Last week, Google (GOOG) purchased Postini for $625m. Jason calls this Google's most enterprisey acquisition yet - and despite all the other acquisitions, it's "the first evidence . . . that Google is ready to take the kid gloves off outside of the ad-driven model."
Cote says that $625 million is not flippant, and regardless of whether you consider this a move to "directly compete" with Microsoft (MSFT), it does mean (especially when considering other efforts like Google Gears) that "Google is a threat to Microsoft".
Fred, as an existing Postini customer, outlines what he'd like to see Google do with Postini. Fred focuses on mail because, let's be honest, that's what they're best known for. But as Jason suggested, I think the acquisition goes beyond this.
InfoWorld coverage of the acquisition outlines this broader application.
Postini provides on-demand security, archiving, and policy enforcement services, primarily for e-mail and instant messaging systems, to about 35,000 business customers worldwide. Google will use the technology to boost the security and compliance features of Google Apps, its hosted suite of productivity software.
While Postini is best known for mail and IM security, as Postini executive Sundar Raghavan discussed in a recent interview, their offerings go beyond spam prevention and e-mail security.
Our policy management platform is flexible and extensible. I expect our product managers to work with Google's product managers to see how to apply this technology to documents and spreadsheets.
When Google launched Google Apps Premier Edition, I said the biggest issues were security and compliance concerns. This acquisition seems like the type that can be put to use to start to mitigate some of those concerns and show that Google is serious about security (which they don't necessarily have a good track record with).
If Google indeed uses the technology as the InfoWorld article and Sundar describe, it could be the first sign that Google is preparing to compete directly with Microsoft in the enterprise. And it certainly would qualify as Google's most "enterprisey" acquisition yet.