder what hit them.

Sorry about that rant, but I feel a bit better now...

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WTF?

SMMs

Of course the SSMs are only doing this to piss you off. No other possible reason. Nothing to do with complying with company policy. Nothing to do with evaluating the legal implications of storing documents in this way - especially in the US where compliance issues are huge. Nothing to do with Freedom of Information requests, document retention requirements, document sharing issues with staff inside the organisation who should not have access to certain documents.

No, it's nothing to do with any of that. They just take a perverse joy in singling you out for persecution.

Perhaps if you were performing their job you would know that things are not as simple as you think they should be.

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@AC

"They say it is a company rule, no 'online storage'. They better realise that if they come with ANY other solution that uses some form of online storage, I will raise such a shitstorm in the company they will wonder what hit them."

Uh...you do realize that many on-line storage solutions supply a guarantee of geographic locale of your corporate data, so that you can comply with local laws. It should go without saying that Google is NOT one of them. This is why your IT dept. has blocked Google Docs, but might not block other competing solutions. They don't want to get thrown in jail. Thoguh, I'm sure you thought this all through from their perspective before your rant, since I can tell that you've really put a lot of thought into this and understand the technical and legal implications.

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Silver badge

@AC 20:00

"Well, I can tell you that the SMM's (Security Maffia Morons) in the large company I work for have just blocked the Google Docs domain in the company's proxyserver because of so-called security concerns."

They certainly are morons, if they have only just now blocked google. I'd fire the bunch of 'em if I were brought in as a consultant.

"I can tell you this says a lot about the dumb arses in our group management team who hire these people who couldn't find their own arse unless someone pointed it out to them."

Obviously. See above. And try to remember, they hired YOU ... Think about it.

"I would really like to know... is it just stupidity or is there something else going on here?"

You, personally, might not have issues with your corporate data and/or infrastructure info, and/or corporate social minutia being stored on hardware owned by an international multi-billion dollar data mining company, but people with a clue about corporate security do.

"They say it is a company rule, no 'online storage'. They better realise that if they come with ANY other solution that uses some form of online storage, I will raise such a shitstorm in the company they will wonder what hit them."

They mean "no online storage that isn't completely under the control of the corporation" ... Can you understand the distinction? And why it might be an issue?

"Sorry about that rant, but I feel a bit better now..."

Hopefully, now you feel ill, realizing how much personal info you've given to google, to do with what they will (read the fine print next time you agree to something too good to be true ...).

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Alert

@AC

It's not that simple. First, whether you like to hear it or not, Google haven't exactly been the forerunners of security best practices in the online world. (Of course twitter surpasses everyone, so they get lost in the noise). Second, companies need to protect trade secrets. So while using online services is actually fine, a corporate environment is always going to be full of idiots who fail to understand the difference in where a sensitive document they have is being stored. And they will store it 'in the cloud' so to speak without understanding the ramifications.

Your SMMs aren't stupid, I'm pretty sure they see that it's a good feature/application to use, but it's their job to prevent big mistakes from happening. If they don't block these 'online services' and something does happen, then the shitstorm that happens will make yours look like a weak eddy.

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Stop

Re: Google docs in the enterprise?

It's quite simple really. When companies are citing security as a reason for not using a solution such as Google Docs what they are saying is that they don't trust a company that makes its living from data mining to refrain from analysing the saved documents and using the results of the analysis for further marketing efforts.

That is probably the most succinct explanation of a stance being taken by many sensible companies around the world. It certainly applies to every single company on my client list, they know full-well that embracing Google is the equivalent of telling all your secrets to the person with the biggest mouth.

As for your suggestion that you'll raise a shit-storm if they introduce any form of online storage, well that's a bit silly isn't it? No-one is knocking the idea of centralised storage, what companies are rightly concerned about is the privacy and safety of their company data. Can you provide ironclad proof that Google's licensing agreements for Google Docs prevents Google from ever inspecting the contents of a document they are storing for you? No, I didn't think so.

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Grenade

I can see their point

Can't agree I'm afraid, I can see legitimate security concerns for companies with third party services like google docs.

I'm not saying I agree with those concerns merely that they are definately valid, if you control your own environment and there is a leak of information then you can only look at yourselves to blame, if someone like google leaks your info accidently then you are in for a world of pain and complex law suits.

I think that banning stuff is not the way to go personally, education should be the order of the day and IT should monitor such access to such sites, however its a lot easier and less resource intensive to simply blacklist it.

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WTF?

An Example Of Why Your Rant Is Completely Wrong

A customer last year was in the multi billion dollar commodities trading market, and one of their traders decided Google Apps was definately the best place to store his spreadsheet of internal trading details, accounts for monetary transfers etc.

As far as he was aware, it was fine, he could easily share them with his colleagues and saw no difference to the sharepoint system they had internally, except it was a bit quicker to international colleagues.

That was until he didn't understand/care about privacy settings and google then crawled through this spreadsheet and indexed it for public view...

Problems noted by this site after Google made some changes last september....

http://www.ghacks.net/2009/09/21/published-google-docs-documents-to-appear-in-google-search/

A definate reason to not use Google Apps in a corporate environment.

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Anonymous Coward

Looking forward to the flotation

So their business model relies on two huge 3rd parties playing along?

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 20:00

Too right. My company said I wasn't allowed a BMW as my company car. Now if they give me ANY kind of company car I'm going to raise such a shitstorm they won't know what hit them.

...Except that your rant is actually more idiotic than that. You wanted them to buy a BMW from a dealer who is known to have a nasty habit of installing hidden cameras in his cars and uploading the footage to the internet.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going for a coffee break and if I see anyone trying to drink tea instead I'm going to raise such a shitstorm...

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