“Hello, I’m a Google…and I’m a Microsoft’”

by ron on August 3, 2009

First it was Apple going up against Microsoft for the battle of the operating system, with their excellent Mac ads.

Now Google is after the Microsoft Office and collaboration market.

Google have launched the “Going Google” campaign. They’re placing billboards in New York, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco that encourage IT managers to switch from Microsoft products to Google Apps.

The billboards will just show a brief text message, one per day for 30 days. Very zen of them, which is in line with their platform/services.

Further videos of Google’s services can be found on the GoogleApps YouTube channel.

Microsoft aren’t going to take this lying down though. Google’s move into the MS Office market has prompted Microsoft to launch Office 2010, which will also have a web hosted version of the main Office apps (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote). I doubt this is something they would ever have considered had they not received pressure from Google.

Here’s the video showing Office 2010 web applications:

The MS Office 2010 web apps look very good to me, and seems more functional than Google Docs. It will also be interesting having access to OneNote online. All of the MS web apps will be available for free.

There are definitely some collaboration features of Google Docs which are excellent though. One example is the use of forms inside a Google Docs spreadsheet:

I’m sure Microsoft would have been very reluctant to make their Office software available for free on the web, but this way they can try to keep hold of their existing MS Office customers and be able tap in to search engine advertising revenue.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that MS Office 2010 web apps will be a great tool for consumers. I find Google Docs quite limiting. Either way, I’m happy that there’s finally some real competition in this market, since competition always drives innovation.

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