Google Will Not Offer Gmail and Drive Apps For Windows 8

Google’s numerous and mostly excellent apps, which include Gmail and Drive, will not be getting the Windows 8 nor Windows Phone 8 treatment. Clay Bavor, product management director for Google Apps, told V3 that the company currently isn’t planning to develop its apps for the new Windows platform.

"We have no plans to build out Windows apps,” he said. “We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8"

Google has been working on improving its apps on iOS and Android--Bavor noted in particular the ability to natively edit spreadsheets on mobile devices--and plans to keep pushing itself to create a better and better mobile experience. These improvements are especially important in the enterprise, where there’s a growing level of comfort with cloud-based services and mobile devices have rapidly proliferated in recent years.

Nokia 920
Hoping for Google Apps development on your slick new Nokia 920? Keep waiting.

It’s unclear why Google is brushing off Windows 8. It’s true that most companies will take their time migrating from previous versions of Windows (be that Vista or Windows 7), and the adoption of Windows Phone 8 compared to Android and iOS isn’t even in the same stratosphere yet, so it’s reasonable that Google doesn’t see the new Windows platform as an urgent priority.

Still, it seems unwise; the Windows platform is not going anywhere, especially in the enterprise, and even though it will take time before even a quorum of users switch to Windows Phone 8, that too will be present in the workplace. Further, Google has a spotty record with mobile versions of its apps; some are stellar (eg, Maps), while others are less impressive (eg, Spreadsheets), but in any case getting a head start on developing for a new platform seems prudent.

All of the above begs the question: Is Google operating here from a place of superiority, believing that Windows 8 is not a platform to be bothered with, or is this a sign of weakness, indicative of the search giant’s struggle to make it services work well and look good on mobile devices?