Nick Carr has been writing plenty on computing and the move towards a new approach called cloud computing. A recent piece from Nick seeks to compare Google with Microsoft and their respective attempts to win business customers for their respective 'cloud' offerings e.g. wordprocessing and spreadsheet on the internet and in the browser, as opposed to the desktop.
'But I thought google did search and ads, not word processing and spreadsheets..?' Exactly!
While Google has a near monopoly with its excellent search and advertising business model, I imagine that stretching this to office like applications and meeting the needs of business users will be a serious challenge. This is not just because the two markets and models are arguably very different (the job I am doing as the end user/customer in both differs dramatically!) but that in Google's case, having had such success with its first business model, translating that into a second may just stretch its processes and values too far...
Nick captures this succinctly when he writes;
And this is one of the big questions that remains to be answered about Google and its ability to sell to big companies: Is it going to be able to see the world through the eyes of its potential customers, even if that view does not coincide with its own philosophy?
Time of course will tell, but as a third party observer, I'd say that delivering a new business model against the values and philosophies of a currently successful one will be impressive to say the least. (This of course neatly side steps Microsoft's own circumstance of partially or completely shifting its own business from desktop to the internet, but that is a discussion best saved for another day!)