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Google Makes Threatening Noises in Microsoft's Direction

Google started the second phase of its push into Microsoft's desktop turf

Google on Monday started the second phase of its push into Microsoft's desktop turf.

It's wrapped up its Gmail e-mail, Google Talk instant messaging, Google Calendar and WYSIWYG Google Page Creator web page publisher in a free, ad-based, highly scalable, software-as-a-service package it calls Google Apps for Your Domain. It calls the package a beta and an expansion on the Gmail for Your Domain that it released in February that captured hundreds of thousands of users.

Since the AJAX-based software runs on Google's servers, and since people will be working or storing their files on Google, Google should be able to tailor ads to the content.

Google intends to target Google Apps at business and education. It's supposed to offer users a platform they can standardize on, with the fillip of being installation- and maintenance-free.

Microsoft is currently testing a sorta similar Office Live service, targeted at small business, that includes e-mail, group calendaring and web page hosting and there are tales circulating that claim Microsoft will trot out a dashboard-style package called Windows Live Essentials soon to meet the challenge.

Google's move is a prelude to a beefier fee-based ad-free version of Google Apps that Google expects to field later this year and target at large enterprises and government agencies. There is speculation Google will drop it around the time Microsoft releases Office 2007.

There was no mention of pricing.

Observers are waiting for the other shoe to drop and for Google to add the collaboration-oriented Writely web-based word processor that it bought and its online demi-Excel-like Google Spreadsheets to the mix.

Google's software is notoriously rudimentary and consumery. Microsoft's software, on the other hand, is notoriously full-featured. Both are aiming at collaboration. Office 2007 is dipped in collaboration and Microsoft's technological vision is now being run by a guy identified with collaboration.

Google's beta package, initially available only in English, includes 2GB of e-mail storage per user, customization tools, and online or e-mail help for administrators.

See www.google.com/a.

This story was originally published by Client/Server News

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Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to RIA@sys-con.com to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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