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Google To Steal Office Web Apps' Thunder? 151

Posted by Soulskill
from the slap-fight-underway dept.
Barence writes "Google has stepped up its assault on Microsoft's productivity software with the acquisition of a start-up company that allows Office users to edit and share their documents on the Web. The search giant has acquired DocVerse for an undisclosed sum. Product manager Jonathan Rochelle said DocVerse software makes it easier for users and businesses to move their existing PC documents to the cloud, and that Google 'fell in love with what they were doing to make that transition easier.' Microsoft said in an emailed statement that Google's acquisition of DocVerse acknowledges that customers want to use and collaborate with Office documents. 'Furthermore, it reinforces that customers are embracing Microsoft's long-stated strategy of software plus services, which combines rich client software with cloud services.'"
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Google To Steal Office Web Apps' Thunder?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:38PM (#31406850)

    Most developers don't realize this, but average users absolutely hate web apps. They typically aren't anywhere near as easy to use as normal desktop applications.

    The ones who hate them the most are the long-time users who once were able to use real applications, but were forced into using "upgraded" web-based versions. They saw their productivity drop, and they're not happy about it. After all, they're the ones who then get stuck putting in longer hours to do the same job, just because of a supposed software "upgrade".

    As long as Google focuses only on the web, then Microsoft has absolutely nothing to worry about. Their desktop applications will always be superior to whatever web-based apps Google or anyone else might put out.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Most users don't realize this, but what you consider to be a "web app" is most likely neutered to be compatible with IE6. You've probably never experienced what a real web app can be, which is basically identical to a desktop app, UI wise.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by binarylarry (1338699)

        ....sounds like something a web app developer would say.

        I kid, kid. ;)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I hate to break it to you, but IE6 is used by about 30% of home users in America, 25% of home users in Europe, and upwards of 85% of home users in South Korea and Japan. For those same regions, corporate IE6 users are typically an additional 10% to 15% beyond those values.

        Talk all you want about "real web apps". They're absolutely useless when so many people just can't run them.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:05PM (#31407236)

        Come on, bub. Show us some of these "real web apps". I sure as fuck haven't seen them. Every web app I've worked with has been shit.

        Google's web apps are good compared to most other web apps, but pale in comparison to real desktop apps. Thunderbird is much nicer to use than GMail's web UI. Even Outlook is more functional, and Outlook is a piece of crap itself.

        • Really? What functionality does Outlook provide that makes it more functional than what Google offers? I'd also like to know what's so great about Thunderbird. It's been while since I used it but I was not even remotely impressed by it.

        • Hmmmm... I actually prefer GMail to Thunderbird. I don't think I'm alone.

          I do agree with you about Outlook though. Never liked that program.

          • by Sark666 (756464) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:58PM (#31408438)

            You're kidding right? lot's of little annoying things in gmail. For ex, my voip provider has an email forwarding option for voicemail which I use with a gmail account. A friend called a while back and I was trying to find his number. I knew it was 310870 but that's all i could recall. So search for that and get nothing. Partial searches don't work in the subject.

            I know, I'll sort by sender. Oh that's right, it's newest to oldest and that's it. Can't sort by attachments, name etc on the fly. Yeah you can do most/all with a filter, but what a pain. klunky in lots of ways.

            • by ffflala (793437) on Monday March 08, 2010 @09:23PM (#31408662)

              It's possible that you're just more comfortable with what you already know well. These things are all easily accomplished in gmail.

              Next to the "search mail" button on the top of the screen is the "show search options" link. There you will find fields for searching by sender and attachments. Just click the "has attachment" button and hit search: attachments. I *just* tried a partial search --also for a part of a phone number-- and got precise results, including every message with the entire phone number. No idea why your partial string search failed.

              I find this approach both easier and more precise than the slow, apparently unindexed and certainly not boolean search toolbar in Outlook.

              • by c6gunner (950153) on Monday March 08, 2010 @10:06PM (#31408994)

                I *just* tried a partial search --also for a part of a phone number-- and got precise results, including every message with the entire phone number. No idea why your partial string search failed.

                I just tried the same thing, and it didn't work. I prefer the gmail interface over thunderbird, but he's right: there are quite a few things that are "klunky".

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by JackieBrown (987087)

                  One of the things that annoy me is that you are unable to un-thread a conversation.

                  I try to label my purchases by type but my newegg purchases all are threaded together so I have to go through multiple emails to find what I am looking for.

