Google enters business portal market with Sites
The web giant Google has announced Google Sites, a combinations of web hosting and its web-based productivity applications. Google Sites is aimed at resource commercial and institutional users of its Google Apps web services, allowing them to create a coherent combination of content the on web space provided - calendar, chat and E-mail client, texts, presentations, videos and images from other sources – YouTube for example. The tools are open to users of the Educational or Premium Edition of Google Apps - and also to users of the recently launched Google Apps Team Edition .
Google Sites is based on technology from Jotspot, the Wiki specialist that Google acquired in 2006. If you register your own web domain with Google and can prove you have administrator privileges to it, you will be able to set up user accounts within Google Apps to which friends and colleagues can log in and use Google Apps on web space provided by Google. As administrator, you then send an invitation to those authorised users in the form of an email containing the access details. The Google Sites address they reach may bear a resemblance to a team web site, such as can be created for example with Microsoft's SharePoint Server.
Google's services, in contrast to those of Microsoft, are hosted on the web rather than a company's own network. Subject to specific conditions, they can also be used on a free web-space basis. While Google is probably hoping to profit from the use of this service by paying business clients, it may suffer some initial disadvantages in comparison with locally hosted services such as SharePoint, since it isn't able to access local resources.