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Business Briefing

Google Aims to Snag 90% of Microsoft Office Users

Google Aims to Snag 90% of Microsoft Office Users
December 26, 2012 10:37AM

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"Google will still need to develop the software further, to the point that people actually believe they can do almost everything they need to with Google Apps vs. Office," said analyst Greg Sterling. "The functionally isn't quite there yet." Google Vice President Amit Singh said his company is targeting 90 percent of Microsoft Office users.

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The war among Google and Amazon and Apple and Microsoft -- and others -- heated up in 2012. But in a recent interview, Google Vice President Amit Singh, head of the tech giant's Enterprise unit, suggested the fight between his company and Microsoft is about to get even hotter.

The interview in The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD blog started off with talk about how Google has been making inroads into the enterprise with products like Google Drive and its cloud computing platform, as well as Google Apps, Google's suite of Web-based productivity applications.

Singh was asked pointed questions about the competitive landscape, what Google has that Microsoft doesn't, and how Google Apps and Microsoft Office are co-existing. The answers to those questions are stirring plenty of debate in the tech world.

90 Percent Grab

"In the last year, if you look at the depth of where we've gone with Docs, both in the core features and in the desktop fidelity, we've made tremendous progress. Our goal is to get to the 90 percent of users who don't need to have the most advanced features of Office," Singh said.

"Sheets does tables graphing, etc., out of the box. In Q3, if you import from Excel into Sheets, you won't be able to tell the difference in Sheets. 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. The next thing is the import from PowerPoint to Slides. That's where [the recent acquisition of] QuickOffice is going to help us a lot."

Untangling the Comments

Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, said Singh's comments are likely based on internal Google analysis, and shows the company believes its Apps and cloud products have a large, addressable market in the enterprise. However, he said, 90 percent may be an exaggeration.

"Google will still need to develop the software further, to the point that people actually believe they can do almost everything they need to with Google Apps vs. Office. The functionally isn't quite there yet," Sterling said. "In addition, Office still has a much stronger brand among users. Accordingly, Google will need to develop and market the Apps -- or whatever -- product brand to the point that buyers have more confidence in it."

Still, Sterling told us, with the proliferation of mobile devices, Microsoft's overall position has been steadily weakening. He noted that Google Apps also carries a price advantage, which is a big driver of adoption.

"Google doesn't have to rely on enterprise software sales as Microsoft does. In a way it's like found money for Google. Google can continue to use pricing as a way to lure more enterprise customers," Sterling said. "As the software continues to improve its should see increasing numbers of defections from Office."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Enigmatic:

Posted: 2012-12-26 @ 8:06pm PT
@Verity... "users" perhaps, but not "developers", and a large number of companies need to intregrate their proudctivity with their business' unique features.

For instance, the majority of companies need to implement CRM solutions, version control, "gruop" document workflows. These things either don't exist or are not possible to create with Google Apps.

And that is just the beginning:

- Core data integration to standard letter templates
- Programmatical Reading/Parsing of documents to extract information
- Cheap Programmatical generation of documents (without needing to pay extra for Adobe Professional or nfop , etc)
- Customizable form data
- Customized Import/Export functionality for spreadsheets
- Core system data retrieval for spreadsheet inter-operability
- Reverse engineering or "One touch Code" generation for object models and code models

The list goes on and on.

Verity:

Posted: 2012-12-26 @ 4:58pm PT
Google Apps productivity suite is way better value that Microsoft's Office and Sharepoint too, plus there are great tools like Syncdocs to help you migrate even die-hard MS Office users

Enigmatic:

Posted: 2012-12-26 @ 4:38pm PT
Google... you just DONT get it.

Do you honestly think the main point of enterprise using MS Office is the features that are offered to the front end "processor"?

If thats the case then you have sadly missed the boat.

The main reason for use of MS Office is in its flexibility to DEVELOPERS, and our ability to integrate code right into the application itself via a multitude of platforms from Visual Studio directly, or even the older style Projects for Office.

Its the fact that its the same object model for Word as it is for Excel, Powerpoint, Access AND Visio, as well as being able to leverage every single part of that interface for our own needs.

In 15 years of developing software I have come across more integration with office projects than I would have expected, and in all cases there wasn't an alternative because no other package offered this kind of functionality.

Now with SkyDrive and Windows 8 cloud, the fact that can automatically maintain, manage and develop across my Windows Phone, Surface Tablet or Desktop seemlessly, I think you seriously overestimate exactly how close you are...

I cannot even use Google Drive on my phone right now. Way to go Google!



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