Google (GOOG) is Slowly Moving into Microsoft's (MSFT) Key Territory: Business

December 26, 2012 1:16 PM EST
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is a little pressured today following speculation its death grip in a certain market segment might be slipping.

According to the NY Times, Google Apps is taking the business world by storm. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has been promoting the suite for a number of years now and a few key wins is aiding the effort.

Google Apps allows users to do spreadsheets, write documents, make presentations, and more all in a cloud-based environment. It is very similar to Microsoft's Office 365 and its Office Web Apps platform.

Recently, Google Apps was adopted by the Interior Department (90,000 users) and Hoffmann-La Roche (80,000 users), two big wins by any measure. That's not to mention the thousands of small businesses that rely on the suite. The General Services Administration (GSA) said that out of 42 contracts up for grabs, Google won 23, Microsoft 10, and VMware's (NYSE: VMW) Zimbra the rest.

One thing Google has going for it as it looks to grab more productivity from Microsoft is price; Google Apps costs $50 per year per user, a price that hasn't changed since launch despite numerous upgrades. Microsoft's Office 365 runs about $72 per year per person, but that price can jump up to $240 with the addition of features.

Though it won't give out specific numbers, Google has said that over five million businesses were using Google Apps through the middle of 2012, up from four million at the end of 2011.

So, whether Google Apps will gain a strong enough following to unseat the venerable Microsoft is still in question. A few more big wins and constant growth, however, might turn the tide in Google's favor.

Both are lower on the trading session Wednesday.

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