Google Wave: Another Nail in Microsoft’s Coffin
Microsoft has recently become the new Yankees – they were the hottest thing since acid wash in the eighties and nineties, and now everyone seems to hate them (with the exception of some loyal fans). Bill and the gang had a good run when they monopolized word processing programs and the internet, but now it seems everyone is out to get Microsoft – from that damned hippie Steve Jobs to the forces behind Google – and public favor is slowly leaving them.
Google’s Google Docs has recently expanded its applications to entice college students and their universities. To appeal to the math and science majors, a new equation editor that can actually compute problems has been added, along with sub and superscript functions for chemical and algebraic expressions. To appeal to those in the humanities, there is now a variety of bullet styles for outlines and footnotes, and, most recently, a translation feature.
The genius behind Google’s plan lies in its marketing to college students. College is where people are trained to do the career they will most likely have the rest of their lives and they tend to stick to and depend on the technology they were taught with. The result: brand allegiance.
Buttressing Google’s plan of attack to inveigle college campuses is Google Wave, which will make its public debut in a few months. Wave will allow for real time communication, media sharing, and document collaboration. Users can even embed Wave into other sites and use gadgets. Playing Chinese checkers with your buddies while writing that term paper might make it a bit more bearable.
So do we still need Microsoft Office as alluring, shareable competition becomes more readily available online? It remains to be seen. Google Docs is convenient, but it has a long way to go in terms of matching Office details and features. While word count is handy and aesthetically-pleasing tables are nice, for some it simply may not outweigh the expediency of Google Docs. So, Microsoft has sounded the Horn of Gondor and taken to the battlefield once again, launching web-based versions of its Office products aimed at the same audience. Will this – along with Vista, Bing, and Zune – be added to the list of the company’s inconsequential products? Probably.
[Photo Courtesy of flickr.com]