Ratcheting Up the Competition

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-08-04 Print this article Print

4. Google Docs
Google Docs is an extremely important component of Google's strategy for Android. The company is trying to push it on customers in a new advertising campaign, highlighting the fact that, for many companies, Google Docs might just be enough. Microsoft Office is a powerful program, but as Google Docs continues to be improved and Google pushes for better integration with Android, it could be the company's Trojan horse for entrance into the enterprise.

5. Ubiquity
Although users can buy a BlackBerry that works on any major carrier, Google expects to have 20 Android-based phones on store shelves by the end of 2009. That number could more than double by the end of 2010 if vendors see profitable returns on Android phones. In under a year, that would mean more types of Android-based devices would be on store shelves than BlackBerry smartphones. More choices could lead to better software, and thus a better chance of Android competing against the BlackBerry.

6. RIM's advantages aren't unique
One of the biggest problems facing the BlackBerry today is that its advantages don't differentiate RIM's products. Sure, BlackBerrys are currently the best when it comes to push e-mail, and BlackBerry Enterprise Server is fantastic. But it's not beyond the realm of possibility to see Android-based devices featuring the same technology. If RIM can do it, why can't Google?

Click here to read more about Google's first Google Apps ad campaign.

7. Android looks to the future
Say what you will about the iPhone, but it has appealed to enterprise customers. When it's sitting next to the BlackBerry Bold at AT&T stores, it looks futuristic. It looks like the next generation. And it appeals to what people want-a touch-screen with engaging features. Android-based devices have followed Apple down that path. They look like they're the future. They appeal to users. That could be important in the future.

8. More updates to come
Google's Rubin told Reuters recently that his company plans to release biannual updates to Android software from now on. Those updates should bring major upgrades and new features. That could be a boon for the enterprise. Customers would be able to have the features they want. And if Google is serious about attracting business customers, it could only be a matter of time before it releases an update that would really attract the corporate world.

9. The outdated BlackBerry
Following that logic, I'd contend that BlackBerry software is a little outdated. It's slow to be updated, it features the same basic experience of earlier BlackBerry smartphones, and it fails to provide an easy input style of the kind that's found on the iPhone and Android-based phones. The BlackBerry Bold and Curve compare more effectively with Windows Mobile devices, rather than the iPhone. That's a problem. RIM's phone software is in serious need of an update. And soon.

10. It's Google
Google is, well, Google. It has billions of dollars of cash on hand. It has set its sights on the enterprise. It has online tools that can be easily integrated into its mobile platform. Simply put, it has the money and the vision it needs to revolutionize the space. I wouldn't count it out. And neither should RIM.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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