There are three types of products Google CEO Larry Page prioritizes above all others, and Google Apps for Business isn't one of them.
In Google's quarterly earnings call, Page said he thinks of Google's products in three categories: advertisements, consumer products, and new products such as Google+.
With Microsoft arguing that the Google Apps suite of Gmail, Docs, and Calendar is unsuitable for business use, Page's comments aren't likely to inspire confidence in Google's commitment to enterprise IT customers.
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Page, the Google co-founder, recently assumed the CEO role from Eric Schmidt, who has an enterprise background as CEO of Novell and CTO of Sun Microsystems. At the time of the CEO shift, Network World raised the question of whether Page might be less devoted to Google's enterprise efforts than Schmidt. Analysts from Gartner said there is no reason to think Google will pull the plug on Apps, but advised Page to make public statements assuring enterprise customers that they are one of his priorities.
That type of statement didn't occur in yesterday's earnings call, according to a transcript provided by Seeking Alpha.
"I think about our products in three separate categories," Page said. "First, there is Search in our Ads products, the core driver of revenue for the company. And Nikesh and Susan are going to talk more about Ads later in the call. Next, we have products that are employing high consumer success: YouTube, Android, and Chrome. We are investing in these in order to optimize their long-term success. Then we have our new products, Google+ in commerce and local. We are investing in them to drive innovation and adoption."
Page mentioned Gmail and Calendar in another comment, but not in a reference to the enterprise. Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora discussed Google Apps for Business.
"Another leg of our revenues is the Enterprise Business," Arora said. "We've seen great results in enterprise as well, in particular apps for business continues to grow as organizations move to the cloud. We've had key wins at Intercontinental Hotels [and the] State of Wyoming. In addition to that, some small simple changes in our product side have allowed us to tremendously accelerate Google Apps for small businesses."