Google is ending availability of a free version of its Google Apps online application suite for small businesses, saying it wants to provide a stronger and more uniform experience to users. Do advisors care? Probably not.
However, only a small number of advisors do use Google Apps productivity suite and related products. The vast majority of advisors are still using Microsoft Office or Apple's version of the Office suite on their desktops. Google is cloud based and has limited accessibility to documents unless you're online. While convenient, a professional needs full time access whether on the Internet or not. Google's suite is also also simpler but not nearly as powerful as Office.
Google competes with Microsoft's "Office 365" online service, which offers an email service and online versions of its Word, PowerPoint and Excel programs from $6 per user, per month, which are increasingly integrated with the standard software versions. But what separate Micsosoft from Google Apps is that it mre expensive version of its suite can pbe purchased that allow you to work online or offline. In addition, Microsoft is starting to make its own hardware and its new tablet/laptop mobile devices in 2013 will allow seamless access to your documents whether online or offline and from your deskstop or mobile device.