There is a war on and it’s clear who the two main players are at the moment. Microsoft is the incumbent and Google is the cheeky contender. I thought I’d add a little coverage to this as it’s quite interesting to watch.

Quick disclosure: I currently work promoting both of these products and these views are my own not my employers..

Microsoft BPOS goes down
According to Infoworld Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Suite) soon to become O365 went down on Tuesday 18th for anything between 6-9 hours depending on who you are.

This is not ideal since their launch of the beta for Office 365, a rebaked BPOS, has been going so well with 17,000 companies signed up. The industry at both the selling and buying end have been sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for this launch, which is if you believe the marketing going to change everything and it might for these reasons:

  • Companies will be able to easily deploy familiar tools
  • IT managers on the whole like Microsoft
  • This will probably open the door for other vendors such as Google

There is no doubt that the licensing model that is offered is revolutionary in Microsoft terms and will save alot of companies money and make their lives significantly less complicated.

Google drops in two key features
I quite like Google Apps, I use the web based mail client daily but until now haven’t been drawn into the docs side. The main reason is I mostly work with spreadsheets and they were missing the two key features needed:

  • Autofilter: So that you can select a subsection from all of your rows of data
  • PivotTables: To make sense of everything

Now they’re in I can’t see why I won’t use it beyond habit of using desktop based spreadsheet apps. From an overall strategic perspective these two releases show that Google really are aiming to create an Office suite replacement. I look forwards to more releases..

Conclusion so far
Both of these products are big contenders, the market at large feel that this is new stuff. In tech world we use them everyday but penetration into the SMB and Enterprise world is relatively slow vs consumer adoption of new tech like tablets. That said as everyone warms to the idea I expect there to be a cloud rush coming over the next 12-18 months..

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