Google Apps vs. Office 365: your choice, but don’t be misinformed… (Part 5)

This is last installment of a multi-part blog series (read Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4) where I review an article entitled “Google Apps vs. Office 365: your choice” where I provide a different perspective in this ongoing battle for dominance in the cloud between Google and Microsoft.

Let’s round out this series with a word on complexity of the respective cloud offerings from Google and Microsoft and provide a different perspective on who’s truly positioned to capitalize on the cloud.

It’s no secret why Microsoft wants to win with Office 365.  Protection of the platform is a key component to its growth and market leadership.  However, is that not what Google is trying to do?  If Google can protect the web platform, what will that widespread acceptance allow it to do?  While Microsoft has the perceived “monopoly” on the desktop, what’s Google’s advantage?

Let’s be frank here, the introduction of Google Apps is NOT to provide users with robust online collaboration and information sharing tools that it plans to build the next generation of its business with, but rather to get Microsoft to divert its energies away from the ultimate prize, the INTERNET.  How does Google make money? The INTERNET, and more specifically, search and advertising.  With more users opting for internet-based tools, the more of a surface Google has to inject its keen business sense on capitalizing on this tremendous market.

As a matter of fact, Google Apps have started learning some lessons from Office 365, and is moving at a feverish pace to improve the offline experience. Why? Because if momentum shifts back to the “desktop”, then that impacts Google’s bottom line.  Can’t sell advertising on the desktop.  Search is free, however, it’s a vehicle to the several hundred billion dollar advertising industry.  Why do you think Bing exists?

cloudineroperabilityAll-in-all, both platforms have their pluses and minuses, with both vendors constantly lobbying their product as the better solution.  Microsoft has been in this game for quite a while and Google, even with its massive success, is *still*, relatively speaking, a new kid on the block.  Microsoft’s effectiveness is not the result of it’s ability to innovate, as there is no question that Microsoft can be innovative when it wants to be.  And Google’s effectiveness will not be the result of its ability to roll out new features quickly (and buggy Smile).

holygrailWhat’s going to truly win this battle is who will be the first to achieve the “holy grail” of interoperability. The true “visionary” will be the one who can tear down the walls that are beginning to get created within the cloud and allow the industry to truly realize what the original intent of the cloud is and how it can make our digital lives a lot easier.

Support for open standards as it relates to data protocols for information exchange, standardization of authentication/authorization methods for user access, security protocols for ensuring that communication from the PC/Mobile Device/Browser to the cloud and inter-cloud platform communication is as secure as Fort Knox, and a clear execution of these standards within the respective offering is what’s truly going to establish the market leader, IMHO.

So, dear reader, while you can certainly be entertained by all of us technology wonks about what does/doesn’t make for the better platform, at the end of the day, you have the power of choice. Choose wisely.

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