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Google Challenging Microsoft For Business Software 235

SternisheFan tips a report at the NY Times about the progress Google is making in its quest to unseat Microsoft's position atop the business software industry. From the article: It has taken years, but Google seems to be cutting into Microsoft's stronghold — businesses. ... 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. One big reason is price. Google charges $50 a year for each person using its product, a price that has not changed since it made its commercial debut, even though Google has added features. In 2012, for example, Google added the ability to work on a computer not connected to the Internet, as well as security and data management that comply with more stringent European standards. That made it much easier to sell the product to multinationals and companies in Europe. ... Microsoft says it does not yet see a threat. Google 'has not yet shown they are truly serious,' said Julia White, a general manager in Microsoft’s business division. 'From the outside, they are an advertising company.'"
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Google Challenging Microsoft For Business Software

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @07:19AM (#42393473)

    From Language: Microsoft Business Division Marketspeak

    "Google has not yet shown they are truly serious. From the outside, they are an advertising company."

    To Language: Reality

    "We have shit in our pants about this and aren't able to figure out how to avoid destruction, so we'll try to dismiss the threat. We always say the same about real threats. And worst, our bad dreams always turn up true (see previous dismissals about Linux, Apple, Facebook and Google before)"

  • by Deviate_X ( 578495 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @08:20AM (#42393687)

    Microsoft says it does not yet see a threat.

    Isn't this what happened to Microsoft in the mobile/phone/tablet space? Now they are playing catch-up to both Google and Apple. Complacency is a dangerous copilot.

    Google are a huge threat! Oglviy migrated all its users to "GMail", the employees really hate it vs proper exchange, outlook, office stack. But when a few massive companies like Oglviy migrate Google will improve to the point where they become more solid contenders.

  • Actually ironically Google is simply doing what MSFT did in the past, which was taking a market from morons. How did MS Office become dominant? Because Wordperfect was run by morons who thought that even though Windows was the dominant platform they could just sit on ass and repackage their DOS version and made a buggy POS that bombed. Same thing happened with IE and Netscape, Netscape put out the disaster that was NS 4 and gave MSFT a market by default, same again with Windows VS BeOS, which chose first a lame AT&T CPU that bombed, then the Motorola chip that was already fading before finally getting the sense too late to make an X86 version.

    Now MSFT is being run by an absolute moron named Steve "What is Apple doing?" Ballmer who is about to make a move that will make the Osbourne effect or HP buying Palm look like minor boo boos. For those that don't know what I'm talking about look up "Windows Blue" where Ballmer laid out his "game plan" for MSFT past Win 8. in it he says Windows will get YEARLY releases (just like Apple) Microsoft will take over the production of hardware (just like Apple) stop selling to the low end (see a pattern here?) and tie every single thing to an appstore (Can Apple sue for plagiarism?) while making their own phones (ditto) laptops (uh huh) and desktops (Ray Charles could see through this plan) at high markups like they are doing with the surface, which they had to slash orders for in half because nobody is gonna pay $800 for a Windows device that won't run Windows programs.

    So if the board doesn't stop smoking weed and wake the fuck up but quick I predict in 5 years we are gonna see the low end and a HELL of a lot of the businesses move to Google, after all Android has tons of apps and Google has already said they are gonna combine ChromeOS and Android so it really wouldn't be hard for Google to simply bake in something like Crossover to support some legacy Windows programs, Apple will keep the high end, although frankly i think their stock is gonna take a serious tumble when everyone sees that Cook can't pull new markets out of his ass like Jobs did, and MSFT will be relegated to legacy installs and a bunch of MSFT stores that will look like ghost towns.

    In the end it won't be because Google made this truly amazing thing, although I give them credit in that they are putting in the work, nope its because Steve Ballmer drank too much eggnog and got it in his head you can take a Pinto, slap a coat of paint on it along with a $100,000 price tag, and it will magically compete with a Porsche. MSFT is a Walmart brand but because Ballmer cares more about what Wall Street thinks than in making good products he is just gonna copy every damned thing Apple is doing and think that people will buy windows...why? Because they like the WinFlag? He butchered the UI, his appstore is a joke, and just ask Intel about how well those crazy high Ultrabooks sold, they got warehouses full of the things.

