Software

Microsoft and Adobe are out to challenge Google in online productivity apps space

Recent announcements such as Microsoft embracing the software-as-a-service model with its Office Live Workspace and the entry of Adobe into the online apps field with its acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity, indicate a clear signal for Google that the battle for domination on "Webtops" is heating up.

Recent announcements such as Microsoft embracing the software-as-a-service model with its Office Live Workspace and the entry of Adobe into the online apps field with its acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity, indicate a clear signal for Google that the battle for domination on "Webtops" is heating up.

Microsoft's Office Live Workspace allows users to share and access their documents online. The article at PC World also discusses IBM's and Adobe's entry into the online productivity applications space.

Adobe acquired the online word processor Buzzword by purchasing its developer Virtual Ubiquity (BBC World). Microsoft is playing a balancing act in embracing the online applications trend by hinging its online productivity applications on desktop versions.

A quote from the article at NY Times:

Microsoft is making announcements today that it plans to offer a free service, called Office Live Workspace, that will allow people to store, access and share documents online. A user will be able store up to 1,000 documents on a workspace on the Web.

But a Word or Excel document in the online workspace can be edited only if the user has bought Microsoft’s Word or Excel software. “The ideal case is where a person has Office,” said Rajesh Jha, a vice president for Microsoft Office Live products.

Microsoft's lethargy in grabbing the online productivity apps space has allowed several new entrants to offer their solutions, including Google Apps, Zoho, and many more.

More severe competition in the online productivity apps space signals good news, since more competition means more compelling features. And coupled with this is the integration of the offline with the online, implying the development of technology that allows users to seamlessly sync offline documents with online content. Google Gears demonstrates a step in that direction.

Will Microsoft and the emerging contenders be able to really give Google a run for its apps?

3 comments
pr.arun
pr.arun

Will Microsoft and the emerging contenders be able to really give Google a run for their apps?

gain999
gain999

Actually, for most serious users, I think in the end Microsofts strategy will be enough to keep most people with them and buying Office, which is all they seem to care about. Its interesting that Adobe should try to enter this market...its not traditionally been a strength of theirs. Your original post seems to indicate that you think Google apps is dominant, but I question that assumption. Even gmail isnt that dominant in the email space and I would guess that only a small number of techies and innovators are the ones experimenting with their apps. I use gmail, but via Outlook...I would imagine a large % of users out there are like me. In the end most users are comfortable with desktop apps....now those desktop apps just need to learn smarter collaboration and that will be the winning strategy. Which is why I think Softie will win this one for now..

pr.arun
pr.arun

At the desktop front, microsoft has the edge with having to only include seamless online cap[abilities to make their products sync with the webware age. Microsoft has been at the receiving end when it comes to patching and covering up major security issues. Google on the other hand has never been so much under the security radar. And appealing to the enterprises is all about the security game as well. If Google can prove that their processes and applications are better equipped at ensuring security, Microsoft's real down fall begins.

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