back to article From Accompli to Microsoft to Google: G Suite chief Javier Soltero chases the 'complete collaborative experience'

At Google's Cloud Next '20 On Air event, the company announced new integration features in G Suite, which VP and GM Javier Soltero says "almost realises what we've been chasing after the whole time which is a more complete collaborative experience." G Suite is evolving into an integrated workspace where services like Email and …

  1. gobaskof

    "...like Outlook gets your mail by IMAP but you can't get your contact and calendar information lined up. You do an invite for a phone call and it loads in the wrong calendar, I see so many problems with every customer of mine that has G Suite."

    Both are at fault. Use open standard protocol rather than making your own partially compatible stuff. If only Microsoft and Google were on some of the web-standards committees, they could invent a modern mail protocol that handles contacts and calendars better than CalDAV and CardDAV, and we could all use whatever service we want.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Google is more at fault than Microsoft here. While it does fuck around with IMAP and synching for calendar and contacts, there's really no excuse for Microsoft continuing to push a proprietary protocol (MAPI, ActiveSync) apart from lock-in.

      But I think you're right, there is an opportunity for anybody prepared to invest in improvements to the various DAV protocols. Running them on the back of IMAP might be a start.

    2. psilos

      Google actually has a fix to the Contact and Calendar issue but it seems that they do not advertise it enough, GSSMO (G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook) got to love that name.

      It uses MAPI to speak to Outlook and therefore finally syncs properly. Hopefully the author reads this post and passes it on as it would fix a major improvement to Reynold's clients.

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    "People told Microsoft the same thing and therefore you have Teams."

    I'm sure no one actually asked for Microsoft's unholy marriage of OneNote and Lync…

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't bother

    I really don't want a "complete experience" that's under US surveillance.

  4. find users who cut cat tail

    Axiom of choice

    ‘Survive the axiom of choice’?

    I mean, the axiom of choice is a strange one and can be difficult to deal with, with all the non-constructive proofs of existence of counterintuitive objects and stuff. But it does not tend to be life-threatening…

  5. bobsmith2016

    They're both pretty decent suites

    Except for Sharepoint. I mean, why would you do that to people?

  6. Barry Rueger

    MY axiom of choice.

    I like my email program to just do email, with a contact list and calendar. I like my browser to browse, and my word processor to just write.

    The same is true of virtually every computing task: a stand-alone app is invariably better and more reliable.

    I also much prefer to have all of these on a local machine, not Google's server. Ultimately I don't trust them, either with my data or to not shut down serve at I use.

    Also, let's face it, Google Docs really does suck.

    One lesson learned years ago is that any toll that claims to be "three-in-one" will wind doing at least two things badly.

  7. logicalextreme Bronze badge

    Collaborative working

    Why is this "collaborative working" bollix the buzzword all of a sudden? If you get two people trying to write a letter on the same piece of physical paper, you'll get a mess and possibly a fight. I've never seen anything different from office suites, except for the added thrill of one or both people possibly losing their changes for no discernible reason.

    To wit; how many people does it actually take to create an effing document? Answers on a .odf file to the usual address.

    1. LionelB

      Re: Collaborative working

      How many people does it take to write a document? On my last research paper it was six (on half as many continents, Latex on Overleaf). Some of the software projects I've been involved in, many, many more than that (GitHub, all the continents). Day to day stuff shared on Google Docs, chat on Slack, Zoom, whatevs. Yes, it gets messy sometimes, but it's a helluva improvement on emailing stuff back and forth (been there, done that back in the day).

      Strangely, collaboration is a thing.

      1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

        Re: Collaborative working

        I was being glib and of course there are genuine collaborative document projects; but regardless, I do have a bit of tunnel vision from working in smallish companies. I'm more used to everybody-has-their-own-area-and-produces-their-own-thing work. But git's a completely different kettle of soldiers, Latex is fairly specialised software for "proper" documents (something I'm going to learn to write my next CV in, actually) and I still haven't seen anything better than MediaWiki in action for standard knowledge base work.

        I've definitely never seen e.g. Office or Google Docs used for anything as important as research papers, and Excel has gone so far as being downright dangerous for certain scientific use (and for financial stuff, though I couldn't give a toss about private companies' profit margins being wiped by a boo-boo).

        I regard the big office suites as catering to SMEs and students for the most part, and it still strikes me as some marketing exec having pushed the word "collaborative" until it finally caught the news cycle. There are never any examples of what they mean by collaborative working with these announcements — this very article seems to boil down to "putting the email client in the same browser tab as the document app", which doesn't really evoke the stock-photo image of bright young minds holding their reusable coffee tumblers while brainstorming a project round a whiteboard; more likely just a slight %age increase of the chance of your browser crashing :)

  8. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    IMHO

    What I usually observe (this is not my bread & butter,) Is the lack of finesse. Current solutions are about from 80 - 90 percent. Then products are sold with the caveat "oh that feature will be in the next release;" but by the time the customer really needs that feature - it is still vaporware. If the developers of these office products actually saw how their work is used, I mean really used by pro's, the developers could then finish that last mile.

    That feedback used to come from marketers - "if you develop (insert feature here,) I could sell a million of them!" Now the strategy is one size fits all, but it does not fit.

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