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TheStreet Open House

Google Business Apps Sting Apple, Microsoft

What you don't get: The aspirin you'll need to keep all this Web-business-app nonsense straight.

Clearly, Google has made it easy for third parties to interop with its software and your business. But the fact is, it is almost too easy. Yes, tools like Manymoon are cool. But the complexity this stuff introduces is mind boggling: Manymoon faces direct competition from other sophisticated project-management products with names like Smartsheet, Teambox, Insightly, Comindwork, Jira, Glasscubes, Zoho Projects, TrackMyHours and EmForge. And that's just project management! There are 80-odd more apps aimed at how to do your books, how to file your taxes, how to hire and fire. You get the idea.

Even the smallest of firms will be facing an overwhelmingly -- and I mean overwhelmingly -- complex trial-and-error process of testing, deploying and migrating to these tools.

Bottom line: For sure, the Google App Marketplace is the real small-business deal: It's a miraculous rainforest of exotic Web-based business tools that even six months ago were beyond the reach of most small firms. Be sure to give the place the once-over.

Just don't fall in love with the wild animals. As lovely as they seem, none are as tame as they appear. If you're not careful, they could eat you -- and your firm -- alive.

Jonathan Blum is an independent technology writer and analyst living in Westchester, N.Y. He has written for The Associated Press and Popular Science and appeared on FoxNews and The WB.
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