Google vs. Microsoft
It’s hard to remember that Google isn’t truly a computing veteran. When it comes to Microsoft, Google can be considered a fetus. Nonetheless, the company stepped into the ring and took on the computing expert.
Battle for the cloud contracts: Government and K12
Last year, Google sued the US government for not fairly considering a bid for its business. The company’s business apps were going head to head with the old corporate veteran, Microsoft Office BPOS, and according to Google, the US government was edging out any competition.
Google is similarly making a play for public school contracts, and according to reported numbers, it’s doing a pretty good job. Google boasts 10 million Apps for Education users, compared to longstanding contract holder Microsoft’s 15 million.
The Oregon state education system was a recent coup for Google, when in April 2010 educators were given the option to choose Google Apps. Still, Oregon’s largest city, Portland, decided to go with Live@edu for its cloud computing solutions. Jenna Mason-Steinberg with Portland Public School District tells us that after exploring Google and Microsoft cloud options and running in-depth analysis of the two, Live@edu was the better choice. In addition to brand and UI familiarity, one important reason was support. “We felt like we would be able to maintain existing support for users with Live@edu,” she noted, mentioning that Google itself does not provide real-time resolution for IT support. “We already had a strong relationship with Microsoft, we knew we could get an engineer on the phone if something went wrong.” Her district makes the move to Live@edu in July 2011.
While Google may have a bit of an uphill battle when it comes to government institutions, it is winning over some members of the corporate world. Motorola is one such company, and VP of IT for mobile devices Walt Oswald says he got on board with Google Apps because of “the mass computing power that Google has, and that ability to take that computing power and deliver it in a secure way to an enterprise.” Of course, he also adds that the low price tag doesn’t hurt.
Winner: Draw (Microsoft has veteran status, but Google Apps are effectively infiltrating)
Search engine scuffles
Bing is easily one of Google’s most able competitors these days, considering it now powers other form search contenders like Yahoo. So naturally, the two search engines have entered into competition against one another – but recently, Google decided to out Bing for what it considered to be shady business practices. According to the Mountain View company, Microsoft’s search engine had been copying Google’s own search results, and through a series of setup tests and concluding evidence, it had Bing right where it wanted it. Google called out Bing and hurled statements about feeling cheated, and Bing responded by sticking out its proverbial tongue and defending its completely legal practices.
The conclusion? There was some minor and short-lived fallout for Bing, which maybe suffered a small reputation setback. But Google is still the king of search, and during the copycat fiasco also came the news that Google had cut its malware attacks in half, while Bing’s increased.
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