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Google’s New Docs Viewer Format Support: Implications For DAM?

by Naresh Sarwan on February 23, 2011

Last week, Google announced that they were introducing 12 new file formats to the Google Docs Viewer, they include:

  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • TrueType (.TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)

The first two are clearly shots across Microsoft’s bough and simplify the process of converting from Office to Docs, or dealing with colleagues who prefer desktop apps like MS Office or OpenOffice.  The others are potentially of significance because they are more graphic arts oriented and take the scope of uses Google Docs could start to be applied to into some DAM related territory.  It should be noted that Google have already added support for an image slideshow viewer and video earlier this month and in February.

Rather than DAM, Google are probably more interested in going after Sharepoint at this stage (and they have to deal with a perception among enterprise users that they don’t care about user privacy and data protection).  However, they are beginning to assemble the components required for a third party to use their API to create a rudimentary DAM and the sales pitches being employed have some similarities:

The Google Docs Viewer is used by millions of people every day to quickly view PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations online. Not only is viewing files in your browser far more secure than downloading and opening them locally, but it also saves time and doesn’t clutter up your hard-drive with unwanted files.” [Read More]

These points are contentious (especially with Google’s data security record) but they are being used by Cloud vendors to sell SaaS solutions also, so the points of convergence (which must translate into competition) are becoming more apparent.  If you are a DAM vendor, there still isn’t much to worry about and if you are planning on buying a DAM, it would be ill advised to wait for Google to offer one up for you that will compare with most established products out there.  A trend is emerging however that needs to be watched closely when investment decisions are being considered.

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