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No Office Suite Google

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the probably-more-than-a-twenty-percent-project dept.

Google 184

Simon (S2) writes "Google co-founder Sergey Brin has quashed speculation that the giant ad broker is to introduce a web-based Office suite. "We don't have any plans," he told Web 2.0 conference organizer John Battelle (pictured below). However Brin left the door open a little. Documents would be easier to work with in the future, he promised, but he didn't think a fat client was the way to go. "I don't really think that the thing is to take a previous generation of technology and port them directly," he told Battelle. However distributed thin web applications allowed you to do "new and better things than the Office package and more.""

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Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (-1, Offtopic)

andersbergh (884714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750864)

What causes Slashdot to say that?

Re:Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13750902)

It's Slashdot's way of telling you "fuck off and die, you creepy wanker".

It tries to be less in-your-face to prevent you from being emotionally hurt and having to run upstairs to your mom and crying into her voluptous breasts.

Re:Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13750912)

It's called customized 404 error message.

Re:Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (3, Interesting)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750919)

Slashdot says that because there's a two minute delay before you can post after a story shows up. This is to (try to) stop frist p0sters.

Getting sort-of-semi-on-topic, shouldn't the headline be "No Google Office Suite"? What is up with the awkward word order?

And getting really on-topic, the announcement was to be expected. It would be unwise for Google to set up the infrastructure necessary to handle people's word processing. Such a device could be too easily abused, by say, programming macros and using Google's cycles to do general purpose computations on their dime. I'm sure there's a way around that particular issue, but it illustrates the inherent security risks of building web interfaces to massive software suites. Any exposed vulnerability will be exploited for processing power, or worse.

No Office Suite, Google? (3, Funny)

rebug (520669) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750940)

Sprinkle in some punctuation and it makes sense.

Re:Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (3, Insightful)

andersbergh (884714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750945)

It wouldn't need to have macro support. It could be a "portable" openoffice, where you just need to edit an document or spreadsheet then save it quickly, then download it when you come back home and work on it in openoffice.

I don't think Google could compete with a web-based office suite although I am sure there will be web-based office applications... (not as replacements though)

Re:Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751029)

It an old style of writing headlines, No Office Suite is a quote from Google.

Headlines like "Robber was a madman, allegation" seem to be quite common on older papers, now adays the head line would read, 'Pedophile thief rapes old lady' or something just as made up.

Re:No Office Suite Google (4, Funny)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751043)

...shouldn't the headline be "No Google Office Suite"? What is up with the awkward word order?

We yearned, yet the Fates took a pass.
No Office, sweet Google? Alas...

Re:No Office Suite Google (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751301)

mod parent up, +5 arcane vernacular, default meter with epic diction ironically employed in the orthodox register for funny mod

Re:Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (1)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751409)

Another one slips by /.'s crack copy editor.

Re:Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (2, Funny)

Hey Pope Felcher . . (921019) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750946)

. . . you accidently logged into Slashdot's 'for the blind' section.

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13750870)

Got it!

Re:First Post (-1, Troll)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750933)

Y0u fa!l i7.

t(^_^t)

Uh oh, Kirby's pissed.

Old news... (-1, Troll)

elzurawka (671029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750875)

this was posted on osnews last nite
Better late then never i guess /.

OMGWTFPDQLMNOP?!?!?! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13750896)

Posted last nite? And here it is this morning? That's like, hours! I can't believe they sat on such an earth-shaking story for so long.

Re:IBF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13750960)

Posted last nite? And here it is this morning? That's like, hours! I can't believe they sat on such an earth-shaking story for so long.

It's Bush's fault.

Re:IBF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751312)

George Bush doesn't care about office software.

Re:IBF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751341)

he he he.. (Jon Stewart's Bush style)

Why Not? (3, Interesting)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750878)

With all the press they received about it... they should.

I know that many of us thought it would be the first direct attack against Microsoft,

Re:Why Not? (3, Funny)

andersbergh (884714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750890)

Yeah, although then I suppose Microsoft would provide "MSN Office"!

Re:Why Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13750925)

Explain me why exactly would Google Attack Microsoft? What is there really to gain?

Re:Why Not? (2, Insightful)

andersbergh (884714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750957)

Revenue?

