Google announced a new website publishing tool called Google Sites:
Google Sites, as the new site publishing service is known, is a scaled back version of JotSpot, an easy-to-edit service for organizations and individuals to set up and edit Web sites that Google had acquired 16 months ago for undisclosed terms.
The new service, the latest stage in the Internet leader's push into the market for business and educational users, allows non-technical users to organize and share digital information such as Web links, calendars, photos, videos, presentations, attachments and other documents in an easy-to-maintain site.
"Creating a team web site has always been too complicated, requiring dedicated hardware and software as well as programming skills," said Dave Girouard, general manager of Google's Enterprise unit, which is aimed at office workers.
Google Sites is a stripped-down version of Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration software, which lets users inside an organization share documents and maintain calendars on secure Web sites, but is far more complex to set up and maintain.
Unlike SharePoint, which typically requires organizations to buy and maintain their own hardware and software at costs that can run from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to serve one hundred users, Google Sites is hosted on Google computers and is free to users of Google Apps, which the company offers at a fraction of the cost of Microsoft tools.
"We think this is SharePoint-like, but better," Girouard said in an interview.