Eric Schmidt publicly announced that Google will add a presentations product to its Web Office range of apps, thus completing a Web Office suite and ending (many) months of speculation. It was soon confirmed by the official Google blog, where the Google Docs & Spreadsheets team informed us about "the bun we've got in the oven" - meaning a presentations app. Helping the, er, procreation of the presentations app (what's with the baby pun?) was the acquisition today of Tonic - a technology for presentation creation and document conversion. There's also some debate on Techcrunch as to how far along Google was with the presentations app already (hmmm, ok baby puns are fun).Today at Web 2.0 Expo Google CEO
Yet, seriously now, in today's speech Eric Schmidt continued the line about Google Web Office NOT being a direct competitor of Microsoft Office. Who's he kidding? Curiously, this line of thought was continued in one of the Expo sessions I attended later in the day - where Rajen Sheth, Enterprise Product Manager, Google, also claimed they aren't competing with Microsoft. Rajen's argument was well thought out, and went as follows: competing with MS would miss the main goal for a Web-based office suite. Instead Google is starting from the ground up and building a suite of products that will leverage "the native use of the Internet". Collaboration is a killer app, and it is a different paradigm from what Microsoft Office does.
I paraphrased Rajen, but he did make a convincing case. Especially as web apps being 'web native' is a key concept we espouse here on Read/WriteWeb. So what do you think? Are Eric Schmidt and Rajen Sheth right that Google Web Office doesn't compete with Microsoft Office? Or should they fess up and admit that they have Redmond in their sights? Please tell us in the poll below: