Who'll Take Down MS Office?

Dennis Faas's picture

Just about everyone is out to get Microsoft. That's the problem with being a virtual hegemonic state; like the U.S., everyone wants a piece of the pie and it often means taking it by force. So, just what are the primary threats to Microsoft?

When it comes to its the company's Office "turf", the competitors are now lining up, and neither the products nor their makers are slouches by any means.

In the following week, three tech titans announced plans to bring down the god of business software, Microsoft and its Office. Yahoo, Google, and even IBM have plans to develop competing software with Office, which we all know includes handy tools like Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, and many others. (Source: informationweek.com)

So, what do these companies have to offer?

First up is Yahoo, or Yahoo! (I hate exclamation points), who recently announced the purchase of awkwardly named Zimbra, which specializes in electronic mail tools. It's closer to Exchange and Outlook, both key components in Office's arsenal. Yahoo coughed up about $350 million for Zimbra, so expect the company to take its development very seriously.

Search superpower Google is no longer satisfied with helping you find tutus for your poodle. Amidst rumors of an inevitable Google Phone, the company has officially announced Presentations, and online rendition of PowerPoint. You can check out Stefania Spagnuolo's story on Presentations by clicking here.

Finally, there's IBM. It recently announced Lotus Symphony, a harmonious suite full of desktop applications that allow a user to create anything from PowerPoint-esque presentations to Word-like documents to pseudo-Excel spreadsheets.

Aside from IBM, the trend may just be to take all of our Office, ahem "office" apps online. According to one Internet software service representative, "Recent moves from Google and Yahoo! prove that the Internet is the only way forward for business". (Source: business.timesonline.co.uk)

Microsoft's had it easy for a long time in this market, but it appears that's all about to change.

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