It's war: Google + Quickoffice vs. Microsoft Office everywhere

It's war: Google + Quickoffice vs. Microsoft Office everywhere

Summary: Quickoffice may give Google a needed competitive hedge against Office 15 on Windows tablets and possibly iOS and Android devices.

TOPICS: Microsoft

Google Docs has made some inroads against Microsoft Office, but not nearly enough.

That's no doubt a big reason for Google's latest acquisition, Quickoffice, announced on June 5. Now the question becomes will the cross-mobile-platform productivity suite Quickoffice -- give Google a better leg up against Microsoft's Office? Quickoffice runs on iPhones, iPad, Android, Android tablets and Symbian devices. And Office 15, the coming version of Microsoft's productivity app suite, will run on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone and, perhaps soon the iPad and Android, too.

The Office 15 (a k a Office 2013, the public beta of which could arrive by mid-June) + Windows 8 one-two punch is expected to help Microsoft in the both the x86/x64-based and ARM-based tablet market.

The Office card is likely to be especially key to the coming wave of ARM tablets, as Microsoft officials have said previously that four Office 15 apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) will be "included" with Windows on ARM -- now known as Windows RT -- devices. We still don't know exactly what "included" means. Nor do we know whether these four apps will be full versions, local versions or maybe even remotely hosted versions. (I'm still thinking Microsoft is planning on some kind of OEM-pre-installed Starter-Edition type versions for Windows RT devices.)

On May 31, Morgan Stanley published a research report entitled "Tablet Landscape Evolution: Window(s) of Opportunity." One of the paper's conclusions: Microsoft has "shifted from a challenged to a best-positioned company in the tablet market, as Windows 8 with Office has the potential to drive market growth and share gains." The authors continue: "Our survey suggests 25% of users expect to buy Windows 8 tablet and Office is a key feature, especially for those considering their first tablet purchase."

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft provides its Windows 8 tablets with some breathing room by introducing Office 15 for Windows and Windows RT first, followed by iOS and possibly Android months later. Some inside and outside the company think this would be the smart thing to do. Others think that Office, and not Windows, has become the lead cash cow at Microsoft, and that Office shouldn't have its priorities and strategies dictated by Windows any more.

There's one other noteworthy tidbit in the Morgan Stanley paper which is related to Microsoft's and, ultimately, Google's future success with office suites on mobile devices. Morgan Stanley is predicting Microsoft will offer OEMs a bundle of Windows 8 and Office 15 for anywhere between $82 to $114 per copy for them to preload on new PCs.

Microsoft officials, unsurprisingly, won't share their OEM price lists. But that range may not be far off the mark. One of my contacts the $50 price range (for an OEM copy) has been thrown around before with Windows 7 Home Premium, "so it stands to reason that Windows 8 is the same." Throw in Office 15 for around $32 to $54 per copy if Morgan Stanley's pricing is right, and you've got yourself a bundle!

Google may take the same approach it has been pursuing with Docs and Apps and simply undercut Microsoft to try to gain more of a foothold in the productivity suite space. But I'm thinking OEM preload power could still give Microsoft an advantage.

What's your take?

Topic: Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Maybe but...

    I've pretty much replaced my iPad 2 at work with an Acer W500 running Win8. With full versions of Office apps and access to networked drives I now have full and real access to my files. No copies, no syncing, real live access! And take into account that Win8 is still a beta and my Acer hardware is hardly cutting edge, that is pretty damn good!
    • Nice Windows 8 promo

      Nice Win8 promo
      • a promo but hey its true

        I too have a samsung slate with windows 8 and love it heads over heals more than the iPittypad.
        And sorry to dissapoint the thing has lasted about 5-7 hours.
        There is nothing this thing cant do, like running office/office 365

        Ive known a small lawfirm to try going to Google office and limped back to MS office. Sorry but just way more of standard and support from other addins. This is what you need when dealing with clients and the rest of the world.
      • In professional environments

        Jabber_Wolf's legal firm found out the hard way.

        We did too. We tried going with OOO and LibreOffice for a while. Saving in .docx format and being able to use track changes with clients turned out to be paramount features. So now we've upgraded to MSO 2010 and never looked back.

        We severely underestimated how important it was to have a common tool, and working language with our colleagues and clients. Even if it's just a simple "how did you do that....?" type question in the middle of a client meeting is invaluable.

        I guess its symptomatic of the eco-system effect.

        I'm using a Windows Thinkpad Tablet PC (not even W8 preview) and its great fun being freed from my desk to do work on my couch or in a lounge seat. It's confused my wife no end as she can't tell whether I'm working or not :)
      • Law firms are document creation engines

        Law firms make their money by producing documents on behalf of their clients. The document creation and document management systems are truly business critical in way that is just not true for many other types of business. Google office is a really bad fit.

        That being said, this doesn't prove that cloud or tablet based office suites are bad for all businesses.
    • MS has this

      I just bought a new touchscreen monitor and I'm enjoying Win8RP on dual screens. I'm so glad I've done it. I'm ready to pay for the real version!!!
      • Never M$

        I love my Android Tablet with Google Docs and all the other Google Apps ... Do i need a overblown OS from monopoly M$? NO!!!
      • You mean Google Doc$, right Watchmen247?

