Microsoft is a dominant player in the enterprise productivity applications space and there is no doubt that Google docs will not be a major challenger to it for a while. But even a small market share taken away from Microsoft could be a start.
Dennis Howlett from ZDNet presents some compelling reasons why Google Apps may not be the major competitor that it is touted to be. A summary of the points he raised:
- Email is just one business communication tool and there is more innovation taking place outside the MS/Google world.
- Google has to make a major shift towards addressing concerns of businesses which is not an ad-driven business and needs definite roadmaps for the products.
- Google has a lot of convincing to do on the privacy space.
The privacy and control of data seems to be a major factor keeping Google out of the enterprise. From that perspective, the speculation by Garett Rogers on a Google Apps appliance seems to make the Google offering more business-friendly. It would be a device similar to the Google Search Appliance giving more control to organizations over their data.
Perhaps it is to counter such a move from Google that Microsoft is working on a home version of its office productivity suite. Code-named ‘Albany’, the product received attention when it was sent to Microsoft beta testers.
“’Albany’ targets home PC users, and includes Microsoft software and services that meet the most common needs of PC consumers, plus new features that create an easy, clean experience. Because ‘Albany’ is designed for consumers, not enterprise customers, we recommend that you install the Beta on a home PC, though this would not be a requirement.”
It does seem that Google has caused Microsoft to make some perspective shifts in the office tools space.