Much is being made of the announcement by Google about their Google Apps Premier release and how it is or isn’t going to be the deathknell for MS Office – eventually.
You pretty well couldn’t read a major blog anywhere that didn’t mention it; which is pretty common when Google announces anything. Hell they could probably announce a fart contest and it would be the next big thing everyone was writing about.
In contrast Microsoft releases a new version of Windows and within a day and a half the blogosphere was silent about it; with the exception of security warnings about Vista or Baldy was opening his mouth and adding to the negativity everyone feels about Microsoft – but then those two things aren’t unusual these days so really it was normal as it goes for MS on the blogs.
I hadn’t really intended on adding to the noise around the Google announcement; and really that is not what I am writing about, but as usual several other conversations started today that in combination with the Google news prompted me to put my thoughts to blog.
On the surface the discussions as usual were divided into the typical two camps with Microsoft’s new evangelist Michael Gartenberg loosing his MS cherry with his post about the Google news in which he pretty well toe’s the company line:
Today, many are lamenting the passing of the Office as the information device of choice for the corporate workforce. Like Twain, the news of the death of Microsoft Office and threat to is exaggerated. Like all good things, Office will perhaps someday be replaced by something else but this isn’t the day and these aren’t the products.
Then we have Mary Jo casually tossing around the word Hailstorm and how Google maybe in for a painful lesson that MS learned some time ago:
But if you look at the just-announced Google Apps Premier Edition — a suite of Web-based e-mail, calendaring, messaging, wordprocessing, spreadsheet applications — it seems Google missed at least one lesson that Microsoft learned the hard way.
Many businesses don’t want their data to be stored offsite. Many also don’t want a third-party middleman (even one that pledges it will “do no evil”) to host their data.
However the most interesting comment in my opinion came from Greg Linden
If the easiest path becomes Google Apps — if it all just works — Microsoft could see the low end of the Office market fall away to the effortless laziness of a Google click.
During all this we have Mr. Steve “Baldy” Ballmer threatening to turn up the dial on Vista anti piracy technology – WGA – in order to increase the revenue from a rapidly sliding sales window for Vista. this has Grant Robinson over at DownloadSquad wondering if Vista will be seen as Microsoft’s tipping point (something I seem to remember saying at one point)
Is this really the moment we’ll look back upon and point to as the beginning of a new era of tarnished Microsoft glory? That remains to be seen. What is pretty apparent though; Microsoft is losing the PR war on all fronts.
Then today both Read/WriteWeb and Robert Scoble both post asking what is with all the single use RSS readers made with Windows Presentation Foundation. Especially considering that the market is already flooded with both web and standalone readers.
Now I understand the need of Microsoft to promote NET 3.0 and WPF but come on guys 3 separate readers that do the same thing. If you really want to see what is being done with NET and WPF head over to Tim Sneath’s site. He has an ongoing list of real world programs being built with the technology.
Robert however talked about something else in the same post that could very well be another knife cutting away at Microsoft.
Next week Adobe is showing a bunch of us a bunch of stuff that’s going for developer’s love in an even bigger way. Microsoft is under full scale attack in the developer world. I’ve had developer after developer ask me the past few days “what is Microsoft doing?” Even companies that are seemingly in Microsoft’s camp (like TeamDirection, which is a .NET shop using Sharepoint) are talking about going with Flash, er, Flex and Apollo, which lets developers build standalone applications with Flash technology.
As a one time developer I know how tired I got trying to deal with the .NET dev; especially after the VisualStudio SP1 for Vista fiasco, and have basically hung up my coding IDE. So I am not surprised at the excitement that is beginning to move through the development world in anticipation of the Adobe announcement.
There doesn’t have to be a Microsoft killer and no matter how many folks dream that something like Google would be it there is too much money in each of their warchests for a deathmatch to occur.
However Microsoft can be sorely wounded; maybe even crippled, by the constant onslaught of tiny knife cuts. Now whether or not Microsoft is capable anymore of protecting itself against these attacks is open to questions better answered by smarter people than myself; but as a person who has been a loyal Microsoft customer for pretty well 20 years I hope it does.
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