Most of us know that Google Docs and Spreadsheets which comes with Google Apps, while it has its perks, is really no comparison to the functionality offered with Microsoft’s Office. A recent report talks about this and the fact that “Google Apps is useful in a limited set of circumstances” which could ultimately lead to disappointment among enterprises and large companies.
Essentially the report is telling businesses to look at Google Apps carefully before buying. At $50 per user per year, it’s an attractive solution for companies because it’s affordable compared to what they’d spend for other more full-featured services and applications they’d use otherwise. For those companies that need the powerful capabilities that Microsoft Office offers, Google Apps offers no equivalent.
The report also points out the risk of lost data. While Google does guarantee 99.9% uptime, it’s really only for email. And in the Google Apps user agreement, it states that Google “will not be held liable for lost data, lost profits or lost revenue, or the cost of buying a substitute product if the Google Apps service fails.” That statement is not very reassuring for any company.
So while Google Apps has caught the attention of many businesses both small and large, which could affect Microsoft’s sales of Office, I don’t think Microsoft is going to feel quite the sting from this that many expected. The large businesses and enterprises that need full-functionality aren’t going to be able to rely on the services included with Google Apps which is still considered by most to be “under-developed.” Until there’s a web solution that offers the stability and functionality that Office does, Google Apps is no match and people will stick to what they know for sure works.