In its article, Joab Jckson discusses if customer will actually follow Microsoft in its latest Office incarnation (2010!), and compares this release to the available Google suite.
In an offline scenario Microsoft wins hands down; but the article also elaborates this in the cloud scenario, and coments: “At least one company, namely Google, has been making the most with Microsoft’s seeming tardiness in providing Microsoft Office applications as a cloud offering”.
This, in the context of the overhanging Cloud is expected, but I believe the article is missing one major issue: the more we’re moving docs editing and management to the cloud, the more relevant will become the ability to store, retrieve, exchange our documents and even more, interop document data across different applications; and this across all 3 platforms – PC, cloud & mobile.
Exchanging documents is something today we do via email, Google does it thru is Wave, Microsoft is addressing via SharePoint (business) or Live SkyDrive (consumer); but there are several and growing document exchanges we do today in Twitter FaceBook etc.
When it goes to document data interop across applications, we’re more and more exposed to the fact that in our documents we leverage data coming from separate sources (eg customer data from a CRM, financial information from an ERP etc.) and we expect to be able to update these sources from our productivity apps.
If this is so,and increasingly so, one critical comparison factor is the platform extensibility provided by these productivity apps.
Google has an interesting approach via Wave, but still very closed and proprietary; Microsoft provides an Open XML framework that may need updates if applied to the cloud, and is not yet enabling third parties to run their software in its cloud platform.
Until we see more on this topic the comparison is mostly on features; Office 2010 is far better, now also matching Google “free” offer. Let’s see the next round!