Thursday, February 22, 2007

Google to Sell Online Software Suite

Here is an article I read on Yahoo news today about Google's new online fee-based software suite (Google Apps Premier Edition) . The plan is to bundle online e-mail, word processing, spreadsheet, and calendar software. What is interesting is that they plan to sell it on a $50 per year subscription basis. This is obviously a substantially lower price tag than Microsoft's current Office suite, but the basic version of Google Apps has been available for free for the past six months. The Premier edition of Google Apps will now include a larger e-mail storage space and guaranteed 99.9% service availability and technical support.

The full text of the article can be found here:

Google to Sell Online Software Suite


Brandon Mendoza - BU MBA 2007 said...

This obviously helps answer our question about "how will Google monetize their services", but I'd like to play the devil's advocate on this "software as service" idea.

In a similar article I read about an IT manager at a major real estate firm who talks about how great life has been since they switched to Gmail, but what happens with the details of retention, backup and restore?

What happens if an employee leaves, deletes all their email and files and you want to restore them?

What happens in a legal discovery process?

What happens if you just want to shred something?

I'm not sure if some if all of these companies will understand just how much they might be giving up when they sign up for $50/yr groupware/docs service. Or perhaps, Google doesn't know how much of a headache they've signed up for...

JI said...

I don't think this will work for a couple of reasons:

1. Google is free. If it isn't free, then they are losing their initial appeal.

2. How much better is this $50 product? Doesn't sound that great to me.

3. Office 2007 is introducing some of the Google Docs - LIVE interaction features.

4. I purchased Office 2003 with my computer for an extra $100. Now I own it. My old roommate was running Win98/Office 98 until last year because it matched his needs... That is where a high percentage of America is at, why buy more if what you have works?