Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) has increased its push to take away low-end business customers who use Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows products. Google Apps has been available for several years, and it is available free for firms that use less than 20 versions of the email and Docs product. There are now small fees for these that run as little as $50 a year.
Businesses apparently are increasingly comfortable with leaving Windows — and saving money in the process. According to The New York Times:
In a recent report, Gartner, the information technology research company, called Google “the only strong competitor” to Microsoft in cloud-based business productivity software, though it warned that “enterprise concerns may not be of paramount importance to the search giant.”
Google is tight-lipped about how many people use Google Apps, saying only that in June more than five million businesses were using it, up from four million in late 2011.
Douglas A. McIntyre