Microsoft: Google Isn’t ‘Truly Serious’ About Enterprise Office Apps

Kevin Turner
Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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Microsoft execs say they aren’t worried that Google is really going to take away 90% of Office software users.Google “has not yet shown they are truly serious,” about the enterprise app business, Julia White, a general manager in Microsoft’s business division, told Quentin Hardy at the New York Times. “From the outside, they are an advertising company.”

White’s point is this: Google’s  revenue from its five enterprise businesses amounted to about $1 billion, or a mere 4% of revenues in 2011. Most of that reportedly comes from Google Apps, its cloud competitor to the Microsoft Office software.

Microsoft, on the other hand, must be serious because Microsoft Office represents 90% of the revenues for its $24 billion Business Division.

Even so, Amit Singh, a Google VP and head of its Enterprise unit sounded serious when he announced Google’s goal earlier this week: to grab 90% of Microsoft’s Office users who don’t need the advanced features of Office and don’t want to pay a premium price for their word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software.

Microsoft’s other execs seem to know that Google is serious. In July, at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner urged his partners to sell Office 365, Microsoft’s answer to Google Apps, the online version of Microsoft Office.

Turner told partners that Office 365 “is our collective future. And make no mistake. Google is out there pitching our customers,” Janet Tu of The Seattle Times reported.

Microsoft hasn’t lost much ground on Office Apps to Google yet, but Google is gaining traction. Google has signed deals with companies like Dillards, Kohl’s, Office Depot, Hoffmann-La Roche and the Interior Department.

Microsoft also scored big wins for its Office 365 cloud in 2012 including the Environmental Protection Agency, Santa Clara County and Toyota. Microsoft says that Office 365 is its fastest growing business but it has not released revenue figures or named how many people are actually using it.