Mountain View (CA) – Google is offering new financial incentives to businesses in an attempt to increase its business software sales. At the same time, they are looking to restrict the use of free alternatives, driving up revenue from sources other than selling advertising.
Google sells a bundled software package, including e-mail, word processing and other office applications for a $50 annual fee per user to basically anyone. The new program will offer third party vendors in the United States the ability to purchase the same software, but at a 20% discount (for $40). It will be up to each of those vendors to decide whether or not the savings is passed on to those they, in turn, sell the package to. So far about 50 vendors have signed up to receive the discounts and sell Google’s software.
Google is hoping to increase the number of interested parties in buying their software with this move. In addition, for the first time they are capping the number who can use their less sophisticated free version to 50 individuals per business. However, the new cap has a Grandfather Clause, and does not apply to those who have already signed up for the free software. In addition, schools and governments will continue to have unlimited access to Google’s free version.
Google’s software operates differently than traditional software. It operates inside a web browser, allowing the office documents to be accessed from any Internet-connected computer, and equally well regardless of the machine’s capabilities. No software has to be installed and the documents can travel from home to work and back without carrying anything around, like a USB drive. Google Docs can be found here.
Google has had its application suite available for nearly two years. That part of their business now supports 300 Google employees, with a user base of more than one million users.