Re:Why Not? (5, Interesting)

hpavc (129350) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751159)

Yeah, a simple and supported 'save/open this document to/from google' for staroffice/openoffice/msoffice would be insane. A little love for publishing and saving the documents (ala yahoo briefcase).

Then the industry can think about it.

Imagine a google 'document mangement, backup, revision control' product for your personal and office documents. Not to mention the sexy search.

Re:Why Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751175)


Revenue?

But if they started charging for it then half the Slashdot crowd would cry "OMG! Google Office not equal to free!! Google is teh evil!"

Re:Why Not? (1)

andersbergh (884714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751190)

Charging? Why would they charge for it? They make their money on advertising, which seems to work.

Re:Why Not? (4, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751022)

If I were them, the plan's wouldn't be to release ANOTHER competing office suite, but to work within what's already out there. Once OpenDocument takes off, you'll be able to create tiny tools that work with the standard file format... something like a huge suite won't have to exist anymore... Look what Apple's been doing with Pages... It's a whole new way of using documents.. that makes it much easier for those who just want a pretty sheet of paper. When opendocument takes off, you'll be able to use all that wonderful Googlieness without a 100 meg program open to just type a grocery list.

Re:Why Not? (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751081)

There are already RTF web-based editors, so what's the point? You better bring some more functionality to the table than that. Microsoft, Apple, Sun, or anyone else can release a "tiny tool" document editor overnight. Who cares? As for your "grocery list", why would I want to connect to Google to type one when Windows, Mac, and Linux already come with free text editors (both plain text editors and more fancy editors (RTF and the like))?

Re:Why Not? (1)

Maian (887886) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751080)

Because it's simply not possible right now unless they make it as a plugin/extension. Writing an OpenOffice.org clone in JavaScript IS A BAD IDEA. I cannot emphasize that enough.

Re:Why Not? (2, Insightful)

iceanfire (900753) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751241)

" With all the press they received about it... they should."
They'd have gotten this much press if they decided to take a vacation for a week. Doesn't mean its a good idea.

You are missing the point on this... read 'w care! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751360)

Okay, Google says they won't bother directly porting an Office suite. What they are announcing is that they will put forth a way better product than Office. So, no they won't do an office suite. Yes, they will do something BETTER. *duh*

Empire (-1, Troll)

TehNSA (905740) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750887)

It seemed too good to be true... ah well, Google will just be a little later in creating their empire to take over the world.

July-2008, M$ revenue falls 25%, Profits down 40%. (1)

managedcode (863136) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750962)

Google will just be a little later in creating their empire to take over the world.
LOL. They will beat everyone else. (Read Below). Office in New Avatar [slashdot.org]
Honestly, M$ is slow to adapt. I spoke to couple of guys and they told how the bureaucreacy supressed cool ideas and not to mention the fact they have a salesman heading the company not a experienced geek who holds a P.hd and contributed to the first lex @ AT&T.
July-2008 Microsoft Press Release
Baldy will feel sorry to announce that he couldn't see the web-based office in it's new avatar. Baldy will step down by the end of next quarter.
.....Recollects his nostalgic days, how unethically he killed cool tech companies....
Life goes on.......

Re:July-2008, M$ revenue falls 25%, Profits down 4 (0, Flamebait)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751186)

Mark my words, in five years form now everyone is complaining that Google is an evil company that misuses its monopoly position, and they should be wiped from the face of the earth.

WebNotepad? (2, Interesting)

NFJ25 (855891) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750907)

It may not be a full office, but it seams they are planning something...

Re:WebNotepad? (2, Funny)

Durinthal (791855) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751059)

WebNotepad?

I believe that's called IRC.

Re:WebNotepad? (1)

andersbergh (884714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751184)

But with IRC you can't save files or edit the already added parts.

A true "multi-player" notepad would be Gobby [0x539.de] , which is quite cool!

notepad.yahoo.com (2, Insightful)

JPriest (547211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751191)

Yahoo! has a notepad service and I use it ALL the time. I used to email myself things frequently just to keep track of them, now I just create folders and notes in yahoo's notepad. I highly recommend it.

Re:notepad.yahoo.com (1)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751423)

People can bag on a sprawling portal all they want but I love it. In fact, I want MORE services that I can add to my home page. I want more interactivity, more flexibility, and more more.

