Capgemini, the largest IT consultant in Europe, will begin to market Google (GOOG) Apps. The software combines the search company’s e-mail, spreadsheet, document, and presentation functions. Unlike Microsoft (MSFT) Windows, it runs by connecting the user’s PC to Google’s servers instead of taking up memory and processing on the computer itself.
The announcement is a blow to Microsoft, even if it is no more than a nice public relations move. Capgemini holds the level of respect in Europe that EDS and Accenture have in the US. Google appears to have created Apps for smaller businesses, so the fact that a consulting firm that has large customers would market the software is a big "win."
Google’s software still has the disadvantage that it only provides a small number of the functions that Windows does. It may take years for Google to build these features into Apps, if it decides to do it at all. But Apps is cheap, priced at $50 per user per year. So in enterprise environments where only a limited number of functions are needs on a large number of PCs, it may just fit the bill.
Not a good for MSFT.
Douglas A. McIntyre