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Google’s Wave is building off the enterprise shore

An ad supported version of Wave with voice, video, content processing and search functions might be quite appealing to SharePoint customers staggering under the headcount and infrastructure cost of an aging SharePoint system. Google doesn’t have to "kill SharePoint" in the way that Microsoft has to "kill Google Web search." Google need only inflict a minor revenue wound. Google’s other enterprise products need only inflict minor revenue bleeding from the Google Search Appliance, Google Apps and Google Maps to slow and possibly hobble the Microsoft giant.

Wave is just one more Google thrust to weaken Microsoft SharePoint’s grip in the enterprise. Unlike Microsoft, Google does not go after a market head-on, as Microsoft is doing with Bing, the Web search system. Google prefers to implement a strategy that I characterize as surround and seep. The idea is to make a platform that is robust and stable available. Developers can build what they want on the platform. If developers create products that work for a segment of the Internet market, Google calculates that some organizations will want to tap into those functions and services as well.

I have documented that approach in enterprise search, where Google has become the de facto yardstick against which enterprise search is measured. Google Maps have moved from the boring world of two-dimensional representations to the dynamic and interactive world of Google Earth. Military organizations with which I am familiar think of maps as "Google Maps."

Now Google wants Wave to splash into the enterprise in the same way. If successful, Google wants to first soak the sneakers of the SharePoint crowd and then force some SharePoint customers to ride the Google Wave.

Will it work? Too soon to tell, of course, but the surf is up in the enterprise market. When Wave crashes into SharePoint, I want to be away from the storm. More information about Google’s advanced technologies appears in Google: The Digital Gutenberg.

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