Microsoft vs. Google Office Showdown?
- By Carolyn April
Microsoft-vs.-Google enthusiasts, take heart: It's looking like 2007 will see
the two foes up the stakes in their search battle by squaring off over the desktop.
As you all well know, Microsoft is shopping Office 2007 and a host of new and
upgraded collaboration products. Not to be outdone, search giant Google is amassing
technologies and revving services to mount its own potentially formidable entrance
into the marketplace. Microsoft's clearly got the installed-base edge and entrenched
market lead. But Google's got buzz and thus far has outpaced Microsoft Live
initiatives in the rapidly growing model for software as a service.
With Google's Gmail having gained notable adoption as an e-mail service, the
company is now pushing office apps such as word processing, spreadsheets, document
management, and sharing and collaboration. Google's Docs & Spreadsheets,
sporting technology from the acquisition of Web 2.0 startup Writely last year,
enables users to collaborate around shared documents, view and edit online in
real time with others. And the service wisely provides the capability to import
traditional document types from Excel or OpenOffice and other sources into the
mix -- thus tying the online world to the legacy desktop apps found in most
Meantime, Google has in beta trial its Google Apps for Your Domain service
that competes squarely against Microsoft's Office Live service. Google Apps
for Your Domain, like Office Live, is a set of services that gets small business
users up and running with a domain name and Web site for their company, corporate
e-mail addresses, calendaring, online storage and other tools needed to establish
a business presence on the Web. In beta since August, the service has already
signed up "tens of thousands" of domains, according to Google executives
who spoke with Redmond magazine last week.
To see more of my Google interview with Jonathan Rochelle, product manager
of Docs & Spreadsheets, and Rajen Sheth, product manager of Google Apps
for Your Domain, please pick up the February issue of Redmond Magazine, or read
the story online near the end of this month. In the meantime, I'd like to hear
what you think about Microsoft vs. Google on the desktop: Who's got game? Let
me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On another note: I'm looking to hear from those of you who have tried to figure
out or dabbled in Microsoft's nascent -- some might say weak -- attempts to
stake some ground in the open source world. The company has CodePlex, its community
development project Web site, and has released certain pieces of code as open
source so that it's ISV partners and IT professionals can modify away to their
hearts' content. But is this simply lip service, or is Microsoft genuinely in
What do you think of Microsoft's open source strategy, such as it is? Write
to me at email@example.com.
Carolyn's Mailbag: To CRM or Not?
I asked readers if they're considering using any version of Microsoft CRM. Here's
We are, for a small-business environment, sort of. As an IT consultant,
but also partial retail business owner, we've been looking at MS POS (snicker)
and how it relates in the back end, to CRM, if at all. After all, it's all
under the "dynamics" banner, is it not?
It's one area where it seems like pulling teeth to get more info out
of MS on the topic. Have you guys ever thought about doing an in-depth review
of the different platforms, limitations, best-fit models, etc.? Sort of help
out the marketing department? I'd personally love to get more info on the
whole range for small to medium business CRM and POS stuff. The MS tools can
do a lot, and I'd love to be an expert. Thoughts? And then the obvious: How
do you use Dynamics/CRM/POS to drive a live sales Web site?
Carolyn April is the executive editor of features for Redmond magazine.