In life, there are many things that we all take for granted. These are everyday things that always just seem to be there and are only conspicuous when they are absent. In the last week two of these items have shown that they are not as enduring as many might have thought. Google and Amazon have both had major outages to their services that impacted internet traffic. These two mysterious outages have caused some concern about the reliability of both companies as well as the possibility of a larger issue (perhaps a potential attack). However, neither Google nor Amazon are coming clean about these incidents making many even more nervous.
The General Manager of Microsoft's applications for large companies, Julia White, told the New York Times that Google has not yet proven that it is really serious with their business applications. According to her words, Google is still mainly an advertising company and that 96% of its revenue comes from ads, while only 4% comes from services to business users.
Google Apps ,The combination of Google cloud applications intended for group working under a user's domain, has so far been available to users as both a free (Google Apps Standard Edition) and commercial variety (Google Apps for Business). Google has now decided to put an end to this so they canceled the free option. Individuals can still open up free Google App accounts, but you simply cannot setup one and attach it to a registerd domain name any more, at least not without paying.
Today the Google apps team officially announced that their service will no longer support Internet Explorer 8 or any previous version of IE. This will influence a wide range of institutions that use Google's service and hopefully for Google they will update their workstations in time to be able to continue to use it. This decision will start on November 15th, which is after the launch of Internet Explorer 10.
It looks like that interesting rant from an alleged Google developer might have been premature. We are hearing from multiple sources (all who attended the web 2.0 conference) that Google is looking to make amends with its Google+ social networking site. According to most information the biggest item that will be coming down the road (at least the most complained about) is the ability to create pages and also to log in with a name that is not yours (i.e. a pseudonym). This has been a huge complaint since the also ran networking service first kicked off.
Of course while the ability to be “someone else” is a big deal there are other items that are coming with the promised updates that are just as interesting (and actually more important). You will be able to integrate your Google Apps account with Google+ in the future as well... and that was about all that they were willing to talk about.
Now I know that this sounds a little disappointing, but it is interesting to hear that these items are coming so soon after such a widely spread “internal memo” that was posted on Google+. It has gotten me to thinking. I never believe in coincidences; especially not when big media companies are involved. It seems to me that we have two events happening very close together that are related. On the one hand we hear the passionate venting of a developer who while praising 99% of what Google does truly wishes they would go that extra step and create a platform for all of their services. A day later Google announces integration with one of its existing platforms and manages to slip in a comment about how off the mark Steve Ballmer was when he said Microsoft is killing Google Apps in the enterprise space.
As taken from the Google Developer’s own rant;
“Any teams that have successfully internalized the notion that they should be externally programmable platforms from the ground up are underdogs -- Maps and Docs come to mind, and I know GMail is making overtures in that direction. But it's hard for them to get funding for it because it's not part of our culture. Maestro's funding is a feeble thing compared to the gargantuan Microsoft Office programming platform: it's a fluffy rabbit versus a T-Rex. The Docs team knows they'll never be competitive with Office until they can match its scripting facilities, but they're not getting any resource love. I mean, I assume they're not, given that Apps Script only works in Spreadsheet right now, and it doesn't even have keyboard shortcuts as part of its API. That team looks pretty unloved to me”
It would seem to me that this is almost flame bait. A Google employee telling it like it is and saying how poor and pitiful Google Docs are compared to Microsoft’s power house of Office. Anyone else think the original rant is for real?
Now I will say this, even with Google Apps Integration (meaning Maps, Docs, Mail etc) you are still not getting anything close to what Facebook can offer you in terms of Social Networking and as far as Google Docs/Apps goes? I have seen a large number of companies move to Google only to switch back to Exchange and Office within a month or two do to security concerns, lack of integration with basic business platforms (like Blackberry) and just plain being annoyed with trying to get everything working the way they want it.
In the end this is one of those times we the line “The Lady doth protest too much, Methinks” is very appropriate. After all you get the accusation followed quickly by the “not true, look at all we are doing” sounds a bit dodgy to me.
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