                  This also comes up when someone emails me and uses and existing thread rather than starting a new one.

                  I go like the interface, but it has some wierd restrcitions.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nemesisrocks (1464705)

        Like it or not, web apps -- even the most powerful of them -- still suffer from one basic sticking point: They're limited by the browser.

        Here's the perfect example: Name one webmail client where you can copy a picture from anywhere (browser, word, powerpoint) and paste it into an email. You can't, because web browsers lack (for security) the ability to interact with your clipboard.

        Web apps suffer from another problem: Browsers use a "page based" paradigm. You know, because most of the web is about navi

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Actually the last one is easy, just open a new window without the buttons.

        • by RudeIota (1131331)
          Copy and pasting images DOES live on the web. A surprising example is AOL email. You can copy and paste a picture from one email to another.. Yes, I said AOL email.
          • by dgatwood (11270)

            Only from another web window from the same domain, though. Local file URIs cannot be pasted in because it would be a cross-domain violation. And when you copy and paste between email messages, you're really just copying and pasting a URI. Since the server knows about that URI, it can deal with that. If it's a file URI on your local hard drive, the server has no way to fetch the image from your hard drive, nor does the recipient, so the other person would get a broken image icon (if the server even bothe

            • by dgatwood (11270)

              Also, it's not entirely true that web apps don't interact with the clipboard. They are, however, limited to certain types of content (basically plain text, styled text, or HTML, IIRC) when doing so.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by dgatwood (11270)

          Actually, in a proper web app, you take advantage of onbeforeunload. For example, consider the fairly minimal web app used in the Safari Client-Side Storage and Offline Applications Programming Guide [apple.com]. It's not described in the documentation, but in the complete sample (part of the companion files archive), it does this:

          /*! This returns a string if you have not yet saved changes. This is used by the onbeforeunload
          handler to warn you if you are about to leave the page with unsaved changes. */
          functi

        • Like it or not, web apps -- even the most powerful of them -- still suffer from one basic sticking point: They're limited by the browser.

          I agree with you, but I think this only stops a minority of users.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Bullshit. Webapps are a bad idea, they are built around the entire concept that the web browser is the new OS and it shall run the apps.

      • by AVryhof (142320)

        We'll see about this.

        This is Google, who dropped support for IE6, so what they are planning might be the "real web app" you are referring to.

    • by toastar (573882)

      Most developers don't realize this, but average users absolutely hate web apps. They typically aren't anywhere near as easy to use as normal desktop applications.

      The ones who hate them the most are the long-time users who once were able to use real applications, but were forced into using "upgraded" web-based versions. They saw their productivity drop, and they're not happy about it. After all, they're the ones who then get stuck putting in longer hours to do the same job, just because of a supposed software "upgrade".

      As long as Google focuses only on the web, then Microsoft has absolutely nothing to worry about. Their desktop applications will always be superior to whatever web-based apps Google or anyone else might put out.

      You are correct that web apps aren't there yet. But It's not the platform, It the development investment. If you were to compare google spreadsheet to say lotus 1-2-3 most people would go for the web app, The problem is half the functions are missing compared to a modern spreadsheet prog.

      I'd say office 2007 is a pretty major improvement, At least for me only because excel can open way way more cells now.

      God have you seen google's idea of powerpoint?

      • by TENTH SHOW JAM (599239) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:10PM (#31407296) Homepage

        God have you seen google's idea of powerpoint?

        No, but since I have to sit through hours of badly presented Microsoft Powerpoint presentations, nothing can be worse. If Google breaks powerpoint to the point where presenters have to present data using whiteboards, OHPs, movies, handouts, and good old fashioned oratory, then count me in.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BlackSnake112 (912158)

        I'd say office 2007 is a pretty major improvement, At least for me only because excel can open way way more cells now.

        There is a reason why there are these called databases. Stop using excel as a database. The old 65,000 row limit was too large. When spreadsheets get that large it is time to 'upgrade' to a database. Use database views (or what ever they are called in your database of choice) to sum up the data so that the smaller spreadsheet application can handle the data.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by pugdk (697845)

          And you have obviously never dealt with large spreadsheets that are unsuitable for a database or data for which it would not make any sense to make a database.

          At least people like you don't get to make important decisions like keeping an idiotic low fixed row/column limit.

          • by thePig (964303)

            Use BigTable :-)

          • I'd much rather trust a large dataset such as you describe
            with a robust database than to an application running on
            an untrustable OS.