        I think you had a typo there. ;)
        William Farrel
      • @Watchmen247

        I appreciate that you love your Android tablet and Google Docs but I have to ask how is Microsoft a monopoly? defines a monopoly as:

        "[i]mo??nop??o??ly??? ???[muh-nop-uh-lee] Show IPA
        noun, plural mo??nop??o??lies.
        1. exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices. Compare duopoly, oligopoly.
        2. an exclusive privilege to carry on a business, traffic, or service, granted by a government.
        3. the exclusive possession or control of something.
        4. something that is the subject of such control, as a commodity or service.
        5. a company or group that has such control.[/i]"

        Do we not have a choice as far as a PC OS? A mobile OS? a game system? Can we buy something that a Microsoft product does but is NOT a Microsoft product? The answer to all of the above is yes.

        And before someone gets on a soapbox here I can - and have asked - the same questions concerning Apple when someone made a post claiming that Apple has a monopoly in the tablet market.

        Yes as far as the PC market Microsoft has the bulk of the marketshare but there are other alternatives such as Macs or a Linux box.

        Sorry but the fanboi drivel gets old.
      • Monopoly doesn't have to be total

        Microsoft has significant control of the desktop/laptop PC market, even without it being 100%. They still have the power to dictate to the entire industry. For example, their proclamation that Windows 8 will only run on secure BIOS, which is a very anti-competitive move... it's got the Linux folks so far dependent on Microsoft for their ability to boot on a Windows 8 PC. And Microsoft won't even allow that to be optional on an ARM-based PC (clearly, their lawyers have decided that the CPU is the determination of the boundaries of their monopoly, so they're going old-school Microsoft on ARM devices: OS lock-in, API calls only Microsoft can use, and I suspect they'll be back to product tying and all the other dirty tricks they have been forbidden to use on x86 machines).
    • W500

      So what's your battery life like on that thing? Two...maybe 2.5 hours?
      • ?

        I think the battery life is decent...luckily, we live in parts of the country that now have electricity to the house! We can plug our computers in and not need to rely on batteries any longer. Perhaps you too will look forward to the days when electricity is ubiquitous and accessible. :-)
    • Me too, installed Windows 8 consumer on my main laptop

      On a laptop, I have tried to use Google docs or Windows Live to edit documents, but the reality is they are not as good as compared to a full version of Desktop office, network speed will never be as quick as editing a document offline, also why waste so much bandwith for something you can do offline.
      Windows 8 on the other side will have full offline Office support for both ARM and x86 devices, so most people which haven't buy a tablet will probably be happier when they get a Windows 8 tablet with full Office support.
      Gabriel Hernandez
      • Why buy anthing?

        First is there some big riot in the streets with people demanding better office suits? No. A bunch of suits nicely cover needs already.

        Second, why buy anthing? Unless you are working with huge files, 600k spread sheets and up, Linux has everything covered. I will give you that for heavy files MSOffice is better, as it is notabily faster. Then again Open office and Libre office will work for most everyone just fine. Why buy a dump truck MS, if you only haul mail? From a cost perfomance basis, well that is unfair as the ration doesn't change no matter if MS costs what it does, maybe hundreds, or one dollar when compared to zero cost. My take is that if MSOffice was priced at $20.00 then its a buy.

        As far as Win8: A no go! Never going back to a system that viruses can attack. Why? Just not worth it.
    • I too, have a W500 with W8, Office Pro Plus 2010

      I also have Lanier, Xerox, HP, and Samsung printer drivers allowing me full access to scanning, ink jet, laser jet, and high speed printing. We have VPN and RDP. I even have a soon to be replaced LOB DOS app running. I have SkyDrive installed on the W500, my W7 laptop, and my WP7.5. Microsoft has a pretty good ecosystem now. Granted the W500 is more bulky than the iPad. Once the hardware folks start building for Win RM I believe we'll start seeing some really sleek Windows tablets.

      Google keeps giving themselves a black eye in regards to privacy issues. I hesitate to use Google for anymore than search due to privacy issues. I don't see Quickoffice solving a problem not already addressed by Microsoft.
  • It's war: Google + Quickoffice vs. Microsoft Office everywhere

    I'm going to go ahead and declare the war is over and Microsoft wins. No reason to settle for Quickoffice when you can get the real thing from Microsoft.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • I wouldn't declare that quite yet

      The quickoffice competitor is the WinRT metro "office lite", but the "real thing" would mean the same heavyweight document processing engine as its full blown bretheren. Due to its legacy, it will be very succeptable to macro viruses and operate sluggishly. If this is not the case, and its a full rewrite, then "the real thing" is no better than the 10 other office suites for android/ipad.
      • Um check facts

        No real office works on Windows 8.
        You might be thinking of Windows phone 7.
        Macro viruses will always be a danger but thats do to dumb dumb users adding them - the same goes for any macro designed for the system. A Google one would be easy to add as well. But if its online, thats not really a comparison, as they dont allow addins online.

        True they will need to modify office for future WindowsRT devices but that shouldnt be much of a task. Again, my samsung slate works great and I see intel creating some chips for fuure tablet use as well. MS is just trying to accomadate any/all hardware makers.
      • Jabber_Wolf CHECK YOUR FACTS

        Full Office works on Windows 8. Its only Windows RT (ARM Tablet version) that will need any Office Lite package.
      • Macro Viruses, Really?

        Have you seen any evidence of macro viruses in modern versions of Office, in, say, the past 5-7 years? Have you ever heard if a macro virus in the Open XML/ISO file formats?