Damn slashdot submitters! (5, Insightful)

ElGameR (815688) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750911)

...conference organizer John Battelle (pictured below)...

I don't see any picture below...
I hate it when story submitters just copy and paste from other news articles, not even giving them credit. It occasionally causes phrases that don't make sense, like this one.

Re:Damn slashdot submitters! (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750939)

Nice comment.

I also hate when people post whole articles from 3rd party Web sites to do /. readers a "favor".
Those /. accounts should be terminated.

Re:Damn slashdot submitters! (0, Offtopic)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750986)

I don't see any picture below...

Just read the article :)

I hate it when story submitters just copy and paste from other news articles, not even giving them credit.

Huh? There is a link in the blurb. Did you see it?

It occasionally causes phrases that don't make sense, like this one.

Oh well. Sorry for that.

Re:Damn slashdot submitters! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751064)

Yes there is a picture of John Battelle below.

W             xxxxxxx     W
W            xxx     x    W
W            xxx     x    W
W            xxx---O-O    W
W        /\  /\      \    W
W  _  /\/ /  \|      _\   W
W | |/ / /    |\    _|    W
W | | / /\      \____|    W
W |      /\               W
W  \      /               W

Mod parent up (2, Informative)

Sirch (82595) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751110)

Preferatbly 'informative'. Anyone who's seen the article in question would realise he has a point! I'd mod the AC up, but I'm afraid any moderation would be seen as incorrect and I wanted to point this out.

The picture is of Battelle sticking up his middle finger at the camera.

Re:Damn slashdot submitters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751269)

and it is vi readable!

Re:Damn slashdot submitters! (4, Interesting)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751386)

Gotta love this little bit from the end of TFA: Picture credit: John C Dvorak

Yes folks, this bird was intended for everyone's favorite tech pundit.

RTFA (0, Flamebait)

yurivish (902527) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750914)

Read the article, people...

pictured below?? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13750926)

pictured below WHERE, you retard?

if you steal the article from somewhere else (the register, in this case), AT LEAST have the intelligence to modify it so you don't sound like an asshat.

second problem: the original register article was basically The Register making fun of the whole situation, but I guess you're just too dense to get it.

What good? (4, Interesting)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750930)

What good is a web based office suite anyway? ( not a rhetorical question...I'm really wondering)
Allowing people to collaborate on the same document online,is already possible in traditional office suites+groupware. And centralized storage of documents is avaliable via, you know, Yahoo Briefcase.
so what exactly would a web office suite bring to the table, aside from the coolness factor?

Re:What good? (3, Informative)

lixee (863589) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750959)

Probably something a little less buggy than OpenOffice and a lot cheaper than M$ Office.

Re:What good? (2, Informative)

emmetropia (527623) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750965)

The concept, if delivered properly, would deliver web based groupware (we know, it already exists), with the centralized documents (also aware that it exists), along with cross-platform document editing (exists, again), without installing any new applications (a new one!). While it's got a lot of "wow" factor, none of it is really revolutionary, but people seem to flock to anything Google puts their name on.

Re:What good? (1)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751000)

I stand corrected, the idea does seem to have potential.
Indeed, many of today's most useful technology is integrating a bunch of existing ideas anyway.
and yes, people mostly look at this from a "Google competes with Microsoft" point of view.

Re:What good? (1)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751051)

It would bring a constant revenue stream to Google for the use of the Web-based suite. It's what MS always wanted to do- have subscriptions for their programs that you *must* pay to use the programs.

Re:What good? (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751115)

How would it provide constant revenue stream for Google? Would they charge per hour of use? Or would they use ad-revenue? So if you're creating a grocery list, ad-sense links would appear in your document regarding mayonaise, apple juice, butter, et al? And you'd expect people to click on these links within their own document? Yeah, right... More likely, they'd become so annoyed that they foreswear ever using this Google Office crap again.

Re:What good? (2, Insightful)

slashdotnickname (882178) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751153)

so what exactly would a web office suite bring to the table, aside from the coolness factor?

Some immediate things that come into mind...

  • core functionality would be free, probably ad-driven with less common (more advanced) features available at a fee
  • ability to work on the same document independent of machine... any internet-connected computer will do
  • cost effective group collaborations (because of #1) with people spread across the globe
  • minimal installation requirements, if any

Re:What good? (1)

ScottSCY (798415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751213)

"minimal installation requirements, if any" Wasn't this kind of the 'dream' of many? That someday you could just take a stripped down cheap computer with only a web browser and do everything that you can do on a powerful computer today?

