Girouard, one of the company's four presidents including founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, said in an interview with ZDNet Asia that he expects Google's online document application, Google Docs, to reach a "point of capability" next year that will serve the "vast majority's needs."
He acknowledged that Docs is currently "much less mature" than Google Mail or Calendar. "We know it. We wouldn't ask people to get rid of Microsoft Office and use Google Docs because it is not mature yet," he said.
But, this is expected to change in a year, when the company's introduces some "thirty to fifty" updates to Docs to beef up the SaaS (software-as-a-service) office suite. These will include updates to features and performance, Girouard said.
"That having been said, I don't think Office will entirely disappear," he added. Instead, Microsoft's offering will become a specialized offering for office workers who need its additional functions, akin to Adobe Photoshop, which is targeted at skilled workers, said Girouard. Microsoft Office is "an overkill tool for most people", he noted.
For more, read "Google: Firms can get rid of Office in a year" on ZDNet Asia.