If you have stayed current on your Tech News, you have undoubtedly heard about Google Sites. For those unfamiliar with the Google Site’s service, I’ll provide the Cliff Notes version. Launched February 27, 2008, Google Sites is a wiki platform targeted towards small and medium sized businesses. The service has been made a part of the pre-existing Google Apps service. Google Sites is essentially a re-launched version of JotSpot, which Google purchased in 2006.
What makes Google Sites unique is the way it integrates a wiki like platform with things like documents, spreadsheets ,presentations, calendars, and even video (YouTube). Some have compared Google Sites with other collaboration tools such as Microsoft SharePoint. While both are considered collaboration tools, I personally feel that SharePoint is much more robust than Google Sites. Of course one element Google beats Microsoft on without question is price. A public SharePoint site can prove incredibly costly, whereas Google Sites is FREE. After playing around with the service myself, I’d compare Google Sites to a service more like Central Desktop than I would SharePoint.
Even still, the big push at Google seems to be integration. Google Sites is but one example of some new offerings from the internet goliath. The other is Google Calendar Sync. If you’re like me, Microsoft Outlook is where you keep your calendar. For that reason, I have had a hard time making much use of Google Calendars, since the service didn’t play too well with MS Outlook. Well that shortcoming is one Google aims to fix with its recent release of Google Calendar Sync.
Using Google Calendar Sync you can sync your Google Calendar to your Outlook Calendar, your Outlook Calendar to your Google Calendar, or sync both to each other. Also if you’re a Blackberry user, Google has launched Google Sync for Mobile. Google Sync for Mobile is a small application that you install on your Blackberry that will sync your Google Calendar with your Blackberry Calendar.