Re:What good? (3, Interesting)

neo (4625) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751270)

It could cost a fraction of what Office costs.

It would also move software out of pretending to be a product and back to being a service, where software belongs.

Re:What good? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751289)

so what exactly would a web office suite bring to the table, aside from the coolness factor?

Crossplatformness. You get an identical user experience on any machine. Furthermore, you can use your own customised setup on any machine, anywhere, OS, location, etc. don't matter.

Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751410)

Web does not only mean storage on web. It MIGHT also mean using a web app to create it. Get the difference, you moron.

But its difficult to figure out who is more stupid, the moron who posted this or the moderators giving it +5 interesting!

Re:What good? (1)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751418)

Yes, you have other options with which to collaborate or work independently, but, like all products in the marketplace, this is another innovation. Do you ask why people bring new brands of syrup to the market, when it's already possible to buy syrup? This is the process by which products are kept high quality.

This also benefits Sun in getting more users for the StarOffice related products, making businesses more likely to switch. Google seems to be trying to pull the rug out from under Microsoft. I can't wait until they offer a full OS!

Y'know... (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750951)

I like Google, I really do. So far today, I've used the search engine, GMail and Froogle, and it's still before lunch on a Sunday.

But this notion of them as the new Microsoft is just delusional. Journalists have jumped on it because it's a fun story, investors have to explain the ludicrous stock price and Slashbots have because a web-based, subscription-based, proprietary office suite with who-knows-what file formats seems like a fantastic idea if it will involve sticking it to Microsoft.

Look. This is a company with a great indexing and ranking engine, a great backend and a great sense of design and offering value to customers. That's, uh, great, it really is. Google should be proud. But to say that they can just bang out a Javascript-based office suite because you guys think it would be fun is simply nuts. It's not like they have magic powers over there, no matter what the cafeteria serves.

You are overestimating the effort (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751127)

Google should be proud. But to say that they can just bang out a Javascript-based office suite because you guys think it would be fun is simply nuts. It's not like they have magic powers over there, no matter what the cafeteria serves.

You would be right, except for the fact that people are already doing it [slashdot.org] .

If you don't believe it can be done, check out the actual applications. What many people don't seem to realize when they scoff at the idea of an AJAX based office quite is that Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Konqueror, all have "design mode" APIs that allow a user and JavaScript to manipulate the web page directly. Combine that with some excellent import/export filters for HTMl to popular office formats, and you have a decent office suite framework already at your grasp.

If you really don't think it can be done, look at those sample apps, and consider that they are done with basically no budget. Now throw the mihgt of Google, it's money, and it's developers at the problem. It is not beyond feasability that they could construct such a suite in a matter of months, especially when you consider that 80% of the functions in MS Office are only used by 20% of the people

Also consider how well this would integrate with their existing core competancies (indexing and searching). You could store all your documents online ina shareable Google store, and they woudl already all be indexed and searchable. You could use your Google addrfesss book to select other people who would be allwed to access and search the documents. And of course you would use Google Talk to collaberate on them.

Re:You are overestimating the effort (4, Insightful)

Mantrid Drone (699799) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751185)

Creating something like a simple web-based word processor is certainly within the realm of possibility. Unfortunately, the implementation ends up being a Rube Goldberg machine of clunky technologies duct-taped together into a horribly convoluted, difficult to maintain, spaghetti-code mess. I'm very sorry, web fanboys, but HTTP, HTML and JavaScript were not designed to be a GUI application framework and every attempt to shoehorn those technologies into that role just underscores the idiocy of the approach. That is not to say that network-based, zero-install applications are a bad concept--it's just that there are much, much more elegant ways to solve that problem, and that we could be making a lot of meaningful progress in that area if so much time and effort wasn't being wasted creating a million stupid web-app frameworks.

Re:You are overestimating the effort (2, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751231)

Creating something like a simple web-based word processor is certainly within the realm of possibility. Unfortunately, the implementation ends up being a Rube Goldberg machine of clunky technologies duct-taped together into a horribly convoluted, difficult to maintain, spaghetti-code mess.

