AS ROBERT SCOBLE notes, the early Monday morning tech news is all about Google's landrush into the online software game. Scoble knows how news flows and makes the point that Google opted to explain its new foray to mainstream print journos, totally relegating the book authors, power bloggers and electronic journalists that often carry the Google message to the mainstream audience. The Google PR tactic is more significant than the launch of the Google Office suite. I talked about this in today's Walkman Phone podcast. [30.7 MB 96 kbps MP3 file]
For the record, Google now offers a range of hosted applications. The model for the new Google Apps for Your Domain program is Google's own Gmail for Your Domain, which offered me no real advantage over my time-tested Yahoo! mail service. For another $5, I can get an organisation domain name tied to my Yahoo! account. In fact, try it out by using my name at podcasting.ie and see how it works even without a press release.
Google Apps also includes the Google Calendar, Google Talk (chat), and Page Creator (to create Web pages). Organizations that use the service will be able to customize the interface to reflect particular names, colors, and logos. Later this year, a premium version will be offered for a fee.
As many other bloggers will mention, these services are not unique. But when bundled under Google's name, there's a blanket appeal to them. However, the whole suite of services will not appeal to some observers.