SharePoint: Microsoft’s ‘Secret Weapon Against Google Apps?’

SharePoint: Microsoft’s ‘Secret Weapon Against Google Apps?’

Microsoft and Google are revving up their battle for the budgets of Chief Information Officers, with new versions of Microsoft Office and SharePoint coming in June.

One analyst, Rob Helm of Directions on Microsoft, describes SharePoint 2010, which can be hosted either inside or outside a company’s walls so employees can collaborate on documents with whatever level of privacy they choose, as Microsoft’s “secret weapon against Google Apps” — Google’s hosted Office suite.

Microsoft has also been testing a free, ad-supported version of SharePoint — similar to what Google offers with its basic version of Google Apps — with Windows Live SkyDrive, which is Microsoft’s online storage service, Helm said.

“Microsoft is really already executing against Google,” he said. “It just has to get to market what it said it has planned.”

Still, offering Web-based software does put Microsoft in a bind. Helm said the company has been careful to limit the capabilities of SharePoint and the Web-based Microsoft Office applications that work with it so that the combination is not a replacement for the full-blown version of Microsoft Office — Microsoft’s biggest business. Bloomberg estimated recently that Microsoft Office brought in $19 billion a year, about a third of Microsoft’s sales.

Judging from its recent behavior, Google will be a tough competitor to Microsoft. Lately, the company has been revving up Google Apps, which it licenses to businesses in a premium version for $50 per user per year.

New features revealed this month include a Web clipboard that lets users cut and paste content between documents, spreadsheets and presentations without reformatting; new buttons that make it clearer when content has been saved so that changes aren’t lost; and enhancements to Google’s scripting language, Google Apps Script, that let users automatically feed data from Google Apps into their Web sites. For example, users can automatically populate sites with data from their Google calendars or contact lists.

Google also announced a new customer – Lincoln Property Company, a property management firm with 3,500 employees that upgraded to Google Apps from Novell Groupwise at an estimated savings of $200,000 per year. In addition, Google said in a blog post this month, every employee at Lincoln Property would now be able to have their own e-mail, instant messaging and calendars — not just the 950 people who work in the office at desks. The lower cost of using Google Apps compared to Microsoft software is an advantage for Google, according to one integrator, Ed Laczynski of LTech, who sells and installs Google Apps for businesses. He estimates that businesses can use Google for 1/6 to 1/8 of what it would cost them to use Microsoft.

Google Apps doesn’t have as many features as Microsoft, but it doesn’t have to support as much legacy software or be retrofitted to work over the Web either, since it was designed to be collaborative and Web-based from the beginning.

“Microsoft makes great products, but they’re not in a position to be the provider of this kind of software for the worker of the future,” Laczynski says. “College students use Google, and they’re not going to want to use Microsoft when they get into the workforce.”

Still, he adds, “I want to see the competition (between Microsoft and Google) — it’s good for business.”

Share the Post:
Heading photo, Metadata.

What is Metadata?

What is metadata? Well, It’s an odd concept to wrap your head around. Metadata is essentially the secondary layer of data that tracks details about the “regular” data. The regular

XDR solutions

The Benefits of Using XDR Solutions

Cybercriminals constantly adapt their strategies, developing newer, more powerful, and intelligent ways to attack your network. Since security professionals must innovate as well, more conventional endpoint detection solutions have evolved

AI is revolutionizing fraud detection

How AI is Revolutionizing Fraud Detection

Artificial intelligence – commonly known as AI – means a form of technology with multiple uses. As a result, it has become extremely valuable to a number of businesses across

AI innovation

Companies Leading AI Innovation in 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been transforming industries and revolutionizing business operations. AI’s potential to enhance efficiency and productivity has become crucial to many businesses. As we move into 2023, several

data fivetran pricing

Fivetran Pricing Explained

One of the biggest trends of the 21st century is the massive surge in analytics. Analytics is the process of utilizing data to drive future decision-making. With so much of

kubernetes logging

Kubernetes Logging: What You Need to Know

Kubernetes from Google is one of the most popular open-source and free container management solutions made to make managing and deploying applications easier. It has a solid architecture that makes