Microsoft Office 2013 fires shot at Google's enterprise push
Microsoft focuses on the cloud as it tries to do battle against Google Apps
"In terms of competition, migrating Office to the cloud is critical," said Jim McGregor, a principal analyst with Tirias Research. "For Microsoft, Office is and should be the cornerstone of a much larger cloud-service strategy that I'm sure we will hear more about."
Microsoft presented the upcoming version of its ubiquitous Office suite on Monday, and the cloud was front and center.
Microsoft isn't ignoring its locally installed Office suite of tools, such as Microsoft Word and Excel. However, the company has been facing significant challenges in the wake of low-cost office alternatives and a growing migration to cloud-based applications, like Google Apps.
All of this means Microsoft's Office 365 suite of cloud-based apps is getting most of the attention in the upcoming release.
The software maker is also taking on today's multi-device workplace by enabling users to save their files to SkyDrive, its online document storage and file sharing service, and syncing content across all of the user's devices, including smartphones, Macs, PCs and tablets. That means a user can begin working on a project on her home laptop and pick up where she left off when she gets into the office and sits at her desktop.
Microsoft also focused on mobile users by making Office compatible with touch screens, which are generally used in smartphones and tablets. That's a close tie-in to the recent unveiling of Microsoft's Surface tablet.
"I've expected that the new Office would support true, seamless file synchronization across mobile and desktop environments," said Brad Shimmin, an analyst with CurrentAnalysis. "Such capability will be required, frankly, if Microsoft is to compete with Google over the long term ... It is paramount for productivity vendors like Google and Microsoft to provide a seamless working environment between desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile phone."
Shimmin said Microsoft has to step it up because Google, its biggest competitor, is making inroads in the cloud-based Office app space.
"In short, Google has aggressive pricing, rapid innovation, simplified management, adequate security and governance, and strong ties between consumer and professional technologies and applications," Shimmin said. "I don't believe this [Office update] will bring Microsoft on par with Google in terms of capability and appeal within Google's existing customer base."
According to a May report from research firm Gartner, Google is far outpacing Microsoft in the cloud business. Compared with Microsoft, Google is winning one-third to one-half of new, paid-for, cloud-based office system seats, the analyst firm reported.
- Chicago's CIO doesn't believe in 'good enough'
- Microsoft Office 2013 fires shot at Google's enterprise push
- Google gives Google Docs offline capabilities
- Office 365 off-limits to existing BPOS customers
- Update: Microsoft Office 365 goes live
- Wyoming cuts cable, moves to cloud with Google Apps
- Microsoft takes cloud fight to Google
- Microsoft Office 365: Guide to a slew of versions, prices
- Update: Microsoft makes big cloud move with Office 365
- Google rolls out Apps for Government
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Oracle Fusion Financials Cloud Service Modern organizations are under intense pressure to provide accurate, reliable, and speedy financial information to business decision-makers. Furthermore, complying with global standards has...
- Cloud for Business Managers in Midsize Organizations: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Read this independent research report to learn how business managers around the world are using Cloud applications.
- Cloud Computing eGuide In this eGuide, CIO, Computerworld, and InfoWorld offer advice, tips, news, and predictions regarding cloud implementations in the coming year and beyond. Read...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- Video surveillance for IT: maximum image quality, minimum bandwidth Join us on Thursday, May 8th at 1 p.m. EST when Willem Ryan, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Avigilon, will discuss how IT... All Cloud Computing White Papers | Webcasts