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more on google spreadsheets

June 8, 2006

Kevin talks a bit more about the notion of a Google Office Box (GOB) which was first brought up by Mark Lubischer in the comments of the last post (I first heard it there, I'm sure Kevin came up with it on his own).

I think this idea has more plausibility, but I still don't know if it's a money maker for them. Here's why:

  1. It still doesn't address the primary issue which is training. Saving $50K a year doesn't mean anything if you have to retrain 10,000 workers.

  2. It's not a game changer. Spreadsheets/word processors have been around for some time. This is just a spreadsheet/word processor with less functionality.

  3. Google has never shown much prowess at providing customer service. Business users need LOTS of customer service. Many folks seem to underestimate the challenges of a B2C company going B2B.

  4. I still have my doubts about performance, especially with large complex spreadsheets.

  5. Microsoft still has tremendous leverage because of Windows. They can package deals of Windows/Office and Google has no counter.

  6. Will I have access to the GOB when I'm on a plane? in a train? on a bus? in the park?

  7. When people at other corporations send me complex Microsoft based documents which the GOB cannot correctly import since it lacks the equivalent features what will I do?

I'm not saying it's impossible to pull off, but we need to see a lot more before thinking it even has a shot at success. It might also be helpful if they actually stand behind any product they do eventually release instead of hiding behind the beta label.

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