Google's announcement of a suite of comms applications designed for business/organizations has been touted by Reuters and others, as being a bid for MSFT's core business.
The online search leader said it has created a software platform to run basic business activities -- based on programs it already offers separately. The move marks a stepped up challenge to rival Microsoft Corp. as the software giant prepares to upgrade its Windows and Office franchises.
The free set of Web-based programs for small businesses, universities and nonprofit businesses goes by the mouthful "Google Apps for Your Domain" (http://www.google.com/a).
Later this year, Google said it will offer a "paid, premium" version with the option of being ad-free and more administrative control and compliance features to meet the demands of bigger corporations and government agencies. Pricing for this more advanced version is not yet available, it said.
GOOG's apps offering is no comparison to Vista or Office. It's a mashup of lightweight online products it already has on offer. It won't take any of MSFT's business away.
Most businesses are still server-huggers--they want to run their own email, and calendar, and other basic services. This is not rocket science there is no need to outsource such a vital part of your business to Google.
Especially when GOOG doesn't care much when its "beta" services go down. After all, it's a beta.
MSFT certainly does face challenges in rolling out Vista and Office, but these are mostly self-generated challenges and have nothing to do with Google apps. That might become the case in a couple of years but not now, or anywhere near now.
What is interesting is that GOOG is planning a subscription supported business model. Just as MSFT and others are trying to move to an advertising supported revenue model for their apps...