Google's Free Web Services Will Vie With Microsoft Office [Wall Street Journal]
Summary: Google will today announce a plan to offer its free, browser-based word-processing and spreadsheet products as an integrated package called Google Docs & Spreadsheets. Google is targetting the online applications at consumers and other price-sensitive customers who don't require all the features of Microsoft Office. CEO Eric Schmidt recently stated that Microsoft's hold on consumer and small business users "may be vulnerable." Office costs about $400 for consumers. Google had 9.7 million Gmail users and 896,000 Calendar users as of September according to comScore. Google launched email, calendar, instant messaging and web design services for small businesses, called Google Apps for Your Domain, in August, and said that its speadsheet and word-processing products may later be included. The Office suite is Microsoft's largest revenue and profit generator, accounting for $11.8 billion in sales in the year ended June 30th. Microsoft Office 2007 is due by the end of this year and won't include an onlilne version, but will be integrated with online services.
Related links: Background: Google Docs & Spreadsheet website • Impact on Microsoft: Microsoft's most recent conference call transcript including revenue and profit numbers for Office • Google Apps: A Long-Term Threat to Microsoft's Packaged Software Business • Microsoft's Ballmer Sees Online Services as 'Core' Going Forward • Impact on Salesforce.com: Salesforce.com's Apex Uses Google Office to Challenge Microsoft • Reviews of Google Docs & Spreadsheets: Richard MacManus • Michael Arrington • Phil Windley.
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Competitors to Google's bundling of online productivity software: Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo (YHOO), Corel (CREL) (owns WordPerfect).
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