Google Relaunches Enterprise Apps as 'Google for Work'
“Work is where you spend a lot of your time. So we’ve always believed that it should be meaningful—not a daily grind, done in isolation on an old desktop in a sea of cubicles,” Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt (News - Alert) wrote in a company blog post. “Even more, we believe that technology should make work better. It should make it easy not just to get things done, but to get things done with people who inspire you, at the times and in the places where you work best, and in a way that lets you make an impact, no matter what your job is, or what industry you’re in.”
While Google is known to millions of people around the world as a search engine, the company built a complete, Web-based productivity environment when no one was looking. The most visible components are Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Gmail and Google Chrome. The company also offers cloud computing services for developers wanting to deploy their own apps.
Google’s marketing is an attempt to put a friendlier, more human face on its productivity apps, with a promotional video on YouTube (News - Alert) showing happy, young, productive people using Google Docs and Hangouts to collaborate. It’s similar to the way Apple has marketed the Mac as a countercultural business tool.
Google is also trying to chip away at the Windows/Office monolith with Chromebooks, lightweight computers that depend on Web apps.
This approach can be contrasted by the more buttoned-down, stodgier marketing by Microsoft (News - Alert). The software giant is apparently threatened enough by Google and its Chromebooks that the company has released a series of ads that demonstrate that Chromebooks can’t run Office.
While Chromebooks won’t run Microsoft Office proper, it is possible to create and edit Office documents in Google Drive. Microsoft even offers online versions of both Word and Excel in Google’s Chrome store, so that’s only half-true.
Schmidt said that the company was taking advantage of major changes in computing over the last decade.
“Work today is very different from 10 years ago,” he wrote. “Cloud computing, once a new idea, is abundantly available, and collaboration is possible across offices, cities, countries and continents. Ideas can go from prototype to development to launch in a matter of days. Working from a computer, tablet or phone is no longer just a trend—it’s a reality. And millions of companies, large and small, have turned to Google’s products to help them launch, build and transform their businesses, and help their employees work the way they live. In other words, work is already better than it used to be.”
Edited by Maurice Nagle