Google vs Microsoft: Part II (NYT's Version)

Saturday, June 17, 2006 | 07:42 AM

17online_lg Last week, we discussed Google's spreadsheet and word processor in context of a $300 PC offer from Dell; The PC -- monitor included -- cost more than the full version of Microsoft Office:

"A few weeks ago, I got a snail mail offer from Dell for a pretty fast 2.4Ghz machine -- 17" CRT included -- for the "low low price" of $300. I was about to buy (yet another) machine for the office -- when it dawned on me that Office Professional-Small Business cost $320 -- more than the PC itself. I decided to pass. (I could have gotten Office Basic -- Word, Excel and Outlook -- for $70). I suspect this process occurs lots of times in small businesses in America.

In Google's short history, they have continuously rolled out more and more offerings. I suspect that 5 years from now, we will look back to discover that a full featured Office equivalent has developed.

In the alternative, is there anyway this ends up helping Microsoft?  I can't think of any."

  Today's NYT has a similar column:

"The biggest expense in buying a new computer is not always the computer. After all, you can buy a new Dell desktop, and a good one at that, for $300 and get a monitor in the bargain.

The software to make a PC do anything useful can cost you as much as the computer. To accomplish even the most basic functions on the computer, like writing, you could pay $400 for the standard edition of Microsoft's Office suite that includes Word for word processing, Excel for spreadsheets, Outlook for e-mail and PowerPoint for boring everyone with slideshow presentations.

You can find software that is cheaper. Yet a stripped-down student and teacher edition of Word still costs $150 and even Microsoft Works 8.0, a really basic version of Word and Excel, is $50.

There is another way to do almost everything these programs can do — some would say you can actually do more — and you can do it free. A number of smart programmers have developed word processing, spreadsheet, calendar and other software that you operate while in a Web browser.

No one is saying they are a direct substitute for Word or Excel, but they do have a distinct advantage. The programs can be used by several people at different computers to collaborate on a document."

Its not quite a "read it here first," but it does have a similar flavor.

I like the Times' focus -- not on the Google vs Microsoft aspect of this, but rather on the variety of free web based software you can put on a cheap PC. Its a good set of resources for those looking for a cheap 2nd or 3rd machine.   

In addition to Writely and Google Spreadsheet, the column also tips:

• Yahoo Mail
• Google Gmail
Google Labs
Zoho Writer
Ajax Write
Google Notebook


UPDATE: June 17, 2006 9:13am

Okay, okay! When 5 emailers tell me Open Office is th way to go within minutes of this posting, I must offer up a link: 

Open Office


Google vs Microsoft: Now We're Getting Serious
The Big Picture, Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Now, Free Ways to Do Desktop Work on the Web
Your Money
NYTimes, June 17, 2006

Saturday, June 17, 2006 | 07:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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Use Open Office! Nuff said!

Posted by: Rmannon | Jun 17, 2006 8:07:57 AM

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