Google Presentation in Ann Arbor Reveals 2008 Strategies For Google Apps

Google Apps LogoAndrew Miller, a search engine marketing consultant based in Ann Arbor attended a Google Apps presentation in Ann Arbor, Mich. recently and blogged about the event.  Google and the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce setup the event at the Boardwalk Creative Center.  The main presentation was made by Scott Johnston, former VP of Product Development at JotSpot, a wiki-building company that Google acquired about a year and a month ago.  Johnston talked about some the future of Google Apps.

- Google Sites:  Google Sites will be launching in 2008.  It will be an expansion to Google Page Creator, but will be based on JotSpot wiki collaboration.  Google Sites will give businesses the opportunity to setup Intranet and project management software.   Setting up customer extranets will also be possible.
- Google Gears:  The Google Gears plugins will also be released sometime next year.  This will give Google App users the ability to edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations offline.
- offline vs. online document collaboration:  When someone edits a document offline at the same time that a user is editing the document online, the offline version will be merged into the online version and changes will be versioned the same way.  Essentially this means changes will be applied in chronological order.  This confuses me a little bit. 
- Google Docs OCR capabilities:  Google Docs doesn’t have any plans for OCR capabilities for importing PDFs or other images yet.  OCR means that the computer will automatically recognize the text and allows the user to edit the text.
- GrandCentral integration into Apps:  Johnston said that Grand Central is a huge priority for Google, but did not specify whether it will be integrated into Google Apps.
- Google Spreadsheets pivot tables, macros, DB integration?  This question was asked to Johnston by Andrew Miller.  Johnston stated that they are finding ways to balance speed vs. utility for Google Spreadsheets.  Johnston said that it’d never be a heavy duty analytics program because it’d be too heavy duty on the average user. 
– Google Apps video conferencing? 
No plans for video conferencing yet.

[Found via TechCrunch]

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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