There’s something happening here – what it is, is exactly clear!
When Google Apps first appeared on the scene in August 2006 I didn’t take it very seriously because I was (like everybody else) a Microsoft Office “guy”. Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. had always been, and would always be.
Little by little (mainly because students “went nuts” over Gmail), Google convinced many colleges and universities to adopt Google Apps Education Edition (Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Docs, Administrative Tools, etc.). Free, running exclusively in the browser, outsourced servers, no software or hardware to buy. Wow – colleges and universities were now free to concentrate on the classroom!
Then, many small and medium businesses adopted Google Apps Premier Edition. It kind of made sense – those companies couldn’t buy, install and maintain hardware. Not free ($50 per user per year) but hundreds of dollars less than the traditional Microsoft Exchange setup. Why not try the cloud based model?
Over time, larger enterprises stated to fall. Motorola moved their handset division (approx. 20,000 users) from their installed Exchange, Outlook setup to Google Apps. Luxury hotel chain Morgans Hotel Group also moved their entire user base over to Google Apps. Much less expensive, outsource to Google, no muss, no fuss! What’s up here?
A few days ago, Mary-Jo Foley reported in her ZDNet blog that “Microsoft Office, one of Microsoft’s biggest cash cows took a hit in Microsoft’s first quarter”, and that “the Server division’s revenues were relatively flat for the quarter”.
About the same time, AP Technology writer Jessica Mintz reported in Yahoo Tech that “many consumers are passing on buying Microsoft’s Office, which contributed to a 14% total decline in the quarter” and that “companies that have cut workers are ordering fewer copies of Office and other Microsoft software commonly used at work”.
And just recently “the big one”: The Los Angeles City Council voted to adopt Web-based Google Apps (running in the GovCloud which is separate from the standard cloud) as the replacement for the city government’s aging e-mail and Internet services. Folks, this includes all city offices and officials - some 30,000 employees! The first major U.S. city to fully entrust it’s communication and productivity system to the world of cloud computing!
This is huge!! Microsoft lobbied extremely hard to prevent the L.A. adoption of Google Apps. but Google had the final say: “Hey Microsoft Get Off Of My Cloud”.
Professor Randy says: There’s something happening here! The cloud shift in computing grows stronger every day. How long before other cities follow Google into the cloud?