More details are emerging about the Sun-Google deal. Yesterday, we have learnt that the Google Toolbar will be offered to users as they download the Java Runtime Environment. Google will now provide a OpenOffice based free word processor and spreadsheet program accessible from the Google toolbar.
Google will be able to offer a free online word-processing program that would sit inside its popular search engine and offer much of the capability of Microsoft Office, which costs $249 for a basic version. Google has been slowly occupying space on the Microsoft Desktop with new software releases like Google Earth and Google Desktop Search with the sidebar.
Google has all the right ingredients to make Sun-Google Office a success:
1. Google will integrate it's search engine capabilities to search for documents using Office.
2. Google could provide free webspace for storing Office documents online making them accessible from anywhere, anytime
3. Google might integrate GMail in OpenOffice to make sharing documents and collabration easier.
OpenOffice is a leading challenger to Microsoft's ubiquitous Office suite, a major cash cow for the world's largest software company. Both offer a word processor and spreadsheet among other applications.
Microsoft Office still looks unbeatable but its near-monopoly on the market is under threat. Corporate users may see little advantage in migrating to Google Office software but some casual users, hobbyist or new Office users may like to make a switch from Microsoft for the above reasons.