Few hours ago I had a conversation with a Sharepoint administrator I know about the new Google Sites service. He told me that their announcement was the talk-of-the-day, and couldn't go unnoticed. We talked about what threat could the new service be for MS Sharepoint or Office at all.
For those of you who are familiar with organization/enterprise oriented portals, the idea of Google Sites is not new: an individual, a team or an entire organization, can build up a site around an idea (a project, a shared point of interest, etc.) simply, quickly and without having to write a single line of HTML. Afterwards, they can add to this sites, lists of objects, such as documents, pictures, spreadsheets, calendars, task-lists, etc. This is done very easily, and with full integration to the user's desktop applications (MS office, OpenOffice, Web-based office, etc.).
Now for the exciting part. Google's product might not be better than the competition (yet) in the organization level. BUT, they are the first to bring such a polished, full-featured product, to the Internet. Now, everyone can create sites around ideas, projects, shared interests, etc. Using the same tools they are familiar with: Google Docs, Picasa, Youtube, RSS feeds and such.
I like to call this new level of services: Web 2.5. Why? Because in Web 2.0, the control over the content of the web, was passed to the individual. Now, the control over the content is passed to group of individuals – collaborating. Imagine how powerful it might be for a team of students, working on the same project, to collaborate using such tool, and share their results with the client (lecturer or a real client, doesn't matter). This is the evolution of Wikis.
Of course there are limitations: 10MB per file, integration with GoogleTalk yet to be made, workflows around documents aren't possible, and a lot more. But hey, we can call it Web 2.49 until then.