An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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June 23, 2009

A Retro Plastic Box

Keith Coleman, Gmail's product manager, points to a product that can be bought from eBay: a full version of Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. If you think it's not very interesting, read the description:
It's brand new and never been opened. My boss bought it right before I moved the whole company over to Google Apps.

We never looked back, but here's your opportunity to live it up, 90's style, with this great, retro piece of Microsoft 2007 software.

Unique features include:

* Lengthy key you have to register with a company!
* Real, plastic disks known as "CD's".
* Huge files saved ON YOUR COMPUTER!
* The thrill of wondering if you've backed up your data recently after your on-site hard drive dies.
* Appeased paranoia that your contacts will never be extracted by an international organization bent on stealing your identity and submitting LOL cats to all your business contacts.

Throw off the Web2.0 zeitgeist, and know that your entire business can fit in a single plastic box that can easily be left under a train seat.

As a bonus, your software will be Platform Dependent, meaning it will only run on "Windows" (not included).

While mocking Microsoft Office is endearing, many businesses still need to use it and the transition to Google Apps is not always easy. That's probably the reason why Google started to offer a tool that synchronizes Google Apps with Outlook. "You get the cost savings, security and reliability of Google Apps, while employees can use the interface they prefer for email, contacts and calendar. Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook is a plug-in for Outlook 2003 or 2007 that lets you keep using your familiar Outlook interface after switching from Microsoft Exchange Server to Google Apps."


  1. Welll... if the bit about the paranoia of leaving your data with a big company is valid in the MS Office case, it's at least as valid with Google apps...

  2. Here's what you get when you move to the Google Apps cloud!

    * Lengthy downtimes when your internet connection breaks down or Google's server has a bug.
    * The restriction to use RATHER SMALL FILES ONLY (but saved on THEIR computer)!
    * The thrill of wondering whether the government recently "backed up" your data to check up on you.

    As a bonus, your software may be removed any time that Google decides to end the service.

  3. @Philipp Lenssen
    "Here's what you get when you move to the Google Apps cloud!"

    The sad thing is that which you mention still is an understatement.

    Google Docs is at permanent beta and its users are used as unpaid (and unforwarned) beta testers that get virtually no Google support; the only means of communication is the Google Docs forum which some Google Docs Guide may visit at some time in the future. And if your post is responed to by a Guide you must have had something very intriguing to offer; just don't count on it the Guide will be able to solve your problem.

  4. Whatever others may say, it is too early for me to even consider Google Docs as a replacement for Microsoft Office.

  5. Google Docs is for amateurs.

  6. I agree with Philipp Lenssen. You'd have to be an idiot to try and move your business to online-only apps. The online apps are extremely basic, pretty slow, and unreliable (apart from anything else, they're only as relyable as your internet connection).

    > The thrill of wondering if you've backed up your data recently
    > after your on-site hard drive dies.

    I'd rather take care of my own backups than wonder if some online provider is actually doing any.

    > Appeased paranoia that your contacts will never be extracted
    > by an international organization bent on stealing your identity

    What a stupid example. With Google Apps, they have all your DATA AND CONTACTS. If you keep everything on your own machine, they have neither. He's arguing against himself.

  7. Well, I use both, for specific purposes.

    There is a clear demarcation between its usage. Google Apps is handy in a lot of ways. Too early to write off MS Office.

  8. @Nick
    The trend is big companies are centralizing on outsourced data centers anyway. It's normally one to three big data centers for the whole world; so they do rely on the network anyway.
    And I wonder whether the companies which run the data centers are more reliable than Google.

    With regards to the online apps being basic or slow, that is maybe the current status, but with "Native Client", HTML5 (local storage), JIT, etc. this can change pretty soon (specially since Google announced big changes for Apps this year and next). And I also use both for different purposes, as Romil said. I normally just need something basic and/or share it easily and is much handier to do it in Google Apps.

  9. itc: nobody knows what appeased means

  10. Funny Stuff.. But google docs isn't there just yet... Unless I am doing rather basic stuff, I think I'll still take office and open office over google docs until it gets better.

  11. When did being disrespectful towards others become "endearing"? I somehow missed that memo while so much of Silicon Valley seemed to print it out in gold ink, hang it on the wall, and chant "be disrespectful" five times a day.

  12. Google Docs kinda sucks if you want to do serious work. The best so far is MS Office.

  13. Seems a little harsh here. I've been using Outlook 2007 for 2 years since it came out and never had a hard drive crash (although I did break Windows a few times).I use Outlook to sync all my email accounts (which all have their own jobs assigned to them) and have had no problems at all. With Outlook Connector, you can use MAPI with Hotmail accounts (Basically IMAP).

  14. i made the switch from word/excel/outlook to apps and never looked back, besides these apps all have offline access with local storage in case of intermittent connectivity. google docs is coming along nicely all the time and has enough under the hood for most daily tasks.

  15. Google apps is just for romantic dreamers. You cannot do even a 10% of what u do with Office. And in the short commings, Office will be online, so what a shame for this utopic guyz.

  16. D'y know what I use both. Google docs has too many compatability and format errors when you try to use different file types buuuut rather than microsoft office I'm a big fan of the Open Office Suite it is great, also available on linux how's about that for platform independence?

  17. Well 2010 has arrived so enough talk..


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