    At the end of the day Windows 8 just doesn't work, the new office will probably end up all metro and ribbon and it won't work, so frankly all Google has to do is make something that works and that lets you do things easily and they can take the Walmart shoppers and the small businesses simply by virtue of MSFT thinking they can take Apple's customers, how retarded. want a perfect example of Ballmer thinking? He said when he canceled Windows Home Server "Oh we have all those features in windows SBS now so we aren't leaving the market as people will just switch to SBS". Hmmm...Windows Home Server..$40, Windows SBS? $400!!! But that is Ballmer in a nutshell, he thinks he can take a brand that has sold at Walmart prices for damned near 30 years and just jack the living fuck out of the price and people will go "Ohh Windows is a hip brand now so we'll pay!" yeah the reason that Google is gaining is because Ballmer and his marketing drones go over about as well as a shit brown Zune.

  • by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @08:38AM (#42393745)
    Hi, humble submitter here. Reading the linked article is almost always more informative than the /. 'blurb'. I saw this story and I thought readers here might not have known that Google has been gradually getting a 'piece of the action, undercuts MS's prices by more than half (per user), MS package doesn't include email (extra purchase) and other things that are in Google Apps. MS shuld be worried.

    Here's a quick paste from the article:

    Google Apps Challenging Microsoft in Business By QUENTIN HARDY Published: December 25, 2012 Facebook Twitter Google+ Save E-mail Share Print Reprints SAN FRANCISCO — It has taken years, but Google seems to be cutting into Microsoft’s stronghold — businesses.

    Virginie Drujon-Kippelen for The New York Times

    Jim Nielsen, center, of Shaw Industries calculated that using Google instead of similar Microsoft products would cost, over seven years, about one-thirteenth Microsoft’s price.

    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.

    One big reason is price. Google charges $50 a year for each person using its product, a price that has not changed since it made its commercial debut, even though Google has added features. In 2012, for example, Google added the ability to work on a computer not connected to the Internet, as well as security and data management that comply with more stringent European standards. That made it much easier to sell the product to multinationals and companies in Europe.

    Many companies that sell software over the cloud add features without raising prices, but also break from traditional industry practice by rarely offering discounts from the list price.

    Microsoft’s Office suite of software, which does not include e-mail, is installed on a desktop PC or laptop. In 2013, the list price for businesses will be $400 per computer, but many companies pay half that after negotiating a volume deal.

    At the same time, Microsoft has built its business on raising prices for extra features and services. The 2013 version of Office, for example, costs up to $50 more than its predecessor.

    “Google is getting traction” on Microsoft, said Melissa Webster, an analyst with IDC. “Its ‘good enough’ product has become pretty good. It looks like 2013 is going to be the year for content and collaboration in the cloud.”

  • BeOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @08:42AM (#42393759)

    Which AT&T CPU was BeOS originally on? And when the BeBox was made, the PREP boxes from Motorola were already making their rounds - the PPC was nowhere near fading. Be's mistake was in jettisoning the BeBox before Motorola, Power Computing and Umax endorsed BeOS. When Apple pulled the plug on the clone business, Be could have offered them the choice of making BeOS the default OS for their PREP boxes - in that case, Power Computing would have survived, and PPC, despite this setback and despite OS/2-PPC coming unhinged, would have had a better chance at being successful.

    x86 was never a good platform for Be - anybody who had an x86 ran Windows on it, or at a distant second, Linux or OS/2. There was hardly room for a third, fourth or fifth OS. Putting BeOS on one of the alternatives, like PPC was a good move, as was coming out w/ a whole new computer such as the BeBox. Just that as a new OS, there was little native software for that platform (would have been the case on either PPC or x86) and the BeBox itself was more of a home/hobbyist computer, much like the Amigas or Ataris. Had Be kept that platform going and released essential software for it, from money managers, games, office suites, et al, instead of abandoning it just b'cos it could be adapted by clone makers, they may well have been more successful.

  • Why is this news? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by romit_icarus ( 613431 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @08:54AM (#42393833) Journal
    There is absolutely nothing in the NYTimes story that points to any new development that justifies the headline. Google Apps has been chipping away at the incumbent MS Office for a few years now and, at best, could be building momentum. Like many "stories" released during the Christmas season, this most likely was one of those weak story ideas that had once been shelved and has come to the rescue of some lurking journalist.
  • Re:Awful Summary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @08:56AM (#42393841)

    It's not even accurate. I work for Roche in the UK, and currently, we use MS Office. There are apparently plans to transition us to Google Apps sometime in 2013, but that's as close as it gets. I believe that this is the case for other countries, and the global organisation too. (Incidentally, this transition was pushed by the Roche - Genentech merger: Genentech uses Google Apps, and to align the two organisations, one had to move. Google won... although Genentech colleagues lament the loss of Outlook to this day.)

