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Google Apps Challenges Microsoft Office

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For many years, Microsoft Office enjoyed a near-monopoly in the office productivity software space, but recently Google Apps has been coming on as a strong competitor. Recently, Google’s cloud-based product has scored some major wins among enterprise customers.

Quentin Hardy with The New York Times reported, “It has taken years, but Google seems to be cutting into Microsoft’s stronghold — businesses. Google’s software for businesses, Google Apps, consists of applications for document writing, collaboration, and text and video communications — all cloud-based, so that none of the software is on an office worker’s computer. Google has been promoting the idea for more than six years, and it seemed that it was going to appeal mostly to small businesses and tech start-ups. But the notion is catching on with larger enterprises. In the last year Google has scored an impressive string of wins, including at the Swiss drug maker Hoffmann-La Roche, where over 80,000 employees use the package, and at the Interior Department, where 90,000 use it.”

Google VP Amit Singh told All Things D, “Our goal is to get to the 90 percent of users who don’t need to have the most advanced features of Office…. We know the gaps between our features and theirs. We’re improving them week by week. We’re going to get to the 90 percent. If you need the last 10 percent, you’ll want to use the desktop.”

Mashable’s Pete Pachal observed, “The big factor at play is price. Google charges just $50 a year for each person using Google Apps (disclosure: Mashable uses it) whereas Microsoft’s alternative, Office 365, starts at $72. That number tends to be higher in many use cases, however, particularly if you want local apps that aren’t strictly tied to the cloud. For a business to ‘subscribe’ to Word, Excel, PowerPoint et al., it costs $150 a year for each employee.”

ValueWalk’s Vikas Shukla noted, “A report by General Services Administration said that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) competed for 42 federal contracts in 2012. In which, Microsoft won only 10 deals and Google grabbed 23, the remaining deals went to Zimbra.”

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