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What will JotSpot do for Google?

Here is some interesting analysis of the Google’s acquisition of JotSpot. I have highlighted this point in bold that I found very interesting! Google seems to be attacking Microsoft from flanks that are totally unexpected!

“What’s interesting is Google spent a bunch of time recently updating Google Groups and adding some wiki features to it,” said Greg Sterling, founder of Sterling Market Intelligence. “But JotSpot has a (collaborative) development platform, a bunch of applications in a nice package,” as well as users and a brand, he said. “Google won’t have to piece it all together from disparate parts.”

Translation: Google clearly doesn’t mind a little product overlap if it’s getting good technology and engineers in a deal. And since the number of people using Web-based applications are still a tiny sliver when compared to Microsoft’s massive customer list for the Office desktop software suite, the search company might as well mix and match pieces before finding the right combination to take Office head on.

Of course, describing anything Google does in relation to Microsoft Office as a “head-on” assault would be misleading. Indeed, few expect Google to go where other, shell-of-their-former-selves companies like Novell have gone before. Rather than try to replicate Microsoft Office, Google appears to be trying to beat the software king to a point in perhaps the not-so-distant future when a good chunk of applications used by businesses and consumers alike are Web-based services rather than PC software.

“People have been expecting Google to make a frontal assault on Microsoft Office,” said Peter O’Kelly, an analyst at the Burton Group. “But why pick a fight with where Office is today when you can look at where the Web is going tomorrow?”

Right now, Google offers its own productivity applications, including Google Calendar, a word processor called Google Docs based on its acquisition of Writely, Google Spreadsheets and Google Applications for Your Domain, which bundles Web-based e-mail, calendar, chat and Web page publishing. Google also recently launched a beta of Google Docs & Spreadsheets, which combines its online word-processing and spreadsheet programs into one free program. Few would say they’re within shouting distance of being as feature-rich as Microsoft’s Office software, but even skeptics say that, bit by bit, they’re improving.

JotSpot’s product, on the other hand, allows people an easy way to create applications like a simple editor, spreadsheets, calendar and blogging that can be collaborated on over the Internet by multiple users. JotSpot revamped its offering in July to allow users to collaborate on different types of “office-like” products, and said it was testing an edition of its software that can be downloaded and run on a customer’s servers.

“The Google guys could duplicate that, but it’s just quicker to go get it and then blend it with the strengths that Google has,” said Stephen Arnold, author of “The Google Legacy.” Overlaps? There are some. But JotSpot adds a collaborative, wiki-style spin that Google didn’t have on its own.

Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh – the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and “drishtikone”.

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