Google Apps: More Than Meets the Eye?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 2, 2007

It looks like Google Apps for Your Domain soon will come outta beta with a paid version for enterprises. The one thing I wanted to explore in the story I just wrote, but didn’t manage to do, is what else Google has in mind with Apps. Because I just doubt that they’re aiming directly at Microsoft with Apps, which for now includes only e-mail, calendar, chat, and a Web page-building service.

A lot of folks wonder if Google Apps is simply a way for the search giant to divine more information on users, so it can better target ads—which is, of course, Google’s main business. Google insists that’s not the point: Apps is Apps and that’s that.

Still, while I don’t see Google trolling potentially sensitive data to throw ads in people’s faces while they e-mail, I wonder if there’s useful data (properly anonymized, one would hope) that Google could divine. VC Peter Rip thinks Google is essentially an artificial-intelligence machine that amasses data, mines it for meaning, then figures out a way to make money off it. I’m just not sure exactly how they’d do that through Google Apps.

Reader Comments

pat bahn

February 8, 2007 9:13 PM

I often expressed my surprise that AOL never made this
a service for their user community.
An AOL-Office suite that provided a competitor to MS Office
would have started with an installed base of tens of millions
of users, and, provided a real value proposition
against microsoft and for the user base.

Google is now doing what AOL should have done a decade ago.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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