    In addition, while I can see that Gmail / Calendar and maybe document editing will be fine, I'd expect that a good swathe of the company will still need MS Excel - lots of us regularly use functionality that the Google spreadsheet doesn't possess.

  • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @10:01AM (#42394145)
    Actually only seldom have 100% backwards compatible applications or OSes succeeded. UNIX was not the same as Multics. MS-DOS was not the same as CP/M. Microsoft Word was not the same as Wordperfect and Excel was not the same as Lotus. You will probably notice some patterns here. The new entrant was cheaper or the incumbent did not bother switching platforms as the market shifted. ChromeOS has failed so far but Android has not. Microsoft managed to alienate their OEMs with Surface enough that Chromebooks are actually starting to be pushed to the end client in a way I personally never believed would happen. So who knows.
  • by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <slashdot&davidgerard,co,uk> on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @10:21AM (#42394275) Homepage

    The other thing about Google Apps is that it's designed for Chrome and if it works on anything else that's nice but they don't care and it's Not Supported. (You can also use Chromium.)

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @10:31AM (#42394325) Homepage

    has sold at Walmart prices for damned near 30 years

    IBM compatibles did not sell at Walmart prices for damned near 30 years. Commodore, Synclair, Atari owned that market slice during the 80s and the early 90s. Apple was lower end than Microsoft. Microsoft was positioned nicely in the middle range with the "junky" systems beneath them and the "too expensive" systems: DEC, SGI, Sun, IBM RISC/6000 ... above them.

    The Walmart pricing is a product of the 2000s where corporations stopped upgrading rapidly and thus applications had to support older machines, and discount machines offered the capabilities of older machines. That's a nasty cycle that Microsoft partially created by allowing for a pause with Windows XP. They realize their mistake and they are fixing it.

    And yeah, the bottom 1/3rd of the Windows market, which shouldn't have been part of the midrange in the first place might go for something cheaper.

  • by Lussarn ( 105276 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @11:24AM (#42394687)

    But still, there is a reason pretty much everybody I know use some kind of web based email, gmail probably being the most used. I don't think it's because they hate it. While I don't know how many uses Google docs, you have to be some kind of hardcore office nerd to really need something else.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @02:01PM (#42396265)

    Hardly. I'm no MS fanboy, but Google's apps are a joke for businesses. The word processor and spreadsheet apps are not anywhere close to being something people want to use. My wife and I use it for sharing some spreadsheets and notes, its kind of like a tablet. Yea, its cool and all, but if you want to get real work done, its not what you use.

    More important, Google is removing features to top it off, and adding things that no one cares about. For example, killing proper active sync ... I'd give you an example of a feature they've added but I don't care about them so I can't even be bothered to remember.

    Dismissals of Apple we bad. Dismissals of Linux were reasonably accurate in the desktop space, though it does have a good run in the dirt cheap servers market until you factor in the number of companies held hostage by some douche admin. Facebook is a passing fad and its clear to any intelligent business on the planet. Thats not to say that those businesses aren't going to profit from that fad as it goes screaming by. Outside of search, Google isn't really owning anything. Android is a race to the bottom. Yes, they have a flagship device or 3 that almost doesn't suck, but its popularity isn't with decent devices, its with free phones that might as well be running some properitary OS as they are so weak and feable you really don't get any of the advantages Android brings to the table.

    Google may one day beat out Windows and Office, but it won't be with anything they currently have offered. I have a couple friends who are employed by Google and thus are Google fanboys, they rant on about how awesome it is and how you don't need offline apps or Microsoft/Apple and then every time we go somewhere we end up in a situation where they can't do something I can. My wife likes her Nexus 7, but she'd rather have an iPad mini. Yes this is anecdotal, but its pretty common outside the fanboy arena.

    Microsoft may be throwing some spin on it, but they are hardly going to disappear anytime soon due to Google's current offerings anymore than Apple's current offerings are going to put them out of business. Facebook is still irrelevant.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly