Google's mandate to compete with Microsoft Office comes from the very top

Sergey Brin and Larry PageRalph Orlowski/Getty ImagesSergey Brin and Larry Page

Why would a search advertising company want to make business software?

It’s been a lingering question for more than 9 years, ever since Google started to offer Google Apps, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive, to schools, startups, and big companies — especially since it puts the search giant in constant conflict with Microsoft Office.

Now, we finally have an answer.

According to Rich Rao, Head of Global Sales at Google Apps for Work, that continued push for Google Apps for Work comes from “the highest level.”

Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have long believed that given the sheer amount of time that people spend at their jobs, ignoring the workplace would be doing a disservice to Google’s long-standing corporate mission — “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

In fact, Rao says, Google recently held one of its famous “TGIF” all-hands meetings, where Brin, Page, and new Google CEO Sundar Pichai talked about almost nothing but the Google for Work project for the entire hour.

Despite the fact that the Google for Work team has been quiet compared with the publicity blizes around some of the search advertising giant’s other projects, including flagship Android devices and self-driving cars, Rao says that the work on Work hasn’t stopped.

Still, Google’s mission is at odds with Microsoft’s, whose corporate mandate is to help people be more productive anywhere. That means that no matter the ideology, Google and Microsoft are just going to keep clashing.

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