In pretty much a concession to the obvious, Dave Girouard, the president of Google’s enterprise division, told ZDNet Asia, that Google Docs isn’t quite ready to replace Microsoft Office. But, he added, that within a year it will be reach a “point of capability” sufficient to fulfill the “vast majority’s needs.”
Google Docs is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) office suite that mimics the capability of Microsoft Office. Instead of being tied down as an application suite, Google Docs is web-based, and can have real time updates to performance and features. Girouard expects some “thirty to fifty” updates to Google Docs to take place over the next year.
Google Docs now, Girouard concedes, isn’t mature enough to displace Office for everyday use. It simply doesn’t possess a feature set sufficient to make it a worthy competitor. However, even as it does become more capable, Girouard doesn’t see Google Docs rivaling Office in ability, as Office is “an overkill tool for most people.” Google Docs will instead fit the needs of mainstream office suite users, with Microsoft’s offering left for those requiring Office’s specialized functionality.
How Google Docs will respond to Microsoft’s efforts to provide a free web-based version of Microsoft Office Girouard doesn’t say. The competition for hearts and minds between the two companies will prove interesting.
Shared folders were the most requested feature asked for by Google Docs users. Shared folders allow users of Google Docs to work cooperatively on projects, with real-time updates to the documents they share. The advantage for Google Docs users is the feature being internal to the application suite, eliminating the need to rely on outside solutions, such as DropBox.
According to Bangaru: “To share a group of items, all you have to do is put them all into a folder and share the folder. As you'd expect, if you add an item to a shared folder, it will automatically be shared and if you add someone to an existing shared folder, they will instantly get access to all of the folder's content.”