Google announced yesterday that it is going to start charging all businesses that want to use Google Apps – Google’s online version of Microsoft Windows.Previously, Google Apps had been free to use for businesses smaller than 10 people.
This news might mean that Google is sick of flushing money down rat hole and finally wants to cover its cost, despite the reduction in usage this will cause.
But it also might mean Google is about to take Apps development a whole lot more seriously. It might Google is going to start trying to make Google Apps something that all businessess find worth paying for.
If that’s the case, it has to make Microsoft nervous.
Microsoft is in a very precarious place at the moment.
It’s just released a new operating system that’s very different from its old one.
The new operating system forces enterprises and consumers around into a choice: what kind of new OS do they adopt?
In years past, there was really only one choice: Microsoft.
But now, consumers are bringing their iOS devices and Android devices to work. They’re used to them. They love them. Meanwhile, consumers are not rushing out to buy Microsoft’s new tablet, Surface.
So now, enterprises have three choices: Microsoft, Google, or Apple.
The big advantage Microsoft has had for years now is that its software suite for doing business, Microsoft Office, is far superior to anything Google or Apple had to offer.
But if Google is going to charge all clients for its Office clone, that might mean it is about to take Apps development a whole lot more seriously.
Maybe Google will finally build a real rival to Microsoft office’s crown jewel, Excel.