Friday, July 07, 2006

World domination, Google style

A lot has been said and written about Microsoft's attempt at world domination by proliferating its software on computers. Even more has been written about its attempt at reducing competition to dust by giving away software for free (Internet Explorer, for instance.) What has gone unnoticed, in the meanwhile, is Google's wonderfully silent attempt at the same.

For the uninitiated, Google has just released Spreadsheets - an Internet-based spreadsheet application ( or applet?) that will be available for free use. Ofcourse, by default, the files you create will be stored in your Google account, hosted on what else? Google servers. So not only does Google get you to abandon Excel, but it'll also hold you to ransom - your income tax returns for instance, will be available to Google's administrators if they were interested.

Wonder why no one is raising a hue and cry about killing competition by offering software for free. Wonder why no one is raising a privacy issue about having your files stored on their servers.

Anyways, folks, this is world domination Google style. The only difference is that you don't have to pay for it.

8 comments:

Balbir Singh said...

Oh! I can see you already started favouring of Microsoft. Well, at least google lets you decide if you want to use the spreadsheet. Buy me office without excel or buy me excel without word.

Whats wrong with data being stored in gmail? If you think the google is going through your data - you must be naive :-) There are enough laws to protect privacy of your data. Read the EULA before you sign up.
Please see
http://www.google.com/support/spreadsheets/bin/answer.py?answer=40618
as you might be misleading your readers

Anyway, I love the spreadsheets.google.com. I do not need expensive bulky software installed on my machine all the time, just a web browser and an internet connection. I need to spread the word about it.

H said...

I don't see Enterprise customers migrating to Google spreadsheets or for that matter any of Google's products if it is stored in the servers at googleplex.

Not sure how long the buzz about this new product lasts :)

Anonymous said...

Ballu,

I don't think Google as a corporate entity will go through my data. But how about an engineer at Google? I'm not saying that the same cannot happen with your e-mail on yahoo or MSN, but just that it is another step where your privacy may be at risk.

I totally agree about your views on being forced to buy the entire office package. No qualms there.

And H, totally agree with what you say too - no way enterprise customers will migrate to Google spreadsheets - furthermore, many companies have actually banned even Google desktop!

Gops.

Balbir Singh said...

Gops - come on, employees being bad are a risk everywhere. Remember the HSBC incident that took place recently.

H, I would agree on the corporate front. I think most companies who cannot afford office or otherwise would prefer openoffice calc. But a web based solution, removes the need for stuff like

1. Providing a well equipped desktop with a lot of memory
2. Backup's are no longer a headache
3. The data can be accessed from anywhere

I think families would probably use the online edition.

kattricker said...

Hmmm... OK time for my views. I think spreadsheets are used by financial ppl more. I mean everyone uses spreadsheets but finance guys just live on them. So if google is looking for volume, then they're probably gonna have to fit in a lot more functionality into that applet (I saw they got some basic math fns).

I will probably use it for my monthly expense tracking - have had a tough time migrating that xl sheet from pc to pc. Did you see the sharing feature? I think thats cool...

I think individuals might not worry about privacy so much. In fact to sign up for anything serious in the US, they need to verify your identity data - which more often they tend to store (and never delete!). Think about it - in a couple of decades all servers will have everyone's identity data. Its scary but I digress - even for the privacy paranoid, I think google can implement support for encryption (using passwd).

I think they take privacy and security seriously coz they were the first web based email that had secure https support by default. Yahoo did that reluctantly only later (and still it wasnt the default for a long time!). But even if they dont, as far as individuals go all they have to do is omit the impt stuff like SSN etc which isnt that hard.

Gops said...

Karthi,

Totally agree...Google is really serious about privacy - but what do you do in a country like India where privacy laws are almost non-existent? Or even if they exist, the enforcement is non-existent. I don't know - all Google needs now is a base OS and a web browser and they can rule the world. A GoOSe and a Growser - thatz what is separating them from (eventual) world domination.

kattricker said...

Gops - u security paranoid goobe... I suggest you get married - when all your secrets are revealed u will have nothing to secure!! ;)

Balbir Singh said...

Kattricker,

LOL, very well said!!