Google Plays to Microsoft's Weaknesses

What I love about Google’s battle with Microsoft so far is that they’ve been playing to Microsoft’s weaknesses rather than attempting to confront the colossus head-on. No Word-feature-complete attempts, instead they target the use cases where everyone runs into trouble with Microsoft products. Most recently, they’ve launched an informal collaboration version of Google Apps. The idea is to let people at a company collaborate without having to involve the IT department. Anyone who works at a company with an IT department knows why this is a good thing.

More generally, Google are tackling Microsoft by providing tools and reasons that embody “it’s better on the web”. Now the Border Patrol and Department of Homeland Security are helping to build that case as well. The Washington Post has an article on cellphone, cameras, and laptops being seized as people enter the US. What better reason to keep your data on the web than to avoid losing your $2,000 laptop as you pass through the passport desk?

The killer quote for me was:

“We just access our information through the Internet,” said Lou Brzezinski, a partner at Blaney McMurtry, a major Toronto law firm. That approach also holds risks, but “those are hacking risks as opposed to search risks,” he said.

Naturally you must assume that your data stored on the web are already accessible by the fascist state police, but at least you’re not losing your laptop as well as your privacy. I’ve just finished Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and its setting (police state California) seems more relevant with each passing day.

How long until we see a Google Apps with crypto in an un-subpoenable nation?