Google turns up the heat on Office

by Mathew on September 10, 2007 · 1 comment

Not that long ago, Google CEO Eric Schmidt would routinely deny that the company had any intention of using its Gmail, Google Docs and other services to compete directly with Microsoft’s Office suite. “We’re just playing around with some Web stuff,” he seemed to be saying. “Nothing important to see over here.”

We all knew differently, of course, and now we have even further evidence that Google is intent on moving into the corporate space, with the news that it has signed a deal with CapGemini to push Google Docs and other apps at small and medium-sized businessses.

Until now, Microsoft has remained relatively mum about Google, but apparently this latest move was a little too much for the software behemoth to take. As ZDNet reports, the company issued a somewhat defensive-sounding statement about its Office software dominating the market, etc. etc. — and then followed up with some helpful questions for journalists to ask Google, such as:

1. Google touts having enterprise level customers but how many “USERS” of their applications truly exist within the enterprise?

and

2. Google has a history of releasing incomplete products, calling them beta software, and issuing updates on a “known only to Google” schedule – this flies in the face of what enterprises want and need in their technology partners.

Microsoft goes on to take thinly-veiled and not-so-thinly veiled shots at the fact that Google apps depend on Internet access, that they don’t let you create headers and footers, and other earth-shattering revelations (the company’s statement also flicks at the issue of corporate security, which others have mentioned as well).

Of course, the overwhelming impression created by the note is that Google is starting to get under the software titan’s skin. Larry and Sergey are probably chuckling to themselves even now.

  • http://rickmahn.com/ Rick Mahn

    Mathew,
    I agree that Google will continue to have some small but significant wins in the coming years. However, the enterprise will prove to be a tough nut to crack for them for all the reasons you site along with the aspect that they just don’t have a compelling strategy for the large corporation.

    As you may recall, Microsoft also had a difficult time getting into the enterprise space, and to this day is sometimes not taken as seriously as Bill ‘n Steve would like.

    Things are of course changing on all fronts, and as Google addresses their current shortcomings, the data ownership/security issues are defined, and the stigma of Internet-based applications dissapates, this will be a different ball game than we have today.

    Also, what about the ZoHo’s and ThinkFree’s in this space?

    Thanks,
    Rick

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