            There is nothing
            "unsuitable for a database or data for which
            it would not make any sense to make a database."

            Nothing.

            You are blowing smoke.

            FUD.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              It takes minutes for an ordinary user to setup an Excel spreadsheet with a large data set (for example, a raw sales figure dump) and perform analysis on it. To setup and use a database for the same task would take much longer and require a totally different skill set.
          • If you are saying that a large spreadsheet can do anything that a database cannot do better....?

            You don't know databases .... ...you also don't know spreadsheets

      • Is there anyway to have two excel windows open?

        I can open two (or more) excel documents they reuse the same window. There is not tab implentaion for seprate files so it is difficult for me to switch from one excel spreadsheet to another via the mouse.

    • by segedunum (883035)

      Most developers don't realize this, but average users absolutely hate web apps. They typically aren't anywhere near as easy to use as normal desktop applications.

      It's the other way on. Developers hate web applications because they're generally a pain to work with and certainly to debug, but users like them because they can use them from anywhere and they're easy to use and update without installing anything. Because of that users are generally very happy to put up with many quirks and the generally slow re

      • by vux984 (928602) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:21PM (#31407428)

        It's the other way on. Developers hate web applications...

        Both wrong. :)

        Developers hate them and users hate them.

        Unfortunately Marketing departments, bean counters like them. (Neither of these groups actually use them of course, but based on their paradigm shifting synergistic sizzle coolness 2.0 and low support costs per table 16-1 in Appendix PHBs couldn't possibly resist foisting them onto their users even if they wanted resist. (But why would they resist... overseeing the deployment of paradigm shifting synergistic coolness that would save the company money on paper is what PHB promotions are driven by. Its resume gold.

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:19PM (#31407404) Journal

      Most developers don't realize this, but average users absolutely hate web apps. They typically aren't anywhere near as easy to use as normal desktop applications.

      That may be true - but its funny how these things always work out - its the developers who decide where the platform is, not the user. Developers are loving web apps. Why? It means you don't have to worry about installing your app, you don't have to worry about different versions, updating is a snap, support is a snap, and its accessible from almost anywhere. These "Upgraded" versions make a developer's and a support staff's life easier. So thats the way the market is going to go.

      As long as Google focuses only on the web, then Microsoft has absolutely nothing to worry about.

      Sounds like some famous last words. Like how Newspapers won't have to worry about internet blogs.

      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:31PM (#31407554) Journal

        I think it depends on what you mean by "web apps". If you mean functional pages (online entry forms and that sort of thing), it's no worse than Java. But man, once you start taling AJAX/Web 2.0, it's fucking hell. While there's less work for browser-specific issues than there used to be (and providing you're not having to deal with legacy B.S., which a lot of in-house guys having to support IE6 apps do), it's still a bastard. Even with decent frameworks, complex web apps are significantly more complex than desktop equivalents; harder to design out of the box, harder to debug, with all sorts of issues, like latency and network issues, that desktop apps don't really have to deal with it. Making these apps appear as seamless as a desktop app is no mean feat.

        Frankly, I think the browser is probably one of the worst application platforms ever developed. With any other GUI, there's reasonably close tie-in with the operating system. WEb apps are basically client-server apps based on browser kludges and a slippery-as-a-snake DOM and CSS APIs, which often look like GUI framework APIs redesigned by either the criminally insane or possibly severely mentally retarded.

        I'm sure software makers/vendors love web apps for the reasons you state, but for the guy trying to code, debug and maintain this stuff, with the variety of web servers, operating systems and browsers, there is nothing but regret that Java, as ugly as it can get, never took off on the web. Because as ugly as Java can be, it's a paradise compared to some behemoth built out of CSS, PHP/Python/Java and Javascript backending some database on to some browser window.

        • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:01PM (#31407876) Journal

          Then you aren't implementing AJAX properly. You can tell when a request is launched, when its started its return, and when the information you've requested is successfully back. Albeit, this is not an easy thing to learn - but once you've got it down it makes Web Apps a whole lot easier.

          When you've got a network issue - it's going to affect your Desktop App or your web app. Latency is latency - the only difference is a desktop app will wait for the network, a web app you have to tell it to wait (or you can tell it to do something else, if there is other stuff to do).

          I find Web Apps easier to debug, because its running off of a single server, not the client. So "duplicating" the error is as easy as repeating the steps the user did. I do not have to make sure my environment is configured exactly like theirs.

