Google has added yet another application to the Google Apps suite. Google Sites gives you the ability to create collaborative workspaces on-the-fly, at no cost. If you’ve got a Google Apps account, you’ll be able to create an unlimited number of these sites. You can restrict access to specific users, open it up to all users from your domain, or make the site entirely public.
Anyone with proper permission can go in and make edits or create new pages, just like your typical wiki. In addition, you can add Google Widgets, Google Docs and a number of other pre-built tools.
Personally, I don’t see this as a Sharepoint killer, not because it lacks features, but because the large enterprises that typically use Sharepoint are too security-conscious to trust their family jewels to someone outside the firewall. Where Google Sites fits nicely is for small organizations, ad-hoc teams, communities and other groups without either the resources nor the need for an internally hosted solution.
I’m doing some testing with my crew at BigBlueBall and some of the projects we’re working on, and it looks promising. Google Sites is similar to a wiki in that anyone with permission can edit a page or create new pages, and the revision history is saved for reference. Where it’s different is that it uses a much friendlier design environment rather than wiki-tags. It’s not quite WYSIWYG, but it’s fairly easy to grasp for anyone who knows their way around the web.