Don’t put all of your eggs in the cloud’s ample basket — or in this case, Google Docs — right now. At least that’s the opinion of Dave Girouard, president of Google’s enterprise division, who recently warned that their cloud-based Google Docs is not ready to fully dethrone Microsoft Office.
In an interview with ZDNet Asia, the exec confesses that Docs is “much less mature” than other Google web apps such as Gmail or Calendar. “We wouldn’t ask people to get rid of Microsoft Office and use Google Docs because it is not mature yet,” Girouard explains. “We know it.” As one of Google’s four presidents, his message carries a lot of weight behind it.
But that caution is only temporary. In the next year, Google expects somewhere between 30 and 50 updates to Google Docs, making the feature set more robust and improving performance at the same time. After that, Girouard says, Google Docs should be powerful enough to handle the “vast majority’s needs.”
Girouard is quick to point out that Microsoft Office is “an overkill tool for most people” — a quote that Computerworld seems to interpret that even with a souped-up Docs, it won’t be a feature-for-feature competitor for Office.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is forging ahead with its own web-based version of Office in an effort to thwart Google Docs’ momentum. Time will tell if word processing and number crunching in the cloud will take off, but in any event there should be some good competition vying for your attention in the next year.