It’s still too early to tell how much Google’s new Apps Premier Edition will threaten Microsoft’s Office empire. At least one respected analyst who knows Microsoft well is now calling Google’s $50 Web service suite, announced yesterday, “the perfect MS Office Killer.”
Mark Anderson points to the success of Salesforce.com in making the argument that Google’s applications could win over a number of corporate customers, even if they are initially reluctant to store data online, in this case on Google’s servers.
“For the first time since Albuquerque, the Redmond kids have a serious defensive battle on their hands,” he writes.
Anderson also mentions that he was in a meeting inside the Googleplex this week being wooed by CEO Eric Schmidt, Google.org Executive Director Larry Brilliant and other former Microsofties waiting to start work at Google. Perhaps all that Silicon Valley schmoozing had an effect — many analysts agreed that Microsoft should be worried, if not now, certainly in the long run.
What really counts is what businesses have to say, and not enough of them have weighed in yet. One thing seems true — for a product with a 90 percent market share, a little competition couldn’t hurt.