          Perhaps your dissatisfaction falls into the way things are implemented in your work environment. I get the feeling YOU didn't choose the "CSS, PHP/Python/Java and Javascript backending some database " but someone else did, and now you're stuck maintaining (meaning cleaning up) their mess.

          I have never had a real issue using AJAX with an ASP.NET front end, C# or VB back end, handling an Oracle/MySQL Database. Everything within that architecture is designed with the others in mind - and it makes programming a dream.

          And if your company is willing to dish out the cash for some AJAX user controls - like Telerik or something, you don't even have to deal with AJAX all that much, and most of your code is written for you.

          • by Al Dimond (792444)

            With a web app more info is kept on the server, so there are more opportunities for network errors. A desktop mail client works great when the network goes down. It stores the emails you wanted to send and then sends them when the network comes back up. You can still search through whatever data you have on your drive. With webmail the inbox is a different page that requires server interaction to display at all.

            Duplicating an error in a web app can be easy if the error took place on the server. If it's a cl

            • A desktop mail client works great when the network goes down. It stores the emails you wanted to send and then sends them when the network comes back up. You can still search through whatever data you have on your drive. With webmail the inbox is a different page that requires server interaction to display at all.

              I readily admit I don't keep as up to date with this stuff as some of you immersed in the industry, but aren't HTML5 and Google Gears designed to minimize this issue? I'm wondering how much of this

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537)

        ... you don't have to worry about different versions, updating is a snap...

        Only problem here, and it's worth mentioning: it also means that you can't just stick with a stable version.

        No, no, not "stable" like "doesn't crash". "Stable" like "doesn't change". There are users out there happily using Office 2000 and it hasn't changed because it is installed locally on their computers. There isn't going to be anyone happily using a 3-year-old version of Google Docs, since it's seamlessly automatically upgraded behind the scenes. Wake up one day, and things are different.

        Not that

      • Most developers don't realize this, but average users absolutely hate web apps. They typically aren't anywhere near as easy to use as normal desktop applications. Developers are loving web apps.

        That may be true - but its funny how these things always work out - its the developers who decide where the platform is, not the user.

        Funny how that works - for years we've been told that good business (where customer facing or internal facing) revolves around customer service. Now, it's fuck the customer - develope

      • Developers don't care about deployment .... trust me they really don't

        Network Admins do and they are the ones who recommend which apps to buy, and the ones who phone up the developers when they are hard to deploy...

    • I have a love/hate relationship with WebApps. Their UIs are generally slower and clunkier than that of a local program. They generally don't have as many features, and lots of operations are more difficult to do remotely.

      However, for collaboration and remote access, they're simply awesome. I'd never use Google Docs to write a report or an essay. But Google Docs was awesome for setting up a wedding spreadsheet that both my fiancee and I can access and update when we book things, or get RSVPs.

      In the end, it's

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        Alternatively, local apps that synchronize to a server could serve both purposes. In an ideal world, the only case where web apps would be more convenient than native apps is when you don't have your own computer with you, e.g. using somebody else's computer for checking your mail or whatever. It's also a security hole so big you can drive a truck through it, so one could reasonably argue that this is a bad idea....

        • Well, it'd have to be local apps that can interoperate with others of the same class (so all parties don't need to purchase the same software) and a free service that runs a synchronisation server (otherwise you've got the extra overhead of running and maintaining that yourself).

          As to the security "hole", it's not really. It's a possible security problem, as you need to trust your provider, but it's not a "hole" in the way that security vulnerabilities are a hole. Having local apps synchronize to a server h

        • It's also a security hole so big you can drive a truck through it, so one could reasonably argue that this is a bad idea....

          Do you believe that most desktops are more secure?

      • I have my students write many of their essays in Google Docs where they are required to edit their team's essays. Then they transfer them to Word or an equivalent processor. I'm wondering if Google's purchase of DocVerse will make the last step unnecessary. But as you said, the collaborative elements are impressive. Especially when students are in a lab and can watch, in relative real-time what others are thinking about what they wrote.

    • by sortius_nod (1080919) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:42PM (#31407686) Homepage

      I really think you've started with a flawed premise.

      I've actually found that users LOVE web apps if they do what they're intended to do AND the company is willing to move beyond the IE6 sphere of stupidity.

