Today is Office 365 launch day. Tangentially, another Enterprise 2.0 Conference (#e2conf) observation: Google was conspicuously absent during the E2.0 event last week, in the exhibit hall (i.e., Google didn’t have a booth), in the breakout session topics, and in the vendor and attendee discussions in which I participated.
Microsoft’s long-awaited move, analysts say, is a studiously crafted bet, including various offerings at different prices. They are not sure whether it represents wishful thinking or a workable strategy. Microsoft’s plan is to embrace the demand for cloud-based tools for office workers, which promise to be less costly for companies than conventional software, and yet avoid cannibalizing a business that is its biggest single money-maker.
“If Microsoft stumbles, it really opens the door to Google,” said Matt Cain, an analyst for Gartner. “It’s a tremendous long-term threat to Microsoft and its Office franchise.”