Would You Like Google Updater to Uninstall Microsoft Office?
Value is returning to the desktop applications, and not simply through Windows Vista, but in the form of applications that are network service platforms. From the obvious, to music-sharing clients and development tools, there’s a resurgence of interest in resident software that executes on your desktop, yet connects to network services. Without a browser. Like Skype. Or Qnext. Or Google Earth. And Java? OpenOffice and StarOffice? If I were a betting man, I’d bet the world was about to change.”
It’s been nearly two years since Sun and Google announced their “historic” partnership–“The Great Anticlimax of 2005,” as we like to refer to it around here–a union that some believed would push the Information Age off the desktop and onto the Internet. As it happened, the only thing the partnership pushed off the desktop and onto the Internet was a yawner of a press release announcing that the Google Toolbar would henceforth be available as a Java Runtime Environment download option.
But it was a first step. And now we’re finally seeing the second, which is quite a bit more substantial. Google has added Sun’s StarOffice productivity suite to Google Pack, its collection of free software applications. Now typically, the addition of a new app to Google Pack wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy. But StarOffice is a direct competitor to Microsoft Office; it’s a full suite of desktop-based office apps (and tools for Microsoft Office migration) that normally retails for $70.
And Google is reportedly paying Sun to offer it for free.
And it’s doing so at a time when many PC users are mulling an upgrade to Microsoft Office 2007. Which would seem to suggest that it does indeed have designs on Microsoft’s hugely profitable Office business, despite its “We are not in this to get Microsoft” protestations.