The Office Alternatives
Zoho Virtual Office
JotSpot Project Manager
Source: Red Herring Research
Microsoft is responding to the challenge with Microsoft Office Live, a suite of productivity applications for small business. And, Groove will be a major part of the next version of Office. Groove founder, Ray Ozzie is now Microsoft's Chief Software Architect. Expect to see collaboration and software services infused into everything Microsoft does.
Google is announcing Google Apps for Your Domain which is a collection of existing apps packaged for small business. The apps include Gmail, Google Calendar, GTalk, and Google Page Creator. The services appear to be aimed at very small businesses who don't have any internal company systems. Google says they will be offering similar services for enterprises sometime in the future.
Microsoft Office Live has all the same services and lots more. Things like a company calendar, employee directory, expense reporting, HR tools for hiring and interviewing, project management, the list goes on and on. Great stuff from Microsoft.
Here is a screen shot from Google's "Apps for Your Domain" page.
You can choose any combination of these Google services
Gmail - Offer email to your members with 2 gigabytes of storage per account, search tools to help them find information fast, and instant messaging built right into the browser.
Google Talk - Your members can call or send instant messages to their contacts for free -- anytime, anywhere in the world.
Google Calendar - Members can organize their schedules and share events, meetings and entire calendars with others.
Google Page Creator - Create and publish web pages for your domain quickly and easily with this what-you-see-is-what-you-get website design tool.
And here is a screen shot from the Microsoft Office Live site.
The competition is heating up for web based office applications. Publish.com has a list of their top 10 favortite web 2.0 applications. It is a huge market and lots of competitors want a piece of it. Competition is always good for the customer, and brings out the best in the competitors.