July 10, 2009
Microsoft Making Major Announcement Monday
An article at TechCrunch alerted us to a major announcement Microsoft is said to be making on Monday. According to sources close to Microsoft the company will be releasing information on a new version of their popular Office productivity suite called Office Live. Office Live will be a cloud-computing version of the Office suite with user data stored on remote servers or, "in the clouds". Details are expected to be made available on Monday at the Microsoft Partners Conference in New Orleans. Office Live is a response to Google Docs and Open Office. When released, it will allow users to create, work on and store documents in a web-based environment. No software, no storage, no fuss. We won't know about any other features such as collaborative working tools under until Monday's unveiling. Microsoft's announcement will come one week after Google said it would release the Chrome OS in the second half of 2010. Clearly the timing of the two announcements are strategically linked. Much like the PR battles between Google and Yahoo! in previous years (when Google would generally find a way to trump what should have been a triumphant day for it's rival), Google's battle for the mind-share and loyalty of the tech world has now shifted north. It will be an entirely different fight, one far larger than Google has ever waged before. Beating up on Yahoo! was sort of like beating up on a smaller sibling. It was a far more gentle and fraternal struggle. Microsoft is not a sibling in any sense of the word to Google. Microsoft is the much larger, older and savvier lion used to leading the pride wherever it wanted the pride to go. Google is now facing a bigger, meaner and more challenging foe, one it is beginning to resemble itself. It's not a matter of pride, its a matter of long-term survival. As both appear to be challenging the others main source(s) of revenue, neither can afford to lose the coming war. It's getting more interesting, more quickly than anyone could have anticipated.