So apparently, Google is hiring programmers to work on OpenOffice. Microsoft has to feel threatened at the online search giant’s latest move in the office document arena. Google is the one company that Microsoft simply cannot figure out. And I couldn’t be any happier to see the folks up in Redmond sweat just a little. For too long they’ve been the bully on the playground. But a new kid has come to town, and he’s beginning to look a little bigger than ever.
I don’t have any facts on the matter, but Office has to be one of Microsoft’s largest revenue generators. To have someone announce that they will offer a competitive solution, for free, is quite an obstacle. And it’s Google’s way in to several markets which Microsoft has owned since what feels like the dawn of time. This will certainly be the first arena where Microsoft will face true pressure. Lots of people claim that Linux is a threat to Windows, but that’s just not true (at least not yet). The Linux world is too fragmented. There are too many flavors, everyone has his favorite, and no one wants to try another one. Until the Linux community can get that particular act together (not to mention the ease of use factor), the office application arena will be the main battlefield. And I’m glad to see another player has finally joined the game.
The whole thing should be interesting to watch. I question whether Sun’s involvement will doom the project (seeing as Sun has doomed virtually everything else they ever touched), but perhaps Google’s brains can prevent such a catastrophe. I, for one, salute our (hopefully soon to be) office application overlords.