Google Docs has been a long time in the making. Each year, since 2005, Google has been able to successfully integrate another form of usability into the Google Docs app, making it extremely simple for consumers to use the free web programs. What started as a strategic way to create and share documents online, has now become a vast array of powerful tools used by businesses and individuals that almost make the need for elaborate publishing programs (Most created by Microsoft) obsolete.
Then, in March of 2010, when Google Docs acquired Docverse, which is an online document colloboration company, Google threw yet another heavy punch to its rival Miscrosoft. This latest endeavor allowed users to colloborate on Microsoft compatible documents, making Google Docs a power horse in online document mangement. Perhaps the most astonishing need is that all of these services are offered for free.
Even with astonishing usability, Google Docs has always been considered a lightweight when it came to desktop publishing and document creation. However, Microsoft feeling encroached by web giant Google, had to save itself from what looked like doom. Thus the development of Office Live Workspace. Miscosoft unveiled Office Live Workspace in 2007 in Beta version (went live in 2008) as a way to answer to Google Docs. Their marketplace aim was on small business owners and consumers rather than large corporations.
Fast forward to 2011, and this form of online work colloboration and document services is now considered “cloud programming,” and even Apple is getting in on the act. When Google announced that it would deliver its document, music, app and video streaming services to not just computer users, but phone users as well, Microsoft did the same.
What was initially a fight over document management has now become one entrenched in ‘cloud technology.’ Experts agree that this battle may very well be fought by using brands of PDA’s and cellular companies as ways to pull customers in one direction over the other.
Microsoft’s cloud strategy is considered a raw approach compared to what Google and Apple are taking, but company officials stand behind their decisions. The company is “offering online storage, streaming, and syncing under one suite like Apple, while still giving users the type of customization offered by Google,” says one company spokesperson. Perhaps most impressive is that Miscrosoft’s strategy for success largely revolves around Windows Live Suite and Miscrosoft programs and will likley fit in flawlessly for both desktop users and those comuting on the go through smart phones.
The good news for you, the consumer, is that with so many companies fighting over your business, you are apt to receive special offers and discounts that may not have been otherwise available. One of the worst things for consumers would be a market that is saturated by one company limiting options and driving up costs. Luckily for the rest of us, Microsoft is not going down without a fight and has proven to be both competitive and equal to Google every step of the way.
Frank Anderson is a social media and Internet culture blogger. He also maintains virtual web servers at his day job.