Thursday, February 22, 2007

Google goes after Microsoft with software suite -

"Google (GOOG) is getting serious about taking on Microsoft (MSFT).

Today, it introduces Google Apps Premium Edition, a software suite for companies that provides e-mail, instant messaging, calendar, word processing and spreadsheets. The cost is $50 per worker per year vs. about $500-$600 for Microsoft Office."

I got mine while it was free (YAY!) and convinced two other companies to give it a try. While I was already satisfied with what I'm getting from Linux, Firefox and Open Office, this is icing on the cake as far as not having to keep frequently used docs on every machine, backed-up etc.

Yes, Microsoft will have to match this in some way, possibly a more Office-like implementation at a similar starting price. Next step for Google though might be to offer this whole service in a pizza box with backup to their servers built-in.

The next question is whether Microsoft will open up their competing product to non-Windows systems. Will they claim their developers are too shabby to be able to figure this out? The alternative is almost as embarrassing.

Also *here*:

Ms. Wettemann noted that a business may spend about $80,000 on a systems administrator to manage e-mail and desktop office software. For the same amount of money, Google Apps allows a business to support 1,600 users, she noted. Simply in terms of staffing, “this may be a better proposition even if Microsoft were free,” Ms. Wettemann said.

and *here*

And large customers would, in effect, turn over management of their applications to Google, which would host them on its own global network of servers. This model of software as a service, rather than a product, was pioneered by and has gained momentum over the past three years. Through so-called "service-level agreements," Google would guarantee customers that their business software applications would be up and running around the clock.

Links courtesy of Slashdot, and various others...

Like *here*

One company that decided to make the shift is Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, a Chicago-area franchise that employees 450 sales agents and support staff. The agency has been using Gmail for nearly a year in place of an outsourced e-mail service that performed so poorly that it had to be replaced, said Camden Daily, the group's technology director.

The agency had already worked with Google on the Google Earth and Maps projects, so it used its Google contacts to join the Gmail beta program. "We went ahead and switched, and basically everybody loved the interface ever since," he said.

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