eWEEK writer Steve Bryant says Google will be announcing a new product called "Google Docs" tomorrow at the Office 2.0 conference. It will glue together Google's online productivity suite that currently includes Google Spreadsheets and Writely.
These two products aren't yet ready to replace traditional software on most PC's -- especially in an enterprise environment. However, they can already act as a complement to both Microsoft Word and
in the case of Google Spreadsheets, Open Office.
I've said this many times before, but Google needs to spend some of their money on technical support if they intend to infiltrate the enterprise. Without 24/7 access to someone who can help, or at least tell you what is happening when something goes wrong, Google cannot be trusted enough to gain any market share.
At Google, everything comes down to the user experience -- that's why it baffles my mind that users have no direct access to someone when, for example, they can't access any documents because Writely is down.
Now if we take this to an enterprise setting, what happens if users can't send email or access Writely? Without a direct contact, the system administrator is forced to tell users "Sorry, I don't know what the problem is or when it will be fixed. I will submit a trouble ticket on Google's website and hope they get back to me." This is not a good business model.
Will Writely have a new interface similar to Google Spreadsheets tomorrow too? I am guessing it will probably look the same, but they have surprised me in the past!