ReadWriteWeb’s Bernard Lunn recently posted on the threat that Google Apps pose on Microsoft Office. His contention is that Google is so far ahead with its realization that collaboration is the “significant advantage” for document processing in the future.
Maybe I’m a risk averse user (certainly not an early-adopter when it comes to word processing), but I am a college student who spends every hour of the day looking into a computer screen. And my story is a little bit different than Bernard’s.
As a student in a pre-professional environment, team projects take up a big part of my time. I currently participate in a team that uses Google Docs and Google Spreadsheet to do work. I should love it, but I don’t. Google Docs is like a fancy Textpad that I can’t access at all times. Collaborative writing is a great concept, but I have yet to come across an individual who actively participates in any document. Collaboration requires patience and constant wrangling, issues that I prefer to crank out at a meeting or alone at night in one go.
Google Apps may work. But a lot of things need to happen (some of which are out of Google’s immediate control):
- Offline access
- Internet everywhere
- Cell phones need to not be annoying when it comes to word processing, smart phones need to be more prevalent
- People need to change the way they do work: real important, could take a long time (and some confounding)
- People need to trust the Internet: really important
I’m not dying to collaborate. Even my teams don’t dig it. Come persuade us.