Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
Google Apps has yet again acknowledged just how awesome Microsoft Office is for Productivity in the workplace. How else would you explain Google’s new Drawing menu and it’sresemblance, no outright ‘seperated at birth’ look and feel to the Microsoft Office Drawing menu? See their announcement and visual below.
Not only are the shapes in the same order from top to bottom, they are visually near identical. In the 20% ‘innovation’ one would hope that the Google ‘muse’ would have led to a different take on visualization of drawing tools. I mean, even something like a different layout or different order? But then again maybe Google is acknowledging again that Office simply ‘rocks’! (which it does by the way)
All technology builds on the shoulders of previous ideas but when take an easy way out, you aren’t innovating, you are just copying without doing the hard work it takes to understand why users like this layout, when to use them, how many people use them etc.
This wouldn’t be worth calling out if it weren’t for Google’s own constant marketing machine that they hold the keys to ‘innovation’. In Google’s own “Innovation Webinar’ which highlighted all the features they’ve added to Apps in the last year, I found only one, yes one feature that did not previously exist in Microsoft technologies in some form or fashion. (It was ‘forgotten attachment detector’ which is useful but shows they are scanning your email unbeknownst to you. Even though it appeared in 2008, they talked about it in 2010)
Clear as Mud – Redux
I ask Google Apps executive management to clarify: is Google Docs a replacement or complement for Office?
- If it’s a replacement because not every worker needs Office (‘Office is like PhotoShop’ -read too many features) and could get by with a simpler application, then why are you adding all the existing features of Office which you claim are not needed?
- If it’s a complement which should make “Office better” then why am I paying $50 for something that only partially replicates what I already have and is the best application in the market?