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Cloud Based Office Systems - Google vs Microsoft (Gartner Conference)

Tom Austin - Gartner

Who's winning? Who's losing?
How is the market evolving?
How is Google upsetting MS cloud-office ambitions?
Leading indicators that you should consider

Gartner admits they underestimated Google over the years
Google gaining market share - huge market gains over the last five years

Cloud Office Systems defined as all-encompassing including personal productivity, communication, collab, social, coordination and other 'still emerging' capabilities
- bare minimum "office" is email and text processor
- enterprise of 50+ people
- excluding China and India market

630 million total users of "office" solutions
only 50 million users of the 630 are "cloud"

Early adopters of cloud office solutions
- higher ed
- manufacturing
- retail
- hospitality
- financial (no longer true!)
- healthcare
- defense
- intelligence

Microsoft fuels itself through Office revenues
Google Apps is 1.4% of revenue (Gartner estimate) - negligible

Microsoft's strengths
1) Dominates on-prem with 80-96% user share
2) deep integration into the business
3) enterprise credibility
4) "Cloud on your terms"

Google's weaknesses
1) 2007 - product was beta
2) current business is a rounding error
3) Google thinks it knows better than to cater to enterprise IT like Microsoft does
4) Does not match MS Office functionality
5) Google does not provide 3 year roadmaps

How is Google Upsetting Microsoft?
CIO Perspective - Which tech company over the next 10 years?
Apple - DOWN 20%
Google - UP 28%
Microsoft - DOWN 18%

Google's strengths
1) Cloud focused from the start - legacy free
2) common infra for everything
3) built for billions of users
4) intrinsically focused on teams
5) emerging ecosystem
6) iterate, test, iterate, test, etc

Microsoft weaknesses
1) MS Office is wed to MS Windows
2) Mobile is not Microsoft
3) Slow continuous evolution; unwilling to disrupt install base
4) Through 2018 Google will innovate more rapidly than Microsoft

Google is winning a significant share
- ANA, Roche

Microsoft is winning a significant share
- japan airlines, patagonia, jetblue

What Changed?
- Microsoft pricing practices leave room for Google eg - threatened with license audit
- MS calming marketing strategy may be inhibiting adoption
- Google Docs not seen as full replacement of MS Office
- Google exploiting resentment of MS pricing and business practices
- Google leveraging strong alignment with millennials

Two Evolving Competitors
1) MS - pressure on account managers to drive customers to MS Office 365
2) MS - cut prices for greater market success
3) Google - tech-driven industry change agent
4) Google - out-innovating MS but from a smaller technology base
5) Google - becoming more enterprise focused

MS Office 365
- best Windows platform strategy
- less disruptive to users and IT
- richer functionality in depth

Google Apps
- best heterogeneous platform strategy
- more innovative
- better cloud-based infra

Consider using both


  1. It is interesting that Higher Education is adopting Google. These workforce will force corporation to migrate to Google when they come to the workforce.

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