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Google Businesses The Internet

No Office Suite Google 184

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the probably-more-than-a-twenty-percent-project dept.
Simon (S2) writes "Google co-founder Sergey Brin has quashed speculation that the giant ad broker is to introduce a web-based Office suite. "We don't have any plans," he told Web 2.0 conference organizer John Battelle (pictured below). However Brin left the door open a little. Documents would be easier to work with in the future, he promised, but he didn't think a fat client was the way to go. "I don't really think that the thing is to take a previous generation of technology and port them directly," he told Battelle. However distributed thin web applications allowed you to do "new and better things than the Office package and more.""
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No Office Suite Google

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  • Why Not? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BoldAC (735721) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:18PM (#13750878)
    With all the press they received about it... they should.

    I know that many of us thought it would be the first direct attack against Microsoft,
    • Re:Why Not? (Score:3, Funny)

      by andersbergh (884714)
      Yeah, although then I suppose Microsoft would provide "MSN Office"!
    • Re:Why Not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mabhatter654 (561290) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:47PM (#13751022)
      If I were them, the plan's wouldn't be to release ANOTHER competing office suite, but to work within what's already out there. Once OpenDocument takes off, you'll be able to create tiny tools that work with the standard file format... something like a huge suite won't have to exist anymore... Look what Apple's been doing with Pages... It's a whole new way of using documents.. that makes it much easier for those who just want a pretty sheet of paper. When opendocument takes off, you'll be able to use all that wonderful Googlieness without a 100 meg program open to just type a grocery list.
      • There are already RTF web-based editors, so what's the point? You better bring some more functionality to the table than that. Microsoft, Apple, Sun, or anyone else can release a "tiny tool" document editor overnight. Who cares? As for your "grocery list", why would I want to connect to Google to type one when Windows, Mac, and Linux already come with free text editors (both plain text editors and more fancy editors (RTF and the like))?
        • Re:Why Not? (Score:3, Insightful)

          Why would I want to use Google as a calculator when almost every OS already has one? I don't know but I sure use it a lot.
          • Why would I want to use Google as a calculator when almost every OS already has one?

            My OS calculator has a hard time deciphering 20 mpg in l/100 km
             
            • Even still, if I just want to do 34787*38762 I use Google and not the OS's built-in calc. I guess the reason is that I have a web browser open all the time.
      • by The Monster (227884) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @03:23PM (#13751722) Homepage
        I've made this point any number of times. Because the OD formats use PKZIPped XML, you can do meaningful work on them with the classic Unix approach of small tools that do one thing well.

        As an example, my employer recently changed its name (again). It's really simple to write a little shell script to unzip filea, s/oldname/newname/g, and zip back up, without ever needing an 'office application' at all.

        Google might want to use its server farm to gather information requested, and construct an *.od* on the fly to download to the user. After all, they already do it with HTML. It can't be all that difficult to do XML instead, and send the output to a compression program.

    • Because it's simply not possible right now unless they make it as a plugin/extension. Writing an OpenOffice.org clone in JavaScript IS A BAD IDEA. I cannot emphasize that enough.
    • Re:Why Not? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iceanfire (900753)
      " With all the press they received about it... they should."
      They'd have gotten this much press if they decided to take a vacation for a week. Doesn't mean its a good idea.
  • WebNotepad? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NFJ25 (855891)
    It may not be a full office, but it seams they are planning something...
  • by ElGameR (815688) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:23PM (#13750911)
    ...conference organizer John Battelle (pictured below)...

    I don't see any picture below...
    I hate it when story submitters just copy and paste from other news articles, not even giving them credit. It occasionally causes phrases that don't make sense, like this one.
    • Nice comment.

      I also hate when people post whole articles from 3rd party Web sites to do /. readers a "favor".
      Those /. accounts should be terminated.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:57PM (#13751064)
      Yes there is a picture of John Battelle below.

      W             xxxxxxx     W
      W            xxx     x    W
      W            xxx     x    W
      W            xxx---O-O    W
      W        /\  /\      \    W
      W  _  /\/ /  \|      _\   W
      W | |/ / /    |\    _|    W
      W | | / /\      \____|    W
      W |      /\               W
      W  \      /               W
      • Mod parent up (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sirch (82595)
        Preferatbly 'informative'. Anyone who's seen the article in question would realise he has a point! I'd mod the AC up, but I'm afraid any moderation would be seen as incorrect and I wanted to point this out.

        The picture is of Battelle sticking up his middle finger at the camera.
      • by BushCheney08 (917605) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @02:13PM (#13751386)
        Gotta love this little bit from the end of TFA: Picture credit: John C Dvorak

        Yes folks, this bird was intended for everyone's favorite tech pundit.
  • What good? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by free space (13714) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:27PM (#13750930)
    What good is a web based office suite anyway? ( not a rhetorical question...I'm really wondering)
    Allowing people to collaborate on the same document online,is already possible in traditional office suites+groupware. And centralized storage of documents is avaliable via, you know, Yahoo Briefcase.
    so what exactly would a web office suite bring to the table, aside from the coolness factor?
    • Re:What good? (Score:3, Informative)

      by lixee (863589)
      Probably something a little less buggy than OpenOffice and a lot cheaper than M$ Office.
    • Re:What good? (Score:2, Informative)

      by emmetropia (527623)
      The concept, if delivered properly, would deliver web based groupware (we know, it already exists), with the centralized documents (also aware that it exists), along with cross-platform document editing (exists, again), without installing any new applications (a new one!). While it's got a lot of "wow" factor, none of it is really revolutionary, but people seem to flock to anything Google puts their name on.
      • I stand corrected, the idea does seem to have potential.
        Indeed, many of today's most useful technology is integrating a bunch of existing ideas anyway.
        and yes, people mostly look at this from a "Google competes with Microsoft" point of view.
    • It would bring a constant revenue stream to Google for the use of the Web-based suite. It's what MS always wanted to do- have subscriptions for their programs that you *must* pay to use the programs.
      • How would it provide constant revenue stream for Google? Would they charge per hour of use? Or would they use ad-revenue? So if you're creating a grocery list, ad-sense links would appear in your document regarding mayonaise, apple juice, butter, et al? And you'd expect people to click on these links within their own document? Yeah, right... More likely, they'd become so annoyed that they foreswear ever using this Google Office crap again.
    • Re:What good? (Score:3, Insightful)

      so what exactly would a web office suite bring to the table, aside from the coolness factor?

      Some immediate things that come into mind...
      • core functionality would be free, probably ad-driven with less common (more advanced) features available at a fee
      • ability to work on the same document independent of machine... any internet-connected computer will do
      • cost effective group collaborations (because of #1) with people spread across the globe
      • minimal installation requirements, if any
      • "minimal installation requirements, if any" Wasn't this kind of the 'dream' of many? That someday you could just take a stripped down cheap computer with only a web browser and do everything that you can do on a powerful computer today?
    • Re:What good? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by neo (4625) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @01:47PM (#13751270)
      It could cost a fraction of what Office costs.

      It would also move software out of pretending to be a product and back to being a service, where software belongs.
      • The counter statement to that is, that the time involved in inability to access their documents anytime/anywhere more than makes up for the cost of office. List price of MS Office is $399, if you have an person making $60k (add standard +25% for benefits) who can't do the work they need to do for more than just 5.32 hours over a 3 year period you've lost money just counting pay, let alone incorporating cost to business opportunities. In the right situations, you could theoretically half the number of hour
        • What, people's PCs never fail in companies? I would guess that with Windows, plus the blaster etc, most people experianced at least 5.32 hours of downtime due to worms in the past 3 years. Do you really think the next 3 will be better?
        • Re:What good? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by neo (4625)
          Whoa there straw man.

          I can pretty much gaurantee >5.32 hours of access to Office over three years from problems with Office.

          The points here is that Office isn't worth $399 and in three years you'd have to buy at least one Office related upgrade and one OS related upgrade just to keep using it. Now you're in the $700 range. If I can get a reasonable office suite online for $15 a year AND it gives me remote access to my files (add MS File Server) and it allows other's to collaborate (add MS collaboration
    • so what exactly would a web office suite bring to the table, aside from the coolness factor?

      Crossplatformness. You get an identical user experience on any machine. Furthermore, you can use your own customised setup on any machine, anywhere, OS, location, etc. don't matter.

    • Most people lack the skills and/or motivation to install software, back up their computer, or apply security patches. That's why so many people (a) run Windows and Office rather than the superior alternatives, (b) have malware on their Windows boxes, and (c) lose all their files when their machine dies. All of that would change if you could do everything using AJAX apps, accessing your files through the internet. (Wouldn't it be cool if you didn't have to apply security patches, because the patches had alre
  • Y'know... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:32PM (#13750951) Journal
    I like Google, I really do. So far today, I've used the search engine, GMail and Froogle, and it's still before lunch on a Sunday.

    But this notion of them as the new Microsoft is just delusional. Journalists have jumped on it because it's a fun story, investors have to explain the ludicrous stock price and Slashbots have because a web-based, subscription-based, proprietary office suite with who-knows-what file formats seems like a fantastic idea if it will involve sticking it to Microsoft.

    Look. This is a company with a great indexing and ranking engine, a great backend and a great sense of design and offering value to customers. That's, uh, great, it really is. Google should be proud. But to say that they can just bang out a Javascript-based office suite because you guys think it would be fun is simply nuts. It's not like they have magic powers over there, no matter what the cafeteria serves.

    • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@kHORSEe ... minus herbivore> on Sunday October 09, 2005 @01:11PM (#13751127) Homepage

      Google should be proud. But to say that they can just bang out a Javascript-based office suite because you guys think it would be fun is simply nuts. It's not like they have magic powers over there, no matter what the cafeteria serves.

      You would be right, except for the fact that people are already doing it [slashdot.org].

      If you don't believe it can be done, check out the actual applications. What many people don't seem to realize when they scoff at the idea of an AJAX based office quite is that Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Konqueror, all have "design mode" APIs that allow a user and JavaScript to manipulate the web page directly. Combine that with some excellent import/export filters for HTMl to popular office formats, and you have a decent office suite framework already at your grasp.

      If you really don't think it can be done, look at those sample apps, and consider that they are done with basically no budget. Now throw the mihgt of Google, it's money, and it's developers at the problem. It is not beyond feasability that they could construct such a suite in a matter of months, especially when you consider that 80% of the functions in MS Office are only used by 20% of the people

      Also consider how well this would integrate with their existing core competancies (indexing and searching). You could store all your documents online ina shareable Google store, and they woudl already all be indexed and searchable. You could use your Google addrfesss book to select other people who would be allwed to access and search the documents. And of course you would use Google Talk to collaberate on them.

      • by Mantrid Drone (699799) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @01:24PM (#13751185)
        Creating something like a simple web-based word processor is certainly within the realm of possibility. Unfortunately, the implementation ends up being a Rube Goldberg machine of clunky technologies duct-taped together into a horribly convoluted, difficult to maintain, spaghetti-code mess. I'm very sorry, web fanboys, but HTTP, HTML and JavaScript were not designed to be a GUI application framework and every attempt to shoehorn those technologies into that role just underscores the idiocy of the approach. That is not to say that network-based, zero-install applications are a bad concept--it's just that there are much, much more elegant ways to solve that problem, and that we could be making a lot of meaningful progress in that area if so much time and effort wasn't being wasted creating a million stupid web-app frameworks.
        • Creating something like a simple web-based word processor is certainly within the realm of possibility. Unfortunately, the implementation ends up being a Rube Goldberg machine of clunky technologies duct-taped together into a horribly convoluted, difficult to maintain, spaghetti-code mess.

          No, no ... we're not talking about MS Office.

        • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@kHORSEe ... minus herbivore> on Sunday October 09, 2005 @01:58PM (#13751323) Homepage
          Creating something like a simple web-based word processor is certainly within the realm of possibility. Unfortunately, the implementation ends up being a Rube Goldberg machine of clunky technologies duct-taped together into a horribly convoluted, difficult to maintain, spaghetti-code mess.

          Unfortunately, you are thinking like a coder and not a businessman.

          If efficiency was the gold standard by which an application was judged, then we'd all be writing assembler all the time. If code readability was the gold standard, then we would all be writing every application in CobolBasic.

          All that matters, in reality, is a) Does this application look good, b) Does it do it's job well, and most importantly, c) Will people use it?

          The consumer does not give a flying f*** if the codebase of an application is reuseable, or if it is cobbeled together with toothpicks and jello, as long as it works and makes their life easier. A web-based office suite would fit that role nicely. It would *just work*, it would do the job it was designed to do. It may not have every bell and whistle, but guess what? The vast majority of people don't care about that.

          Not everyoule would use such an application, but Google would not need everyone to use it to be profitable. Hell, it would be so cheap to create and maintain, they could likely be profitable with a very small number of users in proportion to the number it takes Microsoft to turn a profit on MS Office.

      • Hey, there were Javascript calculators a decade ago. I don't dispute that it's possible to make decent AJAX-based lightweight office apps like the ones in your link. But people have been making the "80% of the functions in MS Office are only used by 20% of the people" argument for years, and MS Office is still there. And if there were going to suddenly be a huge switch to lightweight suites, why not to native, free-beer-and-speech open source apps? Would _you_ rather pay subscription fees to Google for the
        • And if there were going to suddenly be a huge switch to lightweight suites, why not to native, free-beer-and-speech open source apps? Would _you_ rather pay subscription fees to Google for the privilege of Google address book integration?

          You are making a *huge* assumton that you would have to pay here.

          Google could offer such an office quite for free for several reasons.

          • They would have even more ad revenue.
          • It would be a huge driver for people to adopt GMail and GTalk to collaberate and share their online o

      • No, I don't think so....

        Why is it these days that everyone thinks that everything has to be a web app that runs out of a godamn browser??

        While I am sure that some smarty-pants developers can crank out office suites in AJAX, the end user is better served by a _real_ app has web connectivity.

        Any advantage that an AJAX-based app has can be EASILY upped by a properly designed app. Deployment is (or should be) a non-issue now that we have things like java web start and whatever the MS equivalent is.
  • Writely? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peterprior (319967) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:36PM (#13750966)
    You could always use Writely [writely.com] :)
    • Re:Writely? (Score:2, Informative)

      by sabit666 (457634)
      When was the last time YOU used it?

      http://www.writely.com/NextPage [writely.com] - 404
    • Re:Writely? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @01:54PM (#13751300) Homepage
      Somehow I'm not that motivated to switch from an open-source word processor to one that's closed-source, and forces me to give an e-mail address if I want to use it.

      It also seems weird to me that we're talking about moving on to a whole different paradigm of the office suite, at a time when there still isn't a decent, traditional-style OSS word processor:

      • AbiWord: Frequent goofs with drawing the screen. Annoying, unpredictable bugs in typesetting paragraphs. Output doesn't seem compatible with Apple Preview, but works with Adobe Reader; in output, some formatting is lost, such as italics. Doesn't support X-style cut and paste.
      • Kword: Crashes constantly. I was never able to get decent PDF output.
      • OpenOffice: Slow. Depends on Java, which is not yet available in a free-as-in-speech implementation. Is being developed almost solely by Sun's in-house developers (probably in part because it's infamously hard to compile from source).

      • LyX - Works great, makes nice LaTeX, pdf, html etc.
  • by AnonymousYellowBelly (913452) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:36PM (#13750967)
    Steve Jobs said flash-based players were CRAP right until he unveiled Apple's flash-iPod. So Sergey can keep on shouting: "we ain't doing it!" all the way to hell, but if someone can develop a Web-based solution for working with documents, that is Google. And I do believe that there must be better ways of creating stuff than with de MS Office paradigm.

    So I say, not seeing is believing.
    • I agree. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by game kid (805301)

      They're saying that the "office suite" in its current incarnation is not something they want to do. As Brin said, "I don't really think that the thing is to take a previous generation of technology and port them directly." Because of all the media speculation, I think they will start making plans (that they don't have yet) for an office suite that (regular, not Slashdot) people are not used to. (Because, as peterprior mentioned above [slashdot.org], there is Writely.)

      I expect a CmdrTaco "No OpenDocument support. L

    • One could make the argument that it wasn't Steve Jobs' position that changed, but rather the feasibility of flash-based players.

      Flash memory is now significantly cheaper than when Jobs made his announcement that Flash players sucked. Remember, the iPod nano has almost as much storage space as the original iPod, but uses flash and costs less. When Jobs made his announcement, a 512 MB player would set you back $250-$300, but the iPod shuffle costs $100.

      There's little chance for a Web-based solution for workin
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:48PM (#13751024) Journal
    When did Google announce anything before they had a beta you could play with?

    So, until Google & Sun work out what they want to do, and Google has played with it, there won't be an announcement... Announcing vaporware as the next savior of the universe is an MS kind of thing to do.

    I have faith in the team of Sun and Google to work out how to make the most of 'being against MS' and then execute the plan...
  • want sun products like StarOffice to make some money and partnering with an ailing giant is not really a way to *STAY* wonderkid's. No Backrubbing here. Or... Maybe they want to play sneaky and sneak out the Office on the Web. Or.. The three (Goog, Sun and MS) want to merge together.
  • by MightyYar (622222) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:51PM (#13751038)
    ...making fun of people who speculate on Google's "next move".

