While Microsoft certainly doesn’t have the same sort of position as Google does in the mobile market, with Windows Mobile devices continuing to flounder in the market, they still own the enterprise. Well, maybe not ‘own’, but it’s safe to say that the majority of businesses around the globe think of Microsoft when they think of programs to get stuff done. Microsoft’s Office 2016 was recently launched, and it gives Google a fresh headache. It runs on Android, iOS and of course Windows as well as Mac. That’s not all however, as Microsoft added real-time collaboration, something Google Drive, Docs and Sheets have specialized in for years.
Now though, Google is looking to take the fight right to Microsoft. To combat their presence in the market, Google is going to offer a year’s worth of Google Apps for Work completely free to those that have an Enterprise Agreement, or EA, with Microsoft. That works out at $5 a month per user for tools such as Docs and Sheets, or $10 a month for the same with unlimited storage. Depending on the size of your company, that’s a big saving, but it’s only for the one year. Google will only be offering a year’s worth for free if said business then agrees to another year at full price on top of that. As if this weren’t enough, Google is going to be paying $25 per user to resellers that pass on Microsoft’s software under EAs, this is “cash from us, on behalf of customers, for resellers, says Google’s Global Head of Sales, Rich Rao.
This is a fairly ambitious push from Google, and we’re sure it will steal away a number of small, to medium sized businesses from Microsoft. Whether or not Google Apps for Work proof good enough to pry away massive corporations that have relied on Microsoft Office remains to be seen. Nevertheless, this is a sure sign that Office 2016 and Office 365 have finally gotten Google spooked, and that now is the time for Google to really push their productivity offerings, before things start moving backwards for them.