Google. Google, google, google. Google has spent this week making life more difficult for Microsoft.
1. They beat out Microsoft in the bidding frenzy for DoubleClick, locking down the ad services company for a scant $3.1 Billion dollars more than I have.
2. Google already had "Google Docs and Spreadsheets" (through their purchase of 'Writely'), which gave them web-collaborative versions of Word and Excel. What they were missing was a powerpoint clone.
Until this week, when Google bought Tonic, a web-collaborative presentation tool. Let's call it, for argument's sake...powerpoint.
Pundits suggest these services will be combined with Google's pre-existing small business tools. They are creating a full service offering for small businesses, and they are doing so going right at Microsoft's bread and butter. But this fight ain't over.
TechCrunch looks at the moves this way:
"Google and Microsoft are approaching [online business collaboration tool suites] from very different positions. Google has a clean slate but has to play catch up in customer acquisition and in building compelling functionality. And while Microsoft has a lock on customers at this point, their need to protect a huge revenue stream puts them at a distinct disadvantage. Who wins this fight could very easily be settled in the next 12 months, after Office 2007 and Vista hit the market and Google fleshes out its offering. But regardless if the result is that the cost of creating office based documents falls, the consumer wins."
It's getting hot in here.