Google CEO Eric Schmidt acknowledges that Google Docs lacks workflow features that Microsoft Office has, but isn't trying to emulate the suite.
In an interview with Stephen Shankland at CNet News, Schmidt continued his courting of the enterprise. Schmidt on Wednesday had a good performance at the Gartner IT Symposium. Schmidt largely focused on the enterprise and courting CIOs. Overall, Schmidt was upfront with enterprise managers, who are increasingly at least considering Google to outsource email.
Also see: How to know when to send your email to the cloud
The real proof of Google's enterprise strategy will play out over time. And a lot of that success will largely depend on whether IT managers trust Google's cloud, consumerization argument and applications.
Some highlights from Shankland's interview.
On how Microsoft Office and Google Docs aren't compatible:
The reason they're not comparable is Microsoft Office is expensive and ours is free or cheap. The other thing is there are an awful lot of workflow features in Microsoft Office we don't have today. What we're doing is adding appropriate functions to Google Docs from the bottom. We're adding the common cases. We're not trying to build a full copy of Microsoft Office. I don't think that's good use of our time. What will happen is a corporation will end up having both around for awhile.
On cloud computing Schmidt acknowledged that a hybrid approach is likely and some companies will never jump over to Google.
There are some businesses that will never embrace them. For purposes of argument that will be 1 percent. They'll conclude they want absolute control and are willing to pay a premium for that. What is that? Their own data centers, their own security architecture, their own risk management, and so forth.
On off-the-shelf technology, Schmidt said that the company's goal is to build supercomputers out of PC parts.
The Google model is sufficiently specialized that I don't think you can even compare. There have been a series companies created to build the Google architecture as a generalized rack server. I don't know how well they're doing.