No, no ... we're not talking about MS Office.

Re:You are overestimating the effort (2, Interesting)

Mantrid Drone (699799) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751259)

No, we're talking about something just as convoluted, only with less functionality.

Does it matter? No. (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751323)

Creating something like a simple web-based word processor is certainly within the realm of possibility. Unfortunately, the implementation ends up being a Rube Goldberg machine of clunky technologies duct-taped together into a horribly convoluted, difficult to maintain, spaghetti-code mess.

Unfortunately, you are thinking like a coder and not a businessman.

If efficiency was the gold standard by which an application was judged, then we'd all be writing assembler all the time. If code readability was the gold standard, then we would all be writing every application in CobolBasic.

All that matters, in reality, is a) Does this application look good, b) Does it do it's job well, and most importantly, c) Will people use it?

The consumer does not give a flying f*** if the codebase of an application is reuseable, or if it is cobbeled together with toothpicks and jello, as long as it works and makes their life easier. A web-based office suite would fit that role nicely. It would *just work*, it would do the job it was designed to do. It may not have every bell and whistle, but guess what? The vast majority of people don't care about that.

Not everyoule would use such an application, but Google would not need everyone to use it to be profitable. Hell, it would be so cheap to create and maintain, they could likely be profitable with a very small number of users in proportion to the number it takes Microsoft to turn a profit on MS Office.

Re:You are overestimating the effort (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751303)

Hey, there were Javascript calculators a decade ago. I don't dispute that it's possible to make decent AJAX-based lightweight office apps like the ones in your link. But people have been making the "80% of the functions in MS Office are only used by 20% of the people" argument for years, and MS Office is still there. And if there were going to suddenly be a huge switch to lightweight suites, why not to native, free-beer-and-speech open source apps? Would _you_ rather pay subscription fees to Google for the privilege of Google address book integration?

As for "the might of Google" -- I don't buy it. What they do, they do very well, but realistically, how much do they do? They're hardly Oracle, or Apple or Microsoft. They have their choice of developers, nowadays, and can pay them with wildly overpriced stock, but still...

Re:You are overestimating the effort (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751349)

And if there were going to suddenly be a huge switch to lightweight suites, why not to native, free-beer-and-speech open source apps? Would _you_ rather pay subscription fees to Google for the privilege of Google address book integration?

You are making a *huge* assumton that you would have to pay here.

Google could offer such an office quite for free for several reasons.

  • They would have even more ad revenue.
  • It would be a huge driver for people to adopt GMail and GTalk to collaberate and share their online office documents.
  • They could offer the suite for free, with a hosted behind-the-firewall storage solution for companies who want their data to remain their data, while preserving the awesome collaberaiton and indexing features.
Who would have thought 5 years ago anyone could offer free e-mail with over 2 GB of storage to anyone? Who would have thought that Keyhole would be a free download?

I am surprised people still underestimate both the foresight and business sense of Google. They usually know exactly what they are doing.

Writely? (4, Insightful)

peterprior (319967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750966)

You could always use Writely [writely.com] :)

Re:Writely? (2, Informative)

sabit666 (457634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751178)

When was the last time YOU used it?

http://www.writely.com/NextPage [writely.com] - 404

Re:Writely? (3, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751300)

Somehow I'm not that motivated to switch from an open-source word processor to one that's closed-source, and forces me to give an e-mail address if I want to use it.

It also seems weird to me that we're talking about moving on to a whole different paradigm of the office suite, at a time when there still isn't a decent, traditional-style OSS word processor:

  • AbiWord: Frequent goofs with drawing the screen. Annoying, unpredictable bugs in typesetting paragraphs. Output doesn't seem compatible with Apple Preview, but works with Adobe Reader; in output, some formatting is lost, such as italics. Doesn't support X-style cut and paste.
  • Kword: Crashes constantly. I was never able to get decent PDF output.
  • OpenOffice: Slow. Depends on Java, which is not yet available in a free-as-in-speech implementation. Is being developed almost solely by Sun's in-house developers (probably in part because it's infamously hard to compile from source).

Well, they didn't say a flat NO! (5, Insightful)

AnonymousYellowBelly (913452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750967)

Steve Jobs said flash-based players were CRAP right until he unveiled Apple's flash-iPod. So Sergey can keep on shouting: "we ain't doing it!" all the way to hell, but if someone can develop a Web-based solution for working with documents, that is Google. And I do believe that there must be better ways of creating stuff than with de MS Office paradigm.

