Google Calendar - further progress on Google's Web Office suite

Tonight Google unveiled its web-based Calendar application, called Google Calendar (not CL2 as it was labeled initially). TechCrunch has a review of the product and Mike Arrington called it "fast, slick and stable".

google_calendar.gif
Tonight Google unveiled its web-based Calendar application, called Google Calendar (not CL2 as it was labeled initially). TechCrunch has a review of the product and Mike Arrington called it "fast, slick and stable". There's also a tour of Calendar available here and Dave Winer took some early screenshots.

My first impressions are that it's a very polished product and nicely integrated with Gmail. Google is well on the way to building a Microsoft Office killer! OK you know what I'm going to say next ;-) Yes, this is yet another pointer to an upcoming Google Web Office. Email and calendaring go together like vegemite and toast, so it was a natural step to integrate the two. But also consider what Google has been up to recently with Google Base, which I covered in my post entitled Google Base begins to roll out the verticals. Plus the recent Writely acquisition and progress on desktop/Web integrated products like Google Desktop - and it starts to look like Google is pulling all the jigsaw pieces together. It's happening right under our noses... or should I say Microsoft's nose.

Let's review all the elements of a Web Office suite and see how Google's progressing:

Web Office Element Does Google have it? Status
Email Yes - Gmail The best and most innovative web email system around. Gmail recently turned 2 years old, so it's a mature and dependable product (despite still having the 'beta' label!).
Calendar Yes - Google Calendar Brand new, but looking good and playing nicely with Gmail already.
Web processing Yes - Writely and whatever else Google has been cooking up behind closed doors Early stages - Writely was the best of breed among web-based word processors in my recent review, but it's still very early in the innings for word processing on the Web.
Spreadsheet Not that we know of There are some great solutions on the open market currently: JotSpot Tracker, NumSum, iRows. Perhaps a Writely-like acquisition is on the cards from Google in this space, unless Google is working on their own app.
Presentations (i.e. Powerpoint competitor) Not that we know of I didn't uncover many web-based presentation apps in my Best of Breed post, but I was informed afterwards that a few folks are working on it.
Database (i.e. Access equivalent) Maybe - Google Base? Google Base is Google's growing database of structured data, so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that they'll use it for this purpose in a Web Office suite.
Web design Google Page Creator Well, it's a start...
Project Management Not that we know of Your guess is as good as mine.
RSS Google Reader A solid product that will likely be integrated into Gmail at some point - as Yahoo has done with RSS and Microsoft will in Vista.
Desktop management Google Desktop OK not technically an 'office' application, but Google Desktop - which integrates search on the Web with desktop - will be a key part of any Google Web Office system.

So that's a progress report on Google Web Office. With email and calendar now firmly in place and integrated, word processing (a key office application) on the books, ominous signs of an all-purpose database in the form of Google Base, other pieces waiting to fit into place (Page Creator, Reader) and Google Desktop to underpin it all with search - I'd say Google is well on the way to building a Microsoft Office killer! It's a long-term vision, I'm sure. But the office is slowly but surely moving to the Web, or at the very least a Web/Desktop hybrid.

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