Google Apps not quite ready for business

Every time a hot new technology takes hold in the consumer space, analysts start coming out of the woodwork to label whatever it is as not yet worthy of enterprise deployment. Occasionally, such reports ring true (iPhone, anyone?) but more often than not, it’s just another case of an analyst trying to scare the enterprise with the old technology boogeyman.

Google Apps is no stranger when it comes to these sorts of reports; as the company steadily works to make its web-based application suite more enterprise-worthy, more and more analysts point out that the software won’t meet the needs of most businesses. A new report from the Burton Group is particularly damning: analyst Guy Creese takes Google Apps to task for its “rudimentary feature set” and goes so far as to say that “Quickly adopting GAPE without understanding its quirk[s] or looking at other alternatives is likely to become a career-limiting move.” Ouch.

Never one to take an insult lying down, Google has fired back, clarifying the aims of Google Apps. “Ultimately we believe Google’s core strengths are a very successful history of providing powerful, reliable, useful and fast online tools that put the user first, deep experience developing and scaling the massive infrastructure required for delivering web-based applications around the world,” the company told Ars Technica. “The ability to innovate quickly and launch new features and products on a very rapid timeline (has) allowed us to offer a unique, compelling product.” Considering how long it takes Microsoft to launch new features in Office, Google’s ability to update its Apps on the fly is definitely a core strength.

Still, Google Apps is clearly not yet be robust, reliable or secure enough for most businesses. Having said that, the seeds that Google sows now could grow into a full-fledged Office replacement in the future. As Ars points out, “Google’s applications are young–there’s still time to build up a respectable feature set that can compete fiercely with Office.”

For more on the report:
– see this Ars Technica article
– and this article from ZDnet

Related Article:
– Colleges testing Google Apps

More stories about Google   Microsoft Office   Software News   iPhone  


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