    So let me give them fodder!

    Distributing OpenOffice wouldn't be useful. What would be useful, imho:

    • A simple word processor meant for short-ish documents that would work with gmail such that I could email PDF versions of the documents. Perhaps instead of PDFs, simply a link to the document that is hosted by Google.
    • A google wiki. Something that lets my whole group coordinate on making a knowledge base using simple, intuitive tools.
    • A simple presentation tool, similar to the word processing tool.
    • A photo editor, charting tool, and other basic peripheral applications.

    Now, the trick is to tie them all together such that I don't need to ever exit google.com. For instance, I might want to include a picture from the internet into my presentation. I should be able to, for instance, click on something like "insert photo from internet" and be able to use google images to find the right picture. I should never have to save things to and from my computer (though it would be nice to have that ability if necessary!). I think between Yahoo's new mail interface that demonstrates drag-and-drop, and the impressive Google mapping features, there is a demonstrated availability of the necessary technology to implement at least a basic office suite.

  • by olddotter (638430) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:56PM (#13751060) Homepage
    Star Office is great for those of us that know about it. But it will take more than star office (or open office) to remove MS-Office from the world. I think Google knows that.

    If Google is going to take on MS, it will be with something much smarter and more subtle than a direct head-on frontal assault. So no matter how cool we think that would be, expect something else. Google has been pretty good at "thinking different" so far, and I don't expect that to change.

  • by sco08y (615665) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @12:59PM (#13751070)
    I'm pretty sure most companies have gotten over the urge to put everything on the web, but for reporters, a web app has to deal with certain limitations:

    1. The network.

    2. Flaky web standards.

    3. Living along side other plugins and browser extensions. (That means Other People's Threads in your process space.)

    4. No standard API for printing, the raison d'etre for an office suite.

    5. Browsers, by design, have virtually no integration with the rest of the OS.
  • by dep01 (730107) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @01:05PM (#13751096) Homepage
    Sure, that is a disappointing announcement. I was really looking forward to seeing what Google could do with an online Office app. However, they *ARE* up to something. They're having that secret "invite-only" press conference on, I think, October 26th. Perhaps that's to announce Google's "Calendar app [googlerumors.com]" though. Not sure. I'm waiting excitedly. I'm a big fan of Google (though Google Reader [google.com] has yet to grow on me at all).
  • by Sundroid (777083) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @01:06PM (#13751102) Homepage
    Whether Google plans to plunge into the web-based office suite or not, we don't know, but others have started to create web-based applications like Writely (word processing), Num Sum (spreadsheet), and Writeboard, and most of them use AJAX technology. This site called "The Unofficial Web Applications List" [webapplist.com] lists dozens of them.
    • I tried a few randomly chosen apps from the list:
      • One didn't work.
      • One worked, but did something (cropping an image) with great difficulty that I could have done more easily with Gimp.
      • One (a minesweeper clone) worked, but could just as easily have been done as a Java applet.

      Writely and NumSum look useful, but they're closed source, and you have to give an e-mail address. If this is the future, count me out.

  • This has to be taken with a grain (or few grains) of salt. Remember, this is the head of the same company that was once laughing at Web Portals and said they would stay focused on search. So, Yes Office Suite Google! It's just a matter of time and surprise.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Fancy up there html email composer to do:
    1) Notes
    2) Basic Documents
    3) To Do Lists
    4) Calendar Entries

    Create a light csv viewer, manipulator

    Create a DB client

    Have a way to organize any sort of document.

    Tab the interface with Google groups, Google Personal Search, Google Calendar, and Googles personal web page / blogger

    #@$%%@#, a lot of people wouldn't need much else.
  • Google already is experimenting with an e-mail service with mailboxes of over 2 GB. I bet they are working hard on offering an omnipresent networkdrive, accessible via the Interweg, of course, in which people can store all the documents they need to get their jobs done. If they combine this with their Google toolbar they have one hell of a product to offer.
  • I guess Google is starting to be more like MS around here. Instead of saying "the giant search engine", it's now "the giant ad broker".

  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Most recently I've been using Gmail for all of my text editing. With its machine independence, autosaving, and the best spell checker on earth, why would I bother with a thick client?

