Google is gearing up to offer what could be a very attractive bundle of apps and branded services to ISPs. Here's what their web site has to say about Google Apps:
"Google Apps brings together essential services to help your business,
school, group or family communicate and collaborate more effectively.
These services are powerful, easy to set up, require no maintenance,
and you can get them for free. Everything is unified by the Start Page,
a central place for your users to preview their inboxes and calendars,
access your essential content, and search the web."
There are currently 2 packages: one being supported with
advertisements, and the other option costs $50 a year. The packages
include a wide range of features including Google Docs &
Spreadsheets, content submission management , Google Calendar, Talk,
and of course, Gmail.
It will be worth watching to see how well ISPs take to this new
package, especially with the inclusion of Google Docs &
Spreadsheets. If enough ISPs decide to use some of these apps, such
Docs & Spreadsheets for themselves, it could potentially impact
sales of Microsoft Office on casual users.
The war between Google and Microsoft might just be
heating up, but it might take a more feature rich version off Docs
& Spreadsheets if they want to sway users who spend their working
hours doing complex formating available in MS Office.