      I was working for a media company and they deployed a web app that made it easier for journos to submit stories, the only desktop app required was used by the editors. No longer did they have to log in to a VPN and run a very network intensive publishing app via satellite from remote places just to submit the story. They could submit stories written in say notepad and copied & pasted into this app. The same company uses many other web apps that users like. The only time there's a complaint is when the developers screw up and break the app. This happens with ALL apps (same publishing app mentioned before broke almost weekly and it is not a web app).

      There's many other web apps (including Google Documents) that are giving users a fresh look on web apps. While I can understand people's hesitations, I remember the good old days of crummy web apps crashing your computer and chewing processor time like there's no tomorrow, I do feel that we'll see a fundamental shift from local to cloud apps in the near future by choice. My father at 67 has moved entirely to OpenOffice with Google Docs sync as he writes a lot on the road. For me, this is a sign of just how little hold Microsoft really has on the end user market.

      It seems the ONLY people I see complaining these days are people who work in IT. I'm not sure if these people have just not spoken to their users in 10 years, the web apps they deploy are crap, or that they fear their own expendability in the coming years.

      • by chgros (690878) <`charles-henri.g ... ' `at' `m4x.org'> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:18AM (#31409802) Homepage

        No longer did they have to log in to a VPN and run a very network intensive publishing app via satellite from remote places just to submit the story.
        Wait. The desktop app was more network intensive than the web app? Were they using X forwarding or something? And the web app somehow doesn't require the VPN? This doesn't make sense.

        • With no need to access the local network, just the cloud there is no need for a VPN

          If you are just sending HTML/AJAX then the client does most of the work, and the traffic is relatively small

          with an app and Remote access, the traffic is large ... (without remote access it would be smaller than the Web app)

          A properly written app can outperform a webapp in all respects .... but few are written properly...

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I do feel that we'll see a fundamental shift from local to cloud apps in the near future by choice.

        Once we have free universal ultra high speed (as in, as fast as a current wired network connection) internet access, then maybe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The ones who hate them the most are the long-time users who once were able to use real applications

      I don't know about that. I've long used various thick clients to read my e-mail; and then, one day, I switched to GMail, and didn't look back. I'm perfectly happy with UI and features - and, most importantly, the fact that they are the same and readily available on any computer I might come by.

    • by MrCrassic (994046)

      On your last point, keep in mind that Microsoft has all the potential to export MOST of their key (and, thus, show-stopping) Office functionality right to the web...while making it work with IE6 somehow. (I hope they don't, though; IE6 really needs to die.) That and its absolutely competitive price of NOTHING will probably sink GDocs like a lead weight when they release it.

    • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:07PM (#31407934)

      This sort of thinking is the same as what inspired the Newsweek article from 1995 which was discussed earlier today. That article predicted that the internet would never catch on because it was hard to use in its current form. You have to remember that the platform is going to continue to improve and be refined.

      Already, the Google apps are easy to use for basic tasks. They load quickly, and while they may lack certain features and polish that can be found in the latest version of Office, they are quite usable. They're only going to get better, and browsers and PCs are only going to keep improving. There isn't much that can be added to Office for 95% of users, so the gap will close.

      The biggest advantage to web apps is file management. I don't have to consider where my files are stored, or which computers have access to them. I don't have to worry that I have two different versions if I worked on a file remotely. I don't have to worry about what happens if my hard drive crashes. Users hate worrying about those things.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        The biggest disadvantage to web apps is file management. I don't know where my files are stored, or which computers have access to them. I don't have backups of old versions. I lose everything if the provider's hard drive crashes and they don't keep proper backups. Users hate worrying about those things, so they just put their hands over their ears and shout "LALALALALALALALA" at the tops of their lungs, which works well enough until it comes crashing down around them like a house of cards. Which it does (

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I don't have to consider where my files are stored, or which computers have access to them.

        Yes, it makes life a lot simpler when everyone has access to everyone else's files...

      • So instead of worrying about backups, storage, access, versioning .... I just have to trust Google and have a web connection ....

        Now try and explain this to the Salesman who has no web connection and need his documents, or why you cannot retrieve the ones he accidently deleted

    • Users hate poorly done web apps. Personally, every time I use OWA (Outlook Web Access) I am amazed it's not a local app.

  • Uh.huh (Score:2, Troll)

    by alexborges (313924)

    'Furthermore, it reinforces that customers are embracing Microsoft's long-stated strategy of software plus services, which combines rich client software with cloud services.'"

