Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why I love Google

Alright, so I'm obviously really biased towards Google.  I try not to be, but they keep on doing things to make me love them more.

A couple weeks ago, without warning, I received a brand new, experimental laptop running Google's new Chrome OS.  Google sent out thousands of free laptops running development builds of their new software for free, and somehow I got in.

This is a genius idea.  By sending out free computers Google is building up a huge fan base that will eagerly preach the word about their new OS to everyone around them.  All of these users are also perfect beta testers.  They all know it's experimental so they won't complain about bugs in the system, and they will gladly report all bugs they find because it makes them feel like they are part of the process.

Easily the most universal question I have gotten when showing people Chrome OS is "How do you use Word?"  That's my queue to brag on Google Docs.  Personally, I like Google docs much more than Microsoft Office.  I understand it's not as robust, but for me the benefits easily outweigh the cost.  Constant syncing to the cloud means I can access all of my documents from any computer, which is a big deal since I switch my computer from Mac to Windows frequently.  Being able to have multiple people edit a document live at the same time has been an extremely valuable asset as my fiancĂ©e and I have been planning our wedding living over 3 hours away from each other.

Today Google announced on it's blog that its releasing a product called Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office.  Essentially, it's a free plugin that gives Microsoft Office all of the functionality that I love about Google Docs.  It stores all of your files on the web, you can access them from anywhere (It uses Google Docs if you don't have office on your computer), and it allows multiple people to edit a document at the same time.

This is why I love Google.  Sure, this still promotes their overall goal of getting people to use the web more, but the fact that they are helping out the competition so that the end user has a better overall experience is pretty sweet.  They do the same thing with Android.  Many of Google's apps that give Android an advantage over the iPhone (Google Voice, Google Goggles, ect.) are ported over, by Google, to the iPhone. And that is simply awesome.