The Future As Seen By Me In 2010

Well looky here, things one has scanned in eh. (ignore the photo, that's some guy that made some accounting software, not sure what became of him ;) MIKE RIVERSDALE is fuming. The expensive headphones he bought in Sydney three weeks ago have just died. His first reaction is not to randomly spill expletives into his coffee, but to use his iPhone to vent his frustration to his Twitter con- tacts, under the moniker Miramar Mike. "I will also put, 'What should I do?' It's a conversation. I'm reaching out to the people following me." The council predicts hand-held digital devices such as smartphones will rule the world in 2040. They already rule the life of Mr Riversdale, whose company WaveAdept helps businesses adapt - their computing sys- tems to allow staff to work from anywhere - and with anyone. In order of fre- equency, he uses his iPhone to tweet (1136 followers; 8363 tweets since joining), e-mail, make phone calls and use online services, such as checki

Microsoft questions your decision to move to Google Apps

Microsoft Attacks Google Apps has some 'interesting' questions being posed, by Microsoft, to those thinking of moving away from the beloved Microsoft Office world (original).

Before you read on you probably should know that I am firmly in the on-line camp (and usually with Google) ... but that's not news to 99.9% of you guys reading this:
  1. Microsoft asks: How many enterprise users does GAPE (?) really have?
    MIKE: Um, point?

  2. Google often releases incomplete products to then issue incremental improvements without any official schedule – this is not what enterprise users want, says Microsoft.
    MIKE: Fvck me, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black AND yes, I DO know as I am implementing MOSS (Sharepoint v3) which is only now nearly usable.

  3. Microsoft argues Google says GAPE is a low cost office option, but if enterprises still need to support MS Office, they will then actually have additional costs and complexity.
    MIKE: Fair call. Of course one argument is, ditch MS Office. Another is move to OpenOffice and then there's no licensing cost. But in essence they are right but what are they asking their good and fine client base - "Please don't move, pleeeease ..."

  4. Google makes most of their revenue via ads, with other services only on the 1% fringe, says Microsoft, wondering if Google will shut down their office products line if it doesn’t generate the right revenue.
    MIKE: See point 1 really. But, this is the closest to a valid question out of the ten - Google, what's your response?

  5. Microsoft says Google Apps are mostly usable for non-power users and have less features than MS Office tools. Also, they mostly require the company to be always-online.
    MIKE: I agree with both points. The first point has been argued over the years and I think getting the 80/20 rule working for ya beats having a gazillion features. The second point - yeah, welcome to the new world AND ... duh!?!?

  6. Google Apps “don’t have essential document creation features like support for headers, footers, table of content, footnotes etc.”.
    MIKE: This is possibly true as I write this on Thursday September 13th, 8:15pm - I don't know as I don't use/miss those features. I wonder how long it would take Google to add if they were asked (see point 10 though)?

  7. MS says that Google defines a downtime for Gmail (for which they promise 99.9% uptime) as over 10 consecutive minutes of being unreachable. What, MS asks, if Google is down for 7 minutes every hour of a day?
    MIKE: Life would be like living on any PC hooked to any office network in the world.

  8. Google’s direct tech support has limited opening hours. MS writes, “... M-F 1AM-6PM PST – are these the new hours of global business?”
    MIKE: Good question. I wonder who (not just when) I could call if my Office products fucked up (again!) ... hmmm?!?

  9. Microsoft writes that Google argues most people only use 10% of the features in today’s office products. Microsoft argues that however not everyone uses the same 10%.
    MIKE: Ha ha ha ha ha ... so it's not for everyone, just most.

  10. As Google rolls out features on a constant basis, Microsoft says customers lose control of planning the update, and also aren’t able to sufficiently train their employees.
    MIKE: One for the 'command and control' IT departments the are the scourge of our working lives. Look, we don't need no stinkin' schedule to get a better product - just frickin' improve it and we'll be fine!
Overall this is the first official response to Google Apps I've ever seen from Microsoft and I think it belies a slight worry attitude in Redmond as they come to terms with this beasty called Google. Google has grown big enough to challenge, keeps it's cards close to it's chest and is playing in a different world that Microsoft is used to. I don't imagine Microsoft will ever disappear (a la IBM) but they most certainly don't set the direction any more.

A few of the questions highlight their PC-centric world view - for example:
2: Google often releases incomplete products to then issue incremental improvements without any official schedule – this is not what enterprise users want, says Microsoft.

5: ... Also, they mostly require the company to be always-online.

10: As Google rolls out features on a constant basis, Microsoft says customers lose control of planning the update, and also aren’t able to sufficiently train their employees.

This is a world view that does not fit with the YouTube, MySpace, Facebook generation.
I don't assume that Microsoft staff aren't aware of the world view but a culture is hard to change PLUS they have to slooooowly wait for their customers to catch-on. Timing will be everything for Microsoft - a customer gets it too early and they move away from Microsoft as it's perceived as 'not being ready'; Microsoft jump into the new world too early and they alienate their loyal PC-centric customer base. A tightrope they walk - SAAS for them is, for instance, Software + Services (PC + online "Live") ... a prime example of the tightrope.

Google isn't on this particular tightrope and understands the dynamics of, "one click away from failure", i.e. all it takes is for a competing/new site to offer a disruptive/better service and they're history. This is a different fight and one they are built for, have always fought and seem to be bloody good at. Microsoft is entering this affray later - imagine (if you will) the introduction of gunpowder and the effect it had on the Knight.

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