    Ok, that doesnt look well. Let me correct it:

    'Furthermore, it reinforces that customers are embracing Microsoft's long-dead strategy of software plus services, which combines rich client software with cloud services.'"

    There.

    • Re:Uh.huh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by brad-x (566807) <brad@brad-x.com> on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:08PM (#31407276) Homepage
      Rich client software connecting to network servers is a long-standing formula that everyone has employed until the cloud buzzword bandwagon rolled into town. In most cases software applications running on the local computer will remain much more feature-rich and contain much more functionality than a web based application.

      The day web based applications overtake desktop applications is the day the web browser weighs in at over a gigabyte in size, accounting for all the API's and associated background services that will be required to deliver them.

      This is just another attempt at offering 'software as a service', rental software which is something slashdotters moaned loudly about when Microsoft promoted the concept in the early 2000's. Now that Google is planning on it, it's being hailed as heroism.

      • So, thin clients? Or maybe thick clients? The user's machine only has enough software to get a web browser online. Everything else is out there in the cloud.

        For the time being, there will be end users who do not trust the cloud. They want to be able to get to their apps/docs/files when ever they want to. Also back in the early 2000's the internet was not as big as it is today. There are a lot more people using it today. Timing can also be a factor.

        • by brad-x (566807)

          Remote desktops is a possibility, but the real loss that will stem from the tide of cloud computing is the atrophy of the personal computer down to a set top box whose usage is supported by ads. An iPad or iPhone is an apt example - when the personal computer no longer exists, where will an end-user's freedom to explore go?

          The Tinkerer's Sunset [diveintomark.org] is a good example of what bothers me about the current widespread embrace of cloud computing.

  • Lock-In (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:46PM (#31406964)
    What isn't in Microsoft's press release and what I'm sure Google is actually doing is making it easier to get your Information out of Office. Whittle away, bit by bit.
    • What isn't in Microsoft's press release and what I'm sure Google is actually doing is making it easier to get your Information out of Office. Whittle away, bit by bit.

      One can only hope this works, but what's to stop Microsoft from simply changing the file formats yet again to perpetuate their customer lock-in?

    • Exactly. Bit By Bit (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      One just has to look at what happened to Microsoft over the past year, layoffs, projects and teams getting axed, to imagine what even a 10, 20 or 30 percent hit to their massive office software revenues would be like.

      I think back to most of the computing jobs I've had over the past 10-15 years. Every single one of them it was standard to get a full Microsoft office suite that I never used or anyone else in development used. All just to be able on the off chance of reading some trivial spreadsheet or Microso

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I think back to most of the computing jobs I've had over the past 10-15 years. Every single one of them it was standard to get a full Microsoft office suite that I never used or anyone else in development used. All just to be able on the off chance of reading some trivial spreadsheet or Microsoft text document.

        And what's so special about the developers that they don't have to fit in with the rest of the company?

    • making it easier to get your Information out of Office

      And into Google. Perhaps not with an actual lock-in... but when you have other services and you make them tie-in to each other ... and don't tie-in with others (or just buy them!) ...

      As bad as Microsoft? Meh, no. I don't think so. Still bad? Seems like it. But I just use local copies and not Google docs (except on rare occasions when it is convenient) and don't complain about it.

  • by handy_vandal (606174) on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:52PM (#31407052) Homepage Journal

    Ah, young love. "Google 'fell in love with what they were doing to make that transition easier.'

    Nothing like falling in love to heat up the corporate personhood debate [wikipedia.org].

    • by game kid (805301)
      DocVerse: "Oh Google, I want your acquisition money in my business account now! Oh! Yes! Yes!" [releases shiny products and middleware all over the place]
  • Translation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:00PM (#31407180)

    "...it reinforces that customers are embracing Microsoft's long-stated strategy of software plus services, which combines rich client software with cloud services."

    "...it reinforces that customers will be pushed into our long-stated strategy of software plus services, which combines bloated software and half baked DRM to nightmarish effect."

  • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:05PM (#31407238) Homepage Journal
    DocVerse says: That's right ladies, I'm dating Google now. I know there are rumors of him having other girls, but what can I say? He doesn't follow any of the rules! Besides, I hear his data centers are HUGE!

    Google: Yeah boys, DocVerse is a cute little thing to be sure. I'll protect her as long as she puts out.

    Microsoft: You damn kids with your free spirited sex and cloud-computing-rock-and-roll! Get off my lawn you patchouli-scented, long-haired hippies!

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