Google and Microsoft Competition Heating Up

It's a perennial matchup that never lives up to the hype. But lately, that hype is louder than ever. First, Google announced Google Apps Premier, which is aimed at business users. The new service launched with two big-name companies already signed on. Analyst firm Gartner, for one, predicts Google Apps Premier could be the first SAAS solution that enterprises actually consider as a productivity app replacement. Then, yesterday, Google and IBM announced a partnership whereby corporate users working under WebSphere could access Google gadgets. Even more competition around the edge of Microsoft's business.

And now today, word from the International Business Times that Ray Ozzie considers Google's ad market domination a "wake-up call" for Microsoft. Ozzie said that MS plans to do more than mimic Google's Web-based office apps; instead, they'll roll out Web-based and mobile add-ons to desktop software.

Ozzie also said Office apps have weathered competition before because that competition scrimped on functionality. For example, you have to be online to use Google's office apps.

Is Ozzie forgetting that the next iteration of the Firefox browser will supposedly allow offline app use? That alone would put Google in prime position to compete with the core of Microsoft's desktop market.