I guess a lot of these projects are evolving over the course of 20 % time at Google, rather than as part of a concerted effort or plan to build an office suite.
So, you really believe the stories about people at Google getting to take a day off a week to pursue personal projects? You think they're writing an office suite in their free time? Bill, you're such a nice guy! Say, are you in the market for real estate? I own some prime acreage in west Texas I just know you'd love to have ...
But seriously, no offense intended ...
Don't fall for the Google hype. It's wearing off fast here in the Valley. They have programmers locked in labs, pounding away at those AJAX routines night and day. Google has cafeterias, workout facilities, on-campus laundry. They keep 'em locked up and high on Jolt cola and BBQ Fritos. Some of them have not seen their families in six months. They are the masters of marketing and mystique. But friends who work there say there's a huge gulf between the persona the company promotes and the reality. The phrase "sweat shop" comes up a lot. Even those who love it say it's the expectations of management are fierce.
With their huge stock valuation, they have money, and they're spending it fast and furious trying to diversify their revenue streams and move into new markets. They have only a fixed amount of time to prove they are worth their market cap. If they don't, they can come crashing down to earth pretty hard.
Why is it taking so long? Well, actually, it really hasn't been all that long. And writing an office suite, even a spreadsheet in isolation, is not that easy a task. Heck, just designing the transaction model for a web-based program of this scope has to be daunting.
I wish them luck. Smart company. Interesting products. But boy, don't believe that they are anything but sharks with the scent of blood in their nostrils and a hunger to be the biggest fish in the ocean.