Google Targets Microsoft Collaboration Suite

February 28, 2008
Google is taking aim at Microsoft’s SharePoint.
Google announced Wednesday it will begin offering an easy to use Web site creation and publishing tool for office workers to set up and run collaboration sites, for quickly sharing information among project teams and co workers.
Google Sites, as the new site publishing service is known, is based on the acquisition 16 months ago of hosted wiki provider JotSpot.
The new service is designed to allow teams of users to organize and share digital information such as Web links, calendars, photos, videos, presentations, attachments and other documents in an easy-to-maintain site, with the goal of increasing productivity among the team members.
Of course, Microsoft’s dominance in this market (some pundits see SharePoint as a billion-dollar business for Microsoft) is not to be taken lightly, but when it comes to contenders, Google is no slouch, and is in fact the biggest thorn in Microsoft’s side on so many other fronts it almost comes as no surprise that they would be launching a would-be competitor to SharePoint now.
Aside from functionality, the key difference between the offerings is cost, with Google offering their Google Sites free of charge to users of Google Apps, which in turn is less expensive than many Microsoft tools.
As usual in any battle between companies of this scale, it remains to be seen what the impact will be on the other players (think zoho) in the market and in the end, we need to ask ourselves this: Will today’s announcement help businesses maximize their productivity in the long run?

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