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Three guesses what the big story in the blogosphere and tech-o-sphere is this morning. Here’s a hint: It starts with the word Google, and ends with the word Office. I’ll say one thing — like my friend Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0, I wish the search company would stop protesting about how it isn’t really competing with Microsoft, and just cut to the chase and say “Game on.”

Despite what the online Office skeptics say (and Kent Newsome has a point about large-scale corporate use of such apps), the future of applications like Word has to include the Web, and so far Microsoft hasn’t exactly been a shining example of how to do that. The battle has been joined, and Google is likely to be a powerful competitor — and its number one strength is that it doesn’t have a gigantic legacy business model to protect. The more Microsoft tries to accommodate users with a free online product, the more it eats into its massive Office profit margins.

The bottom line for me is that competition is good, and new features that encourage collaboration are good (my friend Paul Kedrosky says he is impressed with Google’s app package — so far). Microsoft has dominated the Office market to the point where there has been virtually no competition, and there hasn’t exactly been a lot of innovation either. If Google can help push things forward and engage in a little creative disruption, so much the better.

Update:

It hasn’t gotten quite as much attention as the Office wars, but I think another Google announcement is almost more interesting, and that is the deal with eBay to collaborate on ads and (more importantly) click-to-call features on eBay’s international properties. According to the Yahoo story, this arrangement will involve both Google Talk and Skype. Now that could be interesting.

About the author

Mathew 2420 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

9 Responses to “Google moves Office troops into position”
  1. (14 hours ago)mathewingram.com/work: “Google moves Office troops into position” (14 hours ago)

  2. pirrates blog.myspace.com/dita_and_jasmine_layouts [IMG ] MySpace.com | rss | sign in | sign out

  3. and here) but also by many of the VoIP bloggers such as Andy Abramson and Alec Saunders.I agree with Mathew Ingram in that the Google-eBay deal may turn out to be more important for Google than the Google Office announcement. You can follow up (with a link to the podcast) here. It’s been twelve years since I did media interviews as President of the then newly formed Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft. So if it sounds a bit rusty,

  4. and here) but also by many of the VoIP bloggers such as Andy Abramson and Alec Saunders.I agree with Mathew Ingram in that the Google-eBay deal may turn out to be more important for Google than the Google Office announcement. You can follow up (with a link to the podcast) here. It’s been twelve years since I did media interviews as President of the then newly formed Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft. So if it sounds a bit rusty,

  5. Portal Ilhas.net

  6. twisted and mangled the name to become “Google Office 2.0″. This post won’t cover versioning and how you need a 1.0 to get to a 2.0; however, this post will cover a little something that has been bugging me about this whole thing. Google Apps is Google Apps, not Google Office. The big G is a smart company and they know that to brand it otherwise would be foolish. To brand it Google Office would mean it would be put in direct competition with Microsoft Office. These two

  7. be timely as a large portion of the podcast covers the Google-eBay announcement which resulted in several posts, not only on skype Journal (here, here and here) but also by many of the VoIP bloggers such as Andy Abramson and Alec Saunders.I agree with Mathew Ingram in that the Google-eBay deal may turn out to be more important for Google than the Google Office announcement. You can follow up (with a link to the podcast) here. It’s been twelve years since I did media interviews as President of the then freshly formed Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft. So if it sounds a bit

  8. I think the recent story about Google working with eBay is going to be looked back on in a year’s time as a huge development.

    With Google promotings ads for stuff on eBay, and Google providing a way for the buyer totalk with the eBay seller, it’s going to generate more ad revenue for Google, promote Skype (which Google owns) and help sales at eBay. The is way more efficient than relying on buyer and seller getting together over forum postings or exchanging E-Mail message.

    The planet has shrunk yet again. And the supply of old comic books and size 14 pumps doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller.

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