Arguably one of the most fearless and continually innovating major corporations in the world today, Google Inc. will soon launch a new online store (a revamped version of its Solution Marketplace) selling its online business software including Google Apps (developed in-house), and in a surprise move, third-party software. Already offering a wide range of online products and services in a variety of fields - such as identity management, analytics, training, enterprise search, word-processing/spreadsheets, web-based email, security - Google will now work with partners to deliver more solutions for businesses.
While Google has been trying to make both individual and corporate users migrate to their online programs from Microsoft’s products for some time now, many corporations are still reluctant to trust their data and efforts with something new and perhaps unreliable. Fearless as Google may be, with their image at stake, one should question whether trusting third-party developers and their offerings is such a good idea. Reliability will be a major issue, and to avoid bad press and customer-service nightmares caused by any catastrophes, one wonders if Google will spend much time with testing and documentation for each third-party product and service.
However, this brave-and-risky move might just pay off and turn online business software into Google’s next major sales engine after advertising, with external developers helping to fill-out Google’s online product offering, providing specialized products and services that might just have been too costly to develop in-house. But perhaps, until connectivity and bandwidth improve dramatically in developing countries, Google Inc.’s online business software solutions will have a hard time competing with Microsoft Corporation’s programs, which have more than half billion users across the world.