Yesterday's launch of Google Sites, which it bills as "one-stop sharing for team information," is awfully similar to Microsoft's SharePoint. As part of the growing collection of applications in the Google Apps suite of Web-served software, Google Sites provides one less reason to lean on the world's software giant for enterprise solutions.
Google Sites provides a centralized depository for documents and other files, which members can share within the same company, team project, or classroom. With this offering, companies can keep collaborative projects going, and teachers can reach out with reference material and updates for their students. It essentially offers the flexibility of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server at a better price point (it's free for Google Apps customers), and with a home base at Google instead of your own server.
Everyone knows about the merits of cloud computing these days. salesforce.com
Google Apps may be little more than a niche player at the moment, but it's the biggest threat to Mr. Softy these days. Will Google Apps help fuel Google Sites usage, or will it be the other way around? Google's service already offers online alternatives to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Microsoft may feel relieved to find that even with Google assembling the puzzle pieces needed to take on Microsoft Office, Google's suite remains a fringe player two years after its debut. But relief would be a critical mistake. Mr. Softy knows that Google means business.
It gets the point, and not just because Google now gets the SharePoint.