Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Problem with Google Apps.

Sure, Google Apps is billed as and aimed as a Microsoft Office killer, however, there's one major problem here:

Like it or not, the internet just can't be trusted - and therefore neither can Google Apps. If you've got deadlines to meet and the only copy of your work is stored on the Google servers, then you're putting your life in the hands of Google, your ISP and every other link in the chain between you and your precious documents.

Google claims more than 100,000 small to medium enterprises have replaced Microsoft Office with Google Apps, along with big names such as GE, Procter & Gamble, Prudential and Loreal. These big companies are paying for the Premier Edition of Google Apps, which promises 99.9 per cent uptime - the equivalent of being down for a total of almost nine hours in a year. Still, Google can't make that promise for your ISP and your office network. If they both offer 99.9 as well then suddenly your overall downtime has blown out to more than a day - more if your ISP can't even offer that level of reliability.

Google Apps is a great idea, but it's crying out for a way to synchronise documents between the online storage space and your desktop. This would mean you've automatically got the latest versions wherever you go, but a backup to call upon if your access is down.

Actually, there's a further problem here. A large number of people, in fact, the real technology adopters, spend a lot of time travelling: and there just ain't web access everywhere yet. So sitting on a plane, for example, you can't do anything, because you can't log in. It really does need a version that sits on your own box and whih youcan, when you can log in, you can synchronise.


tomas said...

In many thing I agree Google Apps BUT competition for Exchange NOT Office. My bet is Google Apps will move towards file synchronization... and you will be able to do that through the API.... and the API is the key.. not the AJAX interface.

For example we are developing an FREE open source "business application platform" (think Our first application is working tightly integrated with GOOGLE APPS. Check it out if you are interested.

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