Friday, March 24, 2006

Office and the World Wide Web War

The whole word or spreadsheet in a browser push has gained momentum of late with the user experience that AJAX brings to the web coupled with some online betas from some of the players – throw in the determination of these players and communities to topple Microsoft and their Office goldmine and you’ve got a war.

So will MS loose some market share – short answer yes.
Will it be the touted 90% that sites like ajaxlaunch are quoting – short answer ‘No Chance’.

To elaborate on this, Microsoft will definitely loose market share with anything that comes up for free and can replicate their products – in this case it’s currently word processing and spreadsheets.
This will mostly be home users who are keen to try something new, cheap and ‘cool’ - This is hardly 90% of the market but it will represent some losses for Microsoft and the lucrative home market.
Don’t get me wrong – home users will definitely take this up and players like Google, Microsoft and ajaxlaunch are addressing it with separate offerings.

Google’s acquired Upstartle for their word processing offerings.
Microsoft has a beta of
live.com –an online dashboard using AJAX with feeds, pictures, mail and will no doubt takeup word and spreadsheet processing -
Other players like
ajaxlaunch have a beta of their word processing offering.

There might be others around but really there’s only 2 players shaping at the moment, why?
Well, both Google and Microsoft have an internet foothold with search and mail respectively – this is where the home user spends or starts their internet life so both will look to promote any online office services through these channels. This leaves ajaxlaunch and other sites out in the cold and they’d have to align themselves to get any traction.

So will the online push entice the juicy market share with the corporate end of town? Hardly – as these online offerings are still at step 1 – basic authoring which might satisfy the user needs but not the business.
Think of workflow, the integrated user experience, content standards, control, visibility - to name a few.
Business productivity won’t improve with these online services just like office workers use the Outlook client in the office instead of Outlook Web Access.

So expect
Office 2007 to put a stranglehold on the end to end business requirements and if we’re talking about taking market share – well Lotus Notes is in trouble.


So when the dust settles who will be big winners out of all this?
The home users for sure as there will be some great online offerings to play with.

Who are the big losers?
Depends which way you look at it but for me its an easy one… Lotus Notes…

1 comment:

Nick Barclay said...

One of the interesting things about ajaxWrite is that, apparently, it's not even AJAX-based. Check out this link:
http://alex.dojotoolkit.org/?p=551