Eight Google Apps In Your Future
Exciting stuff coming out Google recently. At the Web 2.0 Expo, CEO Eric Schmidt said that Google will release a Powerpoint type presentation application predicted for this Summer. VP Douglas Merrill announced on the Official Google blog that that company has recently acquired videoconferencing software from a Swedish Startup.
Taking these announcements along with a long list of others, Web Worker Daily makes some guesss into what we might be seeing next from Google.
1. Presentation. Through their acquisition of Tonic Systems, Google will offer an alternative to Microsoft’s PowerPoint, as well as to the many web-based presentation systems under development. That category includes SlideShare, Zoho Show, Thumbstacks, and Spresent.
2. Project management. Watch out, 37Signals: the survey Phil Sim (of Squash) completed suggests that project management is on Google’s to do list, something that would likely compete directly with 37Signals’ popular Basecamp service.
3. Contact management. Gmail’s automatic creation of contacts from emails works really nicely. If you use Google Apps for your Domain, you can already share contacts across users. It’d be great to also see some Highrise-like capabilities — taking notes, tracking interactions, and managing tasks related to people you’re working with.
4. File storage and sharing. We regularly cover online file storage and sharing apps here at Web Worker Daily because it’s a core step in managing your online work. Google Blogoscoped ponders how it might look and work.
5. Online discussion groups. Google Groups already exists but it’s not tied into Google Apps. I’d like to see a unification under the Google Reader interface where you could browse your mail, RSS feeds, and relevant discussion groups all in one quick keyboard-accessible screen.
6. Wiki. Google acquired JotSpot on Halloween of 2006 and immediately closed it to new sign-ups. News has been sparse, but in January the JotSpot developers announced an upgrade for existing customers and said it will be the last version produced before migration to Google’s infrastructure. Perhaps Google will combine project management with the JotSpot wiki capabilities — wikis provide a reasonable alternative to dedicated project management apps for some teams.
7. Video chat. Google announced its acquisition of Swedish start-up Marratech’s video conferencing software, suggesting that they intend to use it internally only. No one would be surprised if Google incorporated it into the Google Talk client to support video chat, though.
8. Web meetings. Marratech offers capabilities beyond videoconferencing to include e-meetings and collaborative whiteboards along the lines of what WebEx is known for. Here’s hoping if they do offer web-based real-time meetings that it works better than WebEx.
Whilst it all sounds great and indeed very exciting – I can’t help but think, Google do seem to be hitting the headlines with ‘competitive releases’ but really – where’s the innovation?