Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced at the Web 2.0 Expo today that a presentation creation and sharing service will arrive soon to augment the current Google online offerings of gmail, calendar, word processing and spreadsheets.
The announcement was shown as a presentation itself, made from the new PowerPoint-like but online service, on large screens before the standing-room only Tuesday keynote address crowd. Details of the features and functions, as well its sharing ability, were not disclosed.
The date of the beta launch was also not made public during an interview between Schmidt and Federated Media CEO John Batelle, who is also a co-chair of the Web 2.0 Expo at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center.
The beta service amounts to a different way of managing information, said Schmidt, an example of yet another Web 2.0-framework service. The story of Web 2.0, he said, is really a transition from an older computing archiecture to the newer fundamental shift known as Web 2.0, which he called a marketing term.
The Google CEO hinted that collaboration would be a differentiating element of the presentations creation offering.
While Schmidt dodged calling the suite of services a competitor to Microsoft Office, he said he expects "a response" from Microsoft.
Addressing the recent announced Google acquisition of DoubleClick, Schmidt answered concerns of Google advertising hegemony by saying that advertisers have broad market choice, and that Google's best interests are to keep online ad communities comfortable with Google's power and role.
He also called "false" Microsoft's and AT&T's calls of the Google purchase as an issue of concern to anti-trust regulators. "This is an emerging field," he said. "They're wrong."
As a response to the Amazon S3 storage as a service offerings, Schmidt said that Google will do "something different" but not necessarily a competing offering. Google also sees the world's telcos and service providers as partners, but Schmidt is concerned that net neutrality should be maintained, and that keeping the Internet neurtral should be a business decision, but not a law.
"It would be terrible if we lost that as a society," said Schmidt of a neutral Internet.