Twitter makes sure that they throw in the obligatory “this ain’t about Google Apps” disclaimer when actually it pretty much is.
This attack had nothing to do with any vulnerability in Google Apps which we continue to use.
[From Twitter Blog: Twitter, Even More Open Than We Wanted]
If Twitter were using something other than a public cloud for their documents and messaging, well it would have been a hell of a lot more difficult for someone to login with a password retrieved via the recovery feature in Gmail.
I’ll still use Gmail and hope I never have to use Exchange again but let’s not pretend that the ease by which the Twitter document heist was accomplished had nothing to do with the vulnerability of a publicly accessible hosted services. Better passwords, routinely changing them, and not making forgotten password questions easy to defeat would all help… but then again Exchange administrators can force those things on users rather than relying on users to be self-regulating.
Check out this snapshot of Techmeme today. As is typically the case, Google scratches it’s left ear lobe and an entire industry of bloggers kicks into gear dissecting what it means. The NYTimes claims it’s a Microsoft Sharepoint killer while Allen Stern declares they are going after pbWiki. The AP wire report, which also runs in the NYT has a somewhat different view of this, calling it a website builder. Rafe Needleman makes the observation that it’s a nice wiki even though Google never uses the word wiki. TechCrunch also calls it a wiki and quotes a Google exec calling it a “Sharepoint killer”.
So what do we know for certain: it’s a wiki and they are targeting Sharepoint. What is not said? Sharepoint is much more than a wiki, it’s probably more accurately referred to as a portal, and the wiki features are acknowledged by MSoft to be very weak. Microsoft does feature wikis from both Socialtext and Atlassian as add-ons for Sharepoint, lending credibility to the notion that they don’t see themselves as competitive in the wiki space.
Google could in fact take on Sharepoint but it’s going to take a lot more than a better wiki to do it. For starters, I would make Google Sites an OpenSocial container, which should not be too difficult given the fact that the same people were involved in both projects.
Google Apps is in total a threat but at some point Google is going to have to do something more meaningful than the bits-n-pieces act. Dan points out that Google is fighting the stigma of offering lightweight apps, but as long as they fail to release numbers such as how many companies are actually paying Google for premium apps, it’s unlikely that the market will take them seriously. Businesses are not moved by the notion of free apps because buying an application really isn’t the barrier companies face, it’s supporting users and meeting requirements.
There’s no Christmas cheer over at Tesla Motors this week, it’s rare that to see things become this public.
On a related note, and in the interests of full disclosure I don’t have any confirmation of this, but I heard the delay in delivering the cars had to do not only with the additional engineering for government safety approval and some reliability issues, but also that they had some serious supply chain issues that were making it impossible to get the components required to build the cars. Something about not locking in the contracts to deliver the components.
Having said that, I see the demo cars shooting down Old County Road in San Carlos all the time. I’d buy one.
“I am no longer with Tesla Motors – neither on its board of directors nor an employee of any sort.” Additional comments included: “I’m not at all happy with the way I was treated” and “Silicon Valley has given us many examples of fast-growing start-up companies that managed to find a home for its founders even as new management teams were brought in.” [From San Jose Mercury News – Tesla ousts co-founder Eberhard]