April 19, 2007 |
Google has been on a multi-year tear through the online advertising world, and its moves as of late in the Web application genre have proven no less significant. Gmail continues to grow both in space and in users; its Calendar app is consistently said to be one of the best out there; and Google Docs & Spreadsheets is steadily gaining, too, both because it’s really two apps in one and because it is already part of the suite accessible through a single Google Apps account.
At the Web 2.0 Expo, Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave a confirming nod that the company would be adding another app to its list: a PowerPoint-like app. (Though we’re sure Google’s top spokesman didn’t use the term “PowerPoint-like” in his substantiation of the long-circulating rumors about a Google-produced or Google-purchased-and-Google-branded presentation Web application.)
Schmidt did try to assure a clearly sweaty and fuming Ballmer-and-company (unconfirmed) that the resulting office suite wouldn’t pose a threat to Microsoft, but would indeed be targeted at the small business crowd.
Google may allege that much in-house work was done on the yet-to-be-released presentation application, but the company has already stated that its program is built on the work of Tonic Systems, a Java software builder who’s acquisition by Google had its announcement pretty much in unison with the confirmation of “Google Presentations”.
Not to worry. This isn’t out of line in terms of Google’s development process. For an example of a similar move, just look to the origin of Google Docs, which was more a finished product by the name of Writely, which Google opted to refashion a bit to fit the company’s thematic fledging software suite, than a ground-up revamp of a small and inconsequential text editor. And who says Google shouldn’t look to outside sources for good products to Google-ize? It’s got billions in the bank. Not to invest the coin would be downright asinine.
The only things to look for as the suite expands and Google’s cash flow increases are strong signs of laziness, which haven’t materialized. Yet. To see the company rely almost entirely on acquisitions, however sound they may seem or indeed be, would be to see it draft its own peak, and we’re not merely talking about the number it represents on the NASDAQ. For now, the company treads at a fast pace for sure, but it remains on solid ground.
We’ll all have to wait until the summer to test Google’s presentation application, so count on having to wade through a few months of alpha screen shots before you create your own slides.
We’re not expecting too much of the debut, and only foresee a very simple tool emerging out the gate with emphasis on integration with the rest of the Google Apps suite and sharing – and possibly real-time collaboration – with other users.