Posted by: Rob Hof on April 17, 2007
Google CEO Eric Schmidt used his brief appearance at the Web 2.0 Expo today to announce the company this summer would add a PowerPoint editing tool to Google Apps, its Microsoft Office suite, with the help of Tonic Systems, a startup it just acquired. Oh wait, Schmidt says the still-to-be-named service isn’t competitive with PowerPoint. To which interviewer John Battelle replies: “C’mon!” Indeed. Yes, Google Apps isn’t a clone of Office, since it has only a fraction of the features and is aimed at collaboration. But still. Another stick in Microsoft’s eye. I like Nick Carr’s description of Google Apps:
You first use them as add-on tools for manipulating and sharing Microsoft files online, and then, eventually, you find that you don’t need the underlying applications anymore. Google Apps, in other words, is designed not as an Office Killer but rather as a kind of Office Bodysnatcher. Google doesn’t want to fight the Microsoft apps head-on. It wants to get inside them, and slowly take them over.
Speaking of Microsoft, Battelle asked Schmidt what he thought of Microsoft raising antitrust concerns about Google’s just-announced deal to buy DoubleClick. “Microsoft?” Schmidt asked, his voice dripping irony. “AND AT&T?” His assessment: “They’re wrong. C’mon, they’re wrong, gimme a break.”