02.25.08

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Sidal Highlight: Another Reason Why Microsoft Fears Google (and Web Standards/ODF)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, OpenDocument, Standard at 12:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Additional key link for understanding the argument over formats

In some recent communications (unfortunately not available for public viewing) it was qucikly realised that several people do not truly understand the poker game (and poker face) involving Google and Microsoft in office suites and enterprise search.

Microsoft keeps quiet about it because it’s still in the “ignore phase” (as in “ignore, laugh, then fight”), hoping not to draw people’s attention to Google Apps, which for most people can render Microsoft Office obsolete. It was already argued some time ago that 80% of all Office users only make use of 20% of the program’s available features. There is no scientific method for measuring this, but it makes a figure of speech at the very least. This was even mentioned a couple of days ago:

But critics say that Office has become so bloated over the years that 80 percent of customers use only 20 percent of its features.

Google stays humble and quiet, but it’s gaining new customers, some of whom base their (desktop) environment on GNU/Linux. Appended in the second part of this post are several examples from the past year.

“The Burton Group’s role as anti-Google Apps proxy was first spotted back in August.”Cowardly enough, Microsoft is attacking Google from proxies (this includes legal assaults, e.g. [1, 2]). The Burton Group’s role as anti-Google Apps proxy was first spotted back in August. Then, the press covered what it called anti-Google Apps propaganda (early observations and links here).

Quite a few businesses appear to be using Microsoft Office and Google Apps in tandem, but this might just be a transitory phase. About half a year ago, when a Microsoft executive (or manager) was questioned about the online version of Microsoft Office, his answer was telling. It was a disappointment. Many stories in the press and even analysis in Microsoft Watch concurred. Both adoption levels and technical deficiencies were to blame.

The Reality of Google Apps

Consider the following set of articles an evidence of success which does not receive sufficient press coverage.

Can Google and Linux Topple Microsoft?

The story had a certain flair. In early March, the chief information officer of the Federal Aviation Administration, David Bowen, was reportedly considering forsaking Microsoft Windows and Office in favor of the Linux operating system and the Web-based Google Apps Premium office suite.

FAA May Ditch Microsoft’s Windows Vista And Office For Google And Linux Combo

Bowen said he’s in talks with the aviation safety agency’s main hardware supplier, Dell Computer, to determine if it could deliver Linux-based computers capable of accessing Google Apps through a non-Microsoft browser once the FAA’s XP-based computers pass their shelf life.

Three Minutes With Google’s Apps Manager

This move, which puts it in direct competition with software heavyweights like Microsoft, builds on Google’s first steps as an enterprise vendor years ago when it launched its first enterprise search product.

Google manager: Google Apps replaced Microsoft Office at 100,000 businesses

Google’s newly released online productivity suite Google Apps has already replaced Microsoft Office at more than 100,000 small to medium enterprises and has been deployed at two of the largest companies in the world, according to the search leader’s enterprise product boss.

Apps vs. Office: Google Ups the Ante

So apparently do some 100,000 small businesses and organizations that use Google’s productivity and communications software. Even larger corporations, such as General Electric and Procter & Gamble , are becoming adherents.

Dumping Office for Google Apps

Google has a friend in Disney, and that could leave Microsoft screaming like a jilted lover.

Consider all of this in light of a new article:

Why Google Apps is a Serious Threat to Microsoft Office

[...]

The significant advantage is collaboration. Since I started working on a new project where we all agreed to use Google Docs from the start, I have hardly used MS Office at all – even on other projects.

In the future, this post will most likely be cited as a reminder of Google’s risk to Microsoft Office, which tends to be forgotten or overlooked. Other companies offer facilities that are similar to Google’s, but Google succeeds partly because of its known and respected brand.

Microsoft can try to use OOXML to break and further stifle interoperability with Google Apps, among other online office suites. Do bear this in mind.

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