Microsoft’s Robert Scoble is excited to see Google Spreadsheet launch today. Excited? Yup, Scoble firmly believes that Google’s new found rivalry with Microsoft is just what the Redmond company needed to ensure it doesn’t become complacent.
It’s a good thing because of my philosophy. I want better software. Competition brings better software. It gets product managers to worry about customers. It causes discussions of features that were long-ago decided on.
Scoble also suggests that despite recent improvements, bandwidth is not sufficient enough for most people to switch to online applications.
It’s interesting to see the Google-hype at work here. Google recently launched Calendar and now Spreadsheet, neither of which offer the depth provided by Microsoft products, yet the whole world jumps for joy, simply because, well, because it’s created by Google. They revolutionized search didn’t they, so anything the “midas” company touches must surely be pure gold? I’ve talked before about the power of Google’s brand, and that its only weakness is that same day they’ll stretch it too far and launch some really crappy product. I’m not sure we’re there yet, but it certainly feels like they’re taking small steps towards releasing something that makes us all puke.
In the meantime, all you can do is sit back and admire the brand equity they have, and just how far it gets them. Open Office has been challenging Microsoft Office for years, and some would say it’s a more credible challenger than Google, yet we hardly hear anything about it these days.
I tend to agree with Scoble when it comes to office apps. A robust desktop solution that offers online access and collaboration will do far better than a purely web-based app that offers some desktop options. With Office 2007 just around the corner, I feel Microsoft can win by offering a desktop application with online options. Google’s coming from the other direction, and I don’t think they realize how far they are from meeting users needs.
PS. Robert, I’d be more than happy to compare Office 2007 with Google, send it on over brother!