    I think this is the way to go. I agree with Sergey, Google is in a position to shatter our perceptions of how office work has to be done. We don't need Word and Outlook and Excel. We can do everything with thin clients, XML, and huge back-end databases.
    • by Observador (224372)
      I use at least five computers on three different networks. Using Google for light text editing is relatively hassle free and featureful. But the key here is availability. As long as I am connected, my text is there. I also agree with your coments on the spell checker. I write in english and spanish and the spell cheker recognizes each language automatically. I don't think it has been lost on Google that many are doing what I'm doing.

      But still, I think Mr. Brin is telling it straight. There's too much effort
    • Its spell checker sucks (sure, it can do english all right, but how about the other languages on the planet?), and you can't save what you've written to the desktop (short of copy/paste, but that's really limited).

      And sure, we can do a lot with thin clients, but I sure as h*ll would want to own the server where that stuff was stored.
  • That article doesn't make anysense, it's a bunch of quotes taken out of context. "However Brin left the door open a little. Documents would be easier to work with in the future, he promised, but he didn't think a fat client was the way to go." Doesn't tell us anything. What documents is talking about?

    This big "announcement" is not. There is nothing on the sun site or even the press conference that really spells out what's going on. It was an opportunity for McNealy to get some good press next to google. In
  • by SuperDuG (134989) <beNO@SPAMeclec.tk> on Sunday October 09, 2005 @01:51PM (#13751282) Homepage Journal
    Here let me just go ahead and use a fake form ...

    What pissed me off about the article:
    Google co-founder Sergey Brin has quashed speculation that the
    giant ad broker is to introduce a web-based Office suite

    Why did it piss me off:
    Because Google is not a giant ad broker?

    Aight here's the deal, last week my issue was with google being the next MS-Killer ... so this post is essentially right along those lines.

    GOOGLE IS A COMPANY THAT DOES INTERNET APPLICATIONS MAINLY SEARCHING.

    They're biggest competition is Yahoo, not microsoft. Let's see ... what company started off mainly as a search engine, then became a portal, started offering services that other sites did (Like driving directions, email, instant messaging, newsgroups, etc)? It wasn't microsoft, it was Yahoo.

    People you've absolutely killing me here. First off people are google fan boys for no real apparent reason, like apple, they are a company whos main concern is to make money and as much of it as possible.

    Hence, they are no different from any other for-profit company out there. End of story, google is no less "the man" than microsoft is. They are a company traded on the stock market, they are in the business not to change the world, but to ... let's here it ... MAKE MONEY.

    Anyways, I hope that they keep the airconditioning on in your ivory tower...

    I'm just happy that I can turn off the google story topic when I don't want to see what ELSE is happening in the world. So I'm not really going to blame slashdot here... I think the only one to blame for all my hostility is me, for actually cruising the google stories during the weekends.

  • Why wait for Google? (Score:2, Informative)

    by philntc (735836)
    When it's already done [thinkfree.com] ?
  • Jesus, I'd forgotten how piss-poor The Register is at conveying information. The only thing worse than an article that inflates a paragraph-worth of information into 12 is having it done by the journalistic equivalent of the pub bore: pompous, ill-informed and long-winded.

    Honestly, I'm pretty easy to amuse but the hacks at the Reg have consistently failed to display anything approaching genuine wit.

    Perhaps /. should add some sort of warning to all Register-bound outward links.

  • News for Google fanboys. Stuff that doesn't matter.

    I mean seriously, Slashdot posts a story every time someone at Google sneezes. I'm a little sick of it. Trouble is, most of the stories don't go under the Google category, so it's impossible to filter them out.
  • by Eric Pierce (636318) on Sunday October 09, 2005 @04:38PM (#13752189)
    Anyone heard of Think Free Office?

    It's not totally free in the way the gOffice dreamers would like it to be, but I must say I was pretty impressed with the interface (basically an Office 2000 clone but in your browser).

    BTW, it's 100% Java so it works in Linux, Mac or whatever.

    Link here: http://www.thinkfree.com/ [thinkfree.com]
  • However distributed thin web applications allowed you to do "new and better things than the Office package and more.""

    Thats crazy, if there was something to add to an office package how come no company or person has come up with it in the last 10 years. There is only so much you can do with a word processor and spread sheet.
  • "However distributed thin web applications allowed you to do 'new and better things than the Office package and more.'"

    If most of your customers are still dealing in Microsoft Office documents, and they won't switch to OpenOffice because of "compatibility" concerns, how are they going to switch to Net-based documents? There would have to be a really "killer app" to make them do that, right?

    What would be an example of a Net-based "killer app" that would cause someone to stop using Microsoft Word, for example

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