Google’s (GOOG) latest move is a direct attack on one of Microsoft’s (MSFT) most important business units: Its Office software business, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
Google is pushing a new ad campaign called “Going Google” on the Web as well as outdoors, with billboards in four cities, according to TechCrunch. The idea is to try to make Google Apps and Docs — Google’s Office competitors — look like a more mainstream and viable option for more companies, especially before Microsoft’s new Office 2010 arrives next year.
Docs and Apps are tiny businesses for Google, but any disruption they can cause is a double-win for Google.
First, because of whatever incremental revenue they gain and behaviour shifting they can accomplish — getting people to use Web apps instead of desktop apps. And second, because getting people — especially businesses — to switch to Google software from Office hurts Microsoft significantly more. Microsoft’s business division — mostly Office — represented one-third of Microsoft’s sales last fiscal year and 60% of its operating income.
Google says 3,000 companies are signing up for Google Apps every day and that 1.75 million businesses, schools, and organisations have signed up to use Google products so far, according to TechCrunch. That’s not a bad start, but the business is still financially insignificant to Google. So for now, its most important role is as a behaviour-changer and a as disruption to Microsoft.
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