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Google Apps Ready To Crash Microsoft

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The Google Apps for Your Domain announcement noted how a premium version was in the works. Next month for a small monthly per-user fee, Google will unveil that. Some big names, corporations that would spend tons with Microsoft, could be ready to make the switch.

Google Apps Ready To Crash Microsoft
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It isn’t surprising that the first two companies and the first university mentioned as likely customers for the advanced Google Apps for Your Domain service are Pixar, Disney, and Arizona State University. Once Google adds its Docs & Spreadsheets (and probably presentation software soon) to Apps, they will have an Office/Exchange alternative ready to go. Google CEO Eric Schmidt sits on Apple’s board. Apple CEO Steve Jobs just sold Pixar to Disney, and he is Disney’s biggest individual shareholder as a result. The two men know each other, and neither can be considered likely open-door guests at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters. At Arizona State, Google has been very active on the campus. The search advertising company rents space on ASU’s Tempe grounds, and already had a deal in place to switch email and IM services to Google Apps for Education at the end of January. A Business Week report on the potential for major Microsoft-to-Google converts cited a Pixar executive as being ready to make the switch to hosted applications:

Greg Brandeau is itching to dump the decade-old, homegrown e-mail system he manages at Pixar Animation Studios Inc. And the senior vice-president for technology at the Walt Disney Co. (DIS ) unit is sure about one thing: The replacement won’t be Microsoft Corp.’s Exchange and Outlook duo… "We’re dying to use something like this," says Brandeau. He’s "on the cusp" of signing a contract with Google.

Microsoft has the edge in experience when it comes to working with business customers. But Google offers something Microsoft can’t, and that’s the relief from managing Microsoft systems to apply patches and service packs. Even though it’s being characterized as Google versus Microsoft, that probably isn’t the whole case. Google has a deal with Intuit that puts its AdWords service in QuickBooks, which runs on Windows. Lots of businesses manage their accounting and payroll with Intuit products, so Google should be quite happy to see them stay on Microsoft’s OS. Exchange and Office, those can go. That’s Google’s real focus. Let’s hope they have the support infrastructure to help customers, and not just a link to a Group or some help documents, when questions need to be answered about Google Apps.

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Google Apps Ready To Crash Microsoft
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