Google today launched its “Google Apps Premier Edition,” a subscription-based offering of its office/productivity apps, including webmail, calendar, IM, docs and spreadsheets. It’s being breathlessly touted as an assault on Microsoft, which it may be — in five years. Right now, it’s just another revenue stream for Google, which is handy to have when your investors are breathing down your neck demanding constant growth.
I suppose there’s an argument that these applications fit Google’s stated mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” but I’m not so sure. That’s not to say it’s a bad idea, or that it won’t end up being profitable for Google. It may just mean it’s time to update the oft-repeated mission statement.