Google co-founder Sergey Brin made a guest appearance at the Web 2.0 conference.
During his conversation, hosted by John Battelle, someone from the audience asked Brin about whether a Google Web-based productivity suite would appear. Brin responded: "I don't really think that the thing is to take a previous generation of technology and port them directly, and say 'Can we do the minicomputer on the Web on AJAX,' makes sense. I'm not saying that's what (Microsoft) Office is; I'm just saying that I think the Web and Web 2.0, if that's what you want to call it, gives you the opportunity to do new and better things than the Office package and more. We don't have any plans (to do an Office suite)."
Brin went on to say that there are good Web-based applications and that Google would do its thing, and that working with documents will become a lot more convenient than it is today. That's sounds like Google may build or buy such a product at some point, given that one of Google's goals, according to Brin, is to impact things where people spend a lot of time, such as e-mail.
Brin was also asked what areas Google wouldn't enter (for example, Google just introduced an RSS reader that is already stirring up that part of the industry). "Most of our success has nothing to do with what an executive said was a good idea," he said. With all the smart people at Google spending time on innovating, there won't be many areas that Google will leave untouched.