So I say, not seeing is believing.

I agree. (2, Interesting)

game kid (805301) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751023)

They're saying that the "office suite" in its current incarnation is not something they want to do. As Brin said, "I don't really think that the thing is to take a previous generation of technology and port them directly." Because of all the media speculation, I think they will start making plans (that they don't have yet) for an office suite that (regular, not Slashdot) people are not used to. (Because, as peterprior mentioned above [slashdot.org] , there is Writely.)

I expect a CmdrTaco "No OpenDocument support. Less space than an Emacs window. Lame" post soon.

Re:Well, they didn't say a flat NO! (1)

SiMac (409541) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751216)

One could make the argument that it wasn't Steve Jobs' position that changed, but rather the feasibility of flash-based players.

Flash memory is now significantly cheaper than when Jobs made his announcement that Flash players sucked. Remember, the iPod nano has almost as much storage space as the original iPod, but uses flash and costs less. When Jobs made his announcement, a 512 MB player would set you back $250-$300, but the iPod shuffle costs $100.

There's little chance for a Web-based solution for working with documents to become more feasible, beyond a sudden standardization of Javascript across all browsers, which appears unlikely.

What happened to...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13750994)

What happened to "ZOMFG!!!1one!!!1 GOOGLE CONFIRMS IT!!!one!!1243". According to slashdot a few days ago, Google confirmed it, now they dont?! This is a classic example of the bias that allows such lies to florish. The fanboyism here at /. is unfathimable. They basically flat-out lied because they thought Google would come out with a web office suite. Just because you WANT something to happen so badly doesn't mean you should proclaim it as fact.

So, why does M$ hate Google? (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751004)

This Forbes article [fortune.com] noticed that Google searches were good and speculated that Google would get into web applications and that this is why Microsoft hated Google. So they are not getting into applications, why does Bill Gates hate them so?

Bill Gates is a paranoid loser, that's why. He's got more than enough money. He's got more than enough power. But he still let's other people's excellence bother him. Ha ha ha, he'll never be happy and that is what a loser is.

Re:So, why does M$ hate Google? (1)

heptapod (243146) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751113)

Bill, AFAIK, doesn't hate Google. He just doesn't understand or agree with them [com.com]

Ballmer, on the other hand [smh.com.au] tends to go a bit overboard.

Re:So, why does M$ hate Google? (2, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751333)

Bill Gates is a paranoid loser, that's why. He's got more than enough money. He's got more than enough power. But he still let's other people's excellence bother him. Ha ha ha, he'll never be happy and that is what a loser is.

No, they have the potential to destroy him and what he stands for. He could become the statue in the desert who used to have a huge empire but then lost it all. As long as he's alive he wants to be on top, otherwise he goes through the experience of losing it. No-one likes to see everything they built crumble away.

Not so difficult to see (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751024)

When did Google announce anything before they had a beta you could play with?

So, until Google & Sun work out what they want to do, and Google has played with it, there won't be an announcement... Announcing vaporware as the next savior of the universe is an MS kind of thing to do.

I have faith in the team of Sun and Google to work out how to make the most of 'being against MS' and then execute the plan...

Of course the ex-Sun and Current Sun staff (1)

TarrySingh (916400) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751034)

want sun products like StarOffice to make some money and partnering with an ailing giant is not really a way to *STAY* wonderkid's. No Backrubbing here. Or... Maybe they want to play sneaky and sneak out the Office on the Web. Or.. The three (Goog, Sun and MS) want to merge together.

GOOGLE EARTH! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751035)

zot!

The article was a joke... (4, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751038)

...making fun of people who speculate on Google's "next move".

So let me give them fodder!

Distributing OpenOffice wouldn't be useful. What would be useful, imho:

  • A simple word processor meant for short-ish documents that would work with gmail such that I could email PDF versions of the documents. Perhaps instead of PDFs, simply a link to the document that is hosted by Google.
  • A google wiki. Something that lets my whole group coordinate on making a knowledge base using simple, intuitive tools.
  • A simple presentation tool, similar to the word processing tool.
  • A photo editor, charting tool, and other basic peripheral applications.

