San Francisco — Microsoft earns its bread-and-butter via its two major software products that generate the vast majority of the company’s revenue. But, in a precisely planned move to uproot its dominion, arch rival Google has steadily been pushing Google Apps, its own online productivity suite, a direct alternatives to Microsoft’s Excel, PowerPoint and Word as well as software for collaboration and video conferencing to battle Microsoft Office a long time ago.
Though Google Apps may not be as powerful or as fully featured as Microsoft’s, it has had success in tempting some enterprise customers away from Office to its Web-based productivity applications, as they exist in the cloud, removing any need for a piece of software to be installed anywhere on the employee’s machine.
As a matter of fact, in the ongoing battle, Google is now saying that in 2013 it plans to attract 90% of Microsoft’s users with its productivity suite targeting those users, who just use the basic features of the Office. Google Apps suite comprises of applications for document writing, integration, text and video communication, which support cloud based operations.
According to notable Google VP and head of the Google Enterprise unit Amit Singh mentioned, “Our aim is to get to the 90 percent of users who do not need to have the most advanced features of Office.” Google wants to win all the customers who only use basic functionality of Microsoft Office. Google has been working to improve its Enterprise offerings.
However, Google Apps suite has secured huge success in recent times and the reason for the string of accomplishments of the productivity suite is that Google charges an easy to afford and easy to understand to rate for these Apps: $50 per person since the inception of the service despite adding new features while Microsoft has increased the cost with the release of fresher variants.
On the other hand, Microsoft too has also been improving their products, but they have also been increasing the price. According to the Times, it will cost $400 to install Microsoft’s business software on a single computer in the coming year, and while many companies will negotiate a volume deal for a better price, Google’s cheaper and simpler rates are already sending viable signals for businesses to switch.
“We have been at the $50 price point for apps for some time, while increasing the depth and breadth of our solution,” explained Singh.
“On the other hand, the way they are incenting their customers to move is by charging them more. That is their strategy, and they are entitled to do what they want.”
Apart from the crafty pricing, some other string of wins for the search engine giant includes Swiss drug maker, Hoffmann-La Roche, where over 80,000 employees use the package, and at the Interior Department, where 90,000 use it. Google also announced some retail clients of the suite, which include Dillards, Kohl’s, Office Depot and Costco.
Nevertheless, these are the numbers which are giving Google executives cause to celebrate and could send Microsoft executives scrambling to reconsider some of their strategies. Google, it seems, is gaining some significant ground.
“People are seeing others switch. We are adding features. We are building confidence,” explained Singh in an interview with All Things D. “The more our customers get out there, the better people feel about it. People do not listen to us. They listen to our customers.”
Needless to say that when Google Apps originally launched they were free to use in an attempt to woo enterprise customers to give the Google offerings and try. Google has recently started charging users to access these apps. Singh says that while Google knows there are gaps between its features and features that Microsoft offers, it is continually adding features and improvements to its service in an attempt to win the 90% of Office users.