Google has purchased Sketchup. Well, despite the fact that one of Sketchup’s products ties into Google Earth for mapping, their flagship product, Sketchup, is a $495 3D drawing package.
My question is: Could this become another component of Google Office?
Along with Google’s recent acquisition of Writely, one has to wonder when Google will complete and release Google Office. The biggest question is whether or not Google will charge for Google Office. If they don’t, and Google Office is entirely web based, then it will have a major impact on the revenue stream of Microsoft Office.
The downside for Microsoft is their announcement that Windows Vista, the five-years-in-the-making non-upgrade from Windows XP will not begin shipping until November. That means that Office 2007 is accurately named and probably will not ship until 2007 due to Microsoft’s inept testing methodologies wherein if Office 2007 shipped before Windows Vista, there would be incompatibility risks. Microsoft will not chance shipping Office 2007 before Windows Vista because if there are incompatibilities between Windows Vista and Office 2007, that would require shipping a service pack the same day Window Vista ships. It’s too costly and too much of a time crunch for Microsoft to take on, because their present management structure no longer allows them to rapidly respond to change.
Microsoft has also announced that the minimum entry price for Office 2007 will be $150. That minimum entry price gives Google a lot of space to play in regarding pricing.
Google has the ball. Let’s see if they can make a touchdown with Google Office.