There’s long been speculation that Google was preparing an online office suite that would take on Microsoft Office products.
Today Google announces the launch of Google Apps for Your Domain a new service which allows users to access their email, calendar and instant messaging from a central location.
From an email announcement…
Everything is hosted by Google, so there’s no hardware to buy and maintain or software to manage, deploy and patch. The applications are fast, reliable, work from anywhere, anytime and have the elegant simplicity everyone has come to expect from Google. And they’re free. The applications we’re releasing at this time represent only the beginning; we’re working hard to add more. We know you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
While this offering is aimed at individual users, Google’s not stopping there…
We are also working on an Enterprise version of Google Apps for Your Domain that will include features, integration options, capacity and support offerings designed to meet the needs of larger organizations.
The biggest problem Google faces is the lack of features for these products. While I like the idea of having accesss to these apps from the web, the functionality of them is just not up to par. Google may be able to attract enough newbies to make the service profitable, but until they include features that I think are crucial for business, I’m sticking with Microsoft.