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Google's approach to software won't work for enterprise or mobile

(Jason Hiner, Editor in Chief, TechSanityCheck) Google is making a big run at new markets with business software and mobile phones. However, it will not succeed in either market unless it changes the way it builds its products. Both of these markets will reject Google’s “continuous beta” philosophy.

It’s easy to argue that the primary reason Microsoft has become the world’s largest software maker is that the company has repeatedly shown the ability to ship products. Even though the products may not be perfect and they may not meet the original ship date, Microsoft has proven that it almost always knows when the products are good enough to release to the market.

Google is emerging as one of Microsoft’s key competitors in the software business - perhaps even its biggest competitor within a few years - but Google has not mastered the “good enough” principle. Google software engineers have arguably created only two highly-profitable hit products: the ubiquitous search engine and the Web-based email client Gmail.

However, Google’s “continuous beta” approach that it used to build those two products will not satisfy the customers of two new market segments that Google wants to win: smartphone software and enterprise software.

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