In the tech world, there's about to be a nuclear war.
It began last year when search engine titan Google revealed plans to release a web office package, including e-mail, calendar, Doc and Spreadsheet applications. Columns and blogs exploded with accusations that Microsoft Office would soon be outdated and added to the endangered software list if it didn’t quickly check and raise Google.
An article on VisualHosting.com paints the battle scene.
Microsoft and Google are girding for battle for supremacy over the information technology sector, a duel watched closely by others in the sector. The spectacular rise of Google in the past few years has raised questions about whether the Internet search titan is on track to dethrone Microsoft and Bill Gates as the undisputed high-tech superpower.
Surprisingly, the software giant refrained from launching an all-out aggressive campaign and actually received criticism for lack-luster marketing efforts pushing its Windows Live software.
And why should have Microsoft wasted energy firing back at Google? After all, the announcement came about the same time as the unveiling of Windows Vista, a much anticipated (and long over due) operating system. Plus, past futile attempts to capture market share by programs like Lotus Symphony, WordPerfect and AppleWorks demonstrated Microsoft’s merciless clutch on the software industry.
Fortunately for Microsoft, Google Apps failed to make much of a dent in the industry or Gate’s wallet. Last year alone, with 95 percent of the market share, Office Suite sales generated $11.7 billion in revenue and $8.3 billion in profit according to an article published on InformationWeek.com
But now the scene has shifted. With Google’s recent release of Google Gears and partnership with CapGemini, Europe’s largest computer consultancy company, Microsoft must shield off attacks from a large portion of the web-application community while protecting key corporate relationships.
An article on InfoWorld.com best describes Google Gears initiative and pull.
The appeal of browser-based desktop apps is obvious: They're free or at least very cheap. You don't need to install them. And they lend themselves to real-time collaboration. The problem is even more obvious -- without an Internet connection you're dead. That's why, in June, Google came out with Gears, an open-source browser extension that enables developers to create an offline mode for Web applications.
Armed with Google Gears off-line capability, web-based application marketability is straightforward. It is file-sharing friendly, compatible with existing Office Suite applications and above all, cheap.
The real question is whether Google or another leading web-based application like Zoho Office can chip away at Microsoft’s enterprise network enough to establish a foothold.
So far, Google Apps customers already include high profile clients like GE, Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal according to vnunet.com.
And with additional help from CapGemini’s, Google may have what it takes to pry Microsoft's grip off the desktop software industry.