Why Read This
While Microsoft's move to acquire Yahoo! attacks Google's extraordinarily profitable search and advertising business, another angle could hold even larger implications for the Redmond giant. Google has moved tentatively into the enterprise software market, potentially threatening Lotus and Microsoft in a big way by continuing to add enterprise capabilities, such as the workspace offering Team Edition. Google's move essentially signals a sea change in how enterprises license and distribute software. Although Yahoo! could help Microsoft get there faster, it's not just a Google /Microsoft race, and all bets are off with IBM/Lotus' Project Blue for cloud-based Social Computing as a clear finalist. There is also a dark horse in this race: Cisco. Each vendor will face considerable challenges as significant portions of on-premise collaboration software disappear into a cloud. From an information and knowledge manager's perspective, putting productivity and collaboration software in a cloud-based model has clear benefits — it's potentially much less expensive, easier to manage a single source of the truth, and is available anywhere, at any time.