Apparently, Google is interested in the Enterprise space now; I stumbled on this second hand, via Scoble's blog. The interesting thing to me is his reaction to it. On the one hand, he says he doesn't like their stuff vis-a-vis MS Office:
The funny thing is that at PodTech we’re actually using most of the “Google Office Suite.”
I hate it. It isn’t even in the same ballpark yet as having an Exchange server.
On the other hand, he thinks MS is going to fall behind due to inattention to the rising Mac platform:
Please note: that doesn’t mean Microsoft should sit back and celebrate. They are gonna get their ass kicked in this space because of their lack of attention to the Macintosh. That’s the #1 reason I’ll probably be using Google’s stuff over the next year instead of Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, and Entourage.
So what's in this suite? Here's InformationWeek:
Google this week will launch Google Apps for Your Domain, a software bundle aimed at small and midsize companies. The free, ad-supported package combines Google's E-mail, calendar, and instant messaging with Web site creation software. It will be hosted in Google's data center, branded with customers' domain names, and packaged with management tools for IT pros.
That's the first step. Later this year, Google plans to add its Writely word processor and Google Spreadsheets to the suite, build online collaboration features that work across its applications, and market the whole package to large companies for a fee. Google will include IT-friendly features such as APIs, directory-server integration, guaranteed performance levels, and telephone tech support.
Now there's where I start to get skeptical. Take a walk through the blogosphere looking for "lost blog posts" for a minute, and you'll get an idea as to why. I like Google Calendar, and I use Gmail (with a caveat: I use the Pop3 interface to bring the mail to my client app). Why? Because I need offline access, that's why. Now, that's clearly not a showstopper - witness SalesForce.com. My skepticism may or may not be shared by most people.
Which means that this will be an interesting show to watch. The Google suite will be a big test of software as a service (as opposed to client software via license). That alone could provide a quake in the industry, given Google's size.
Update: Om Malik makes some very good points on the privacy and access based downsides:
Of course there was the whole issue of getting email on the go; many on our team wanted to use BlackBerries, while I wanted to use my Nokia E61 with Good (by far the best push mail offering on Symbian), so instead we decided to go the traditional route. Okay, perhaps I was being a bit too paranoid, but given the recent AOL DataGate, it is prudent to be wary of the big guys.