Now, the trick is to tie them all together such that I don't need to ever exit google.com. For instance, I might want to include a picture from the internet into my presentation. I should be able to, for instance, click on something like "insert photo from internet" and be able to use google images to find the right picture. I should never have to save things to and from my computer (though it would be nice to have that ability if necessary!). I think between Yahoo's new mail interface that demonstrates drag-and-drop, and the impressive Google mapping features, there is a demonstrated availability of the necessary technology to implement at least a basic office suite.

Wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751041)

I bet this guy [slashdot.org] feels stupid now ;)

(payback time!)

Its going to take more than Star Office (3, Insightful)

olddotter (638430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751060)

Star Office is great for those of us that know about it. But it will take more than star office (or open office) to remove MS-Office from the world. I think Google knows that.

If Google is going to take on MS, it will be with something much smarter and more subtle than a direct head-on frontal assault. So no matter how cool we think that would be, expect something else. Google has been pretty good at "thinking different" so far, and I don't expect that to change.

A web based suite is idiotic (4, Insightful)

sco08y (615665) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751070)

I'm pretty sure most companies have gotten over the urge to put everything on the web, but for reporters, a web app has to deal with certain limitations:

1. The network.

2. Flaky web standards.

3. Living along side other plugins and browser extensions. (That means Other People's Threads in your process space.)

4. No standard API for printing, the raison d'etre for an office suite.

5. Browsers, by design, have virtually no integration with the rest of the OS.

Re:A web based suite is idiotic (1)

dep01 (730107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751085)

Well these are all problems that Google should fix, damnit! :)

Re:A web based suite is idiotic (1)

TX297 (861307) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751086)

Browsers, by design, have virtually no integration with the rest of the OS. You've obviously never had any experience with getting rid of internet explorer, then.

Congrats /. (0, Troll)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751079)

I would just like to congratulate Slashdot. You've successfully managed to turn no story at all, into two seperate stories...

Since I started here, slashdot started accepting ads, there have been DDoS attacks, numerous other outages, break-ins, an increasing number of trolls, crapflooders, page-widening spam, M2, and the whole moderation system has repeatedly fallen flat on it's face... But it was all worth it to see a story posted about Google every single day, even when there's isn't any actual story.

*sniff* I promised myself I wouldn't cry... *sniff*

Well, that's disappointing, but (4, Interesting)

dep01 (730107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751096)

Sure, that is a disappointing announcement. I was really looking forward to seeing what Google could do with an online Office app. However, they *ARE* up to something. They're having that secret "invite-only" press conference on, I think, October 26th. Perhaps that's to announce Google's "Calendar app [googlerumors.com] " though. Not sure. I'm waiting excitedly. I'm a big fan of Google (though Google Reader [google.com] has yet to grow on me at all).

The Unofficial Web Applications List (4, Informative)

Sundroid (777083) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751102)

Whether Google plans to plunge into the web-based office suite or not, we don't know, but others have started to create web-based applications like Writely (word processing), Num Sum (spreadsheet), and Writeboard, and most of them use AJAX technology. This site called "The Unofficial Web Applications List" [webapplist.com] lists dozens of them.

Yes Office Suite Google! (1)

otisg (92803) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751130)

This has to be taken with a grain (or few grains) of salt. Remember, this is the head of the same company that was once laughing at Web Portals and said they would stay focused on search. So, Yes Office Suite Google! It's just a matter of time and surprise.

Plenty of room for that! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751136)

Fancy up there html email composer to do:
1) Notes
2) Basic Documents
3) To Do Lists
4) Calendar Entries

Create a light csv viewer, manipulator

Create a DB client

Have a way to organize any sort of document.

Tab the interface with Google groups, Google Personal Search, Google Calendar, and Googles personal web page / blogger

#@$%%@#, a lot of people wouldn't need much else.

Internet storage (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751154)

Google already is experimenting with an e-mail service with mailboxes of over 2 GB. I bet they are working hard on offering an omnipresent networkdrive, accessible via the Interweg, of course, in which people can store all the documents they need to get their jobs done. If they combine this with their Google toolbar they have one hell of a product to offer.

Google is the enemy? (1)

jred (111898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751209)

I guess Google is starting to be more like MS around here. Instead of saying "the giant search engine", it's now "the giant ad broker".

