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Google Docs set for 'get rid of' Office moment

Only a year away. Says Google

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By next year, Google says, its web-happy word processor will be so effective, most enterprises will be able to "get rid of [Microsoft] Office."

Speaking with ZDNet Asia, Dave Girouard - president of Google's enterprise division - admitted that Docs isn't up to snuff at the moment, calling it "much less mature" than Google Mail or Calendar. He acknowledged it's "not perfect" at handling third-party document formats, but insisted it "will get there."

He even went so far as to say that until it improves, he wouldn't actually ask anyone to switch from Microsoft. "We know [Docs is less mature]," he said. "We wouldn't ask people to get rid of Microsoft Office and use Google Docs because it is not mature yet."

But he insists this will soon change. The company has "thirty to fifty" - yes, thirty to fifty - updates planned for its online processor in the coming year. Apparently, these include new features as well as performance enhancements.

These enhancements will allow most enterprises to give Microsoft the boot. But he was kind enough to say that some will refrain from doing so. "I don't think Office will entirely disappear," he said.

But he did say that Office will become some sort of specialized offering for people who need stuff above and beyond the norm. It'll be the Photoshop of word processors, he said. According to Girouard, Microsoft Office is "an overkill tool for most people."

Google did not immediately respond to our request for comment on Gorouard's comments. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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