Google and Microsoft Race in Cloud Productivity Suite

By Money Times

Nov 05, 2015 10:15 PM EST

A stiff competition in productivity apps between Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Work is heating up. Both Microsoft and Google have made their move to win more corporate customers.

Microsoft started Office 365 in 2010 as a response to encounter growing popularity of Google Docs. The first of its kind in "sofware as a service" office productivity suite launched in 2007, Google Docs created new business model of cloud-based productivity suite. Meanwhile, Google then also offered Google Apps for Work, integrating email service, calendar, chat room and office productivity suite as a bundle of office productivity service.

Google made a bold move last month as they offer a free subscription for their Apps for Work to companies still under contract with competitors like Microsoft and Amazon. The move has paid off well. According to TechCrunch report, Google Apps for Work now has 2 million paying businesses using it, and more than 3 million free users. Furthermore, Google also announces a new program for third party apps to be offered alongside Google native apps and products. 

Forbes reported an announcement made by Google for Work's president, Amit Singh in his public talk at Web Summit in Dublin on Tuesday. Amit Singh declared eight companies and their apps that has passed Google independent audit and review in critical areas to be included in Apps for Work. They are ProsperWorks (for CRM), SmartSheet (project management), Ping Identity and Okta (identity and access management), AODocs and Powertools (documents) and Ringcentral and Switch (cloud-based communications). Google also launched Smart Reply for automatic email management system. On the other hand, Microsoft secured GE as premium customers for their Office 365 and giving up OneDrive storage program as a tactical retreat. 

Nevertheless, Microsoft will not let go its market share of office productivity suite to Google easily. In order to win over a market that have been dependent on Microsoft Office for more than two decades, Microsoft is ready to go the distance. In fact, according to Business Insider, Microsoft has already sprinted ahead of Google. Quoting data from Okta, company that manages employees passwords to corporate cloud, the number of corporate users of Microsoft's is ahead of Google's. However, both apps are still growing and it is still a long distance race and according to Business Insider, Google could still very well win it.

As competition gets tighter in office productivity suite, we can expect to see more innovation coming up from these two giant Cloud providers. Either Microsoft Office 365 or Google Apps for Work have the same chance to win more corporate customers. 

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