Why? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751218)

Most recently I've been using Gmail for all of my text editing. With its machine independence, autosaving, and the best spell checker on earth, why would I bother with a thick client?

I think this is the way to go. I agree with Sergey, Google is in a position to shatter our perceptions of how office work has to be done. We don't need Word and Outlook and Excel. We can do everything with thin clients, XML, and huge back-end databases.

Services not Suites (2, Insightful)

Observador (224372) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751364)

I use at least five computers on three different networks. Using Google for light text editing is relatively hassle free and featureful. But the key here is availability. As long as I am connected, my text is there. I also agree with your coments on the spell checker. I write in english and spanish and the spell cheker recognizes each language automatically. I don't think it has been lost on Google that many are doing what I'm doing.

But still, I think Mr. Brin is telling it straight. There's too much effort to be done in order to provide a network (or AJAX) equivalent to an office suite. Plus I don't think Google is too keen on reinventing that particular wheel. And it wouldn't (now, at least) fit along with Google's revenue making AdSense.

I think what Google will provide is key services that are available in most office suites today (and some that aren't, of course). Something like an Intelligent Formatter; where you just "send" the text you created via GMail to a service. Of course while you wait for the intelligent formatter Google serves you relevant ads on based on the words in the document you made. Or perhaps there will be a service where your text is converted into other formats like OpenDocument or PDF and even DOC...

You know (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751237)

That article doesn't make anysense, it's a bunch of quotes taken out of context. "However Brin left the door open a little. Documents would be easier to work with in the future, he promised, but he didn't think a fat client was the way to go." Doesn't tell us anything. What documents is talking about?

This big "announcement" is not. There is nothing on the sun site or even the press conference that really spells out what's going on. It was an opportunity for McNealy to get some good press next to google. In the press video, they had these stupid posters up listing each of the CEO's achievements over the last few years. Who cares? Especially when it comes to McNealy.

Pretty lame if you ask me.

Google Earth (totally offtopic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751276)

I just downloaded and installed Google Earth. It's wicked cool.

http://earth.google.com/ [google.com]

You can zoom in and see the Sydney Opera House clearly in the Sydney Harbor then zoom out and zoom back on say the Eiffel tower in Paris.

What's interesting if you go to maps.google.com and look at and zoom in on say the White House and the Capitol Bldg. The roof of the White House is blanked out. And if you look at the Capitol Bldg. It's pixellated. I thought for grins to see how Google Earth does it. I zoomed in on both and saw the roofs of both buildings very clearly. Google Earth is an application you have to install on your desktop and you allow it to send 'anonymous' statistics to improve the program.

Maybe I'll just keep making weekend rants ... (2, Interesting)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751282)

Here let me just go ahead and use a fake form ...

What pissed me off about the article:
Google co-founder Sergey Brin has quashed speculation that the
giant ad broker is to introduce a web-based Office suite

Why did it piss me off:
Because Google is not a giant ad broker?

Aight here's the deal, last week my issue was with google being the next MS-Killer ... so this post is essentially right along those lines.

GOOGLE IS A COMPANY THAT DOES INTERNET APPLICATIONS MAINLY SEARCHING.

They're biggest competition is Yahoo, not microsoft. Let's see ... what company started off mainly as a search engine, then became a portal, started offering services that other sites did (Like driving directions, email, instant messaging, newsgroups, etc)? It wasn't microsoft, it was Yahoo.

People you've absolutely killing me here. First off people are google fan boys for no real apparent reason, like apple, they are a company whos main concern is to make money and as much of it as possible.

Hence, they are no different from any other for-profit company out there. End of story, google is no less "the man" than microsoft is. They are a company traded on the stock market, they are in the business not to change the world, but to ... let's here it ... MAKE MONEY.

Anyways, I hope that they keep the airconditioning on in your ivory tower...

I'm just happy that I can turn off the google story topic when I don't want to see what ELSE is happening in the world. So I'm not really going to blame slashdot here... I think the only one to blame for all my hostility is me, for actually cruising the google stories during the weekends.

Why wait for Google? (2, Informative)

philntc (735836) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751286)

When it's already done [thinkfree.com] ?

faggots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751299)

thin clients are fucking homo

you people are a pack of morons
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