Love the Google Apps Skeptics

I love all the Google Apps skeptics here on this site, as well as here and here. As most readers of this site will know, I’m no tireless Google booster, having criticized the company many times, but I do believe that Google Apps, whlle far from perfect (which is meaningless anyway) is aimed at one of Microsoft’s juicier and softer flanks.

Let’s be clear: There is a very large group of people out there who need basic apps/sharing/scheduling/email, don’t want to have IT support, and are stone-petrified at the idea of installing Exchange. Those people are not the Excel macro-using, Exchange-expert-paying, Fortune 500s. Matter of fact, most of the latter group will predictably sniff at Google Apps as a mere toy, useless for real world work.

Absolutely. Stay away. Far away. We can all just watch from a distance as, Christensen-style, the toy-like G Apps chews steadily away at tiny, but growing pieces of MSFT’s hide.

[Update] The most cogent criticisms of Google Apps come from David Card over at JupiterResearch. His twin beefs:

  • It’s not ad-supported, which breaks Google’s best marketing message
  • Developers have to pay for API access, which is dumb


  1. There can be no doubt that MSFT has a dangerous rival in Google — but its more than mere busniess –its philosophy, too.
    The battle is between Microsoft’s approach — a desktop stranglehold on computing — and Google’s massive online server cloud accessible by, no IT dept necessary. .
    This paradigm shift. The only question is whether MSFT is the next Blockbuster Video, or whether they can adopt their monopolist business model to something that thrives on competition.

  2. Paul,
    Thanks for your response to the earlier post. I agree with you on this post completely. As a decision-maker in a smaller business, my feelings on Google Apps are this:
    Office-killer – not yet, not even close
    Exchange-killer – maybe and -> God I hope so
    Paying for office doesn’t bother me as much as paying for Exchange and related IT support…

  3. I run a small business. With only four people with email addresses on the domain it’s been great since we moved to Gmail. No more multiple email clients on multiple systems, “I already downloaded my email at home but I need a copy of that one message email someone to email me a copy of it”, find a cheap but not hideous webmail client, hell. Now with calendar/docs/spreadsheet sharing I can get away from the “who has the latest copy of xyz.xls” battle; is it on my USB drive, laptop, desktop, etc. We’re not running a complex business but we need a quick and easy way to selectively share our work with each other.
    There will be naysayers, but I see a huge benefit in the way Google has engineered and packaged up their applications.
    If they work as well as they seem to I’ll have no problem paying $50/year/user.

  4. msft has not even had to defend office or exchange yet and I don’t think they will for at least two or three more years. by that time, they will unveil whatever they have been working on in the labs for the folks who want online apps. the reason google apps has any traction in the blogosphere is because the uber bloggers never knew, or have forgotten, how entrenched office and exchange are in bigcos. HABITS And INTERTIA. msft’s best friends.

  5. Alexander Marktl says:

    I recently have helped some small companies to switch to Gmail. They are really happy now. It’s exactly what they wanted. They especially like the Java phone client.
    I totally understand them: No software, no installation, no server, no support needed, barley no downtimes, easy to use, access everywhere and it’s free!
    PS: No, that’s not surreptitious advertising :-)