In Apple’s 2005 era “Mac vs. PC” advertising campaign, the company worked to attribute Microsoft’s Windows operating system as dated and boring by associating it with spreadsheets, number crunching,mail-merges, and just about everything that consumer computer users deem as “boring.” And even though Mac OS X is indeed a great operating system for business use, I cannot deny the fact that Apple had a point. Microsoft has always been known for their flagship office suite, appropriately marketed as “Microsoft Office.” When you combine this with enterprise-level collaboration and communications solutions such as Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft has historically had a leading edge in this field.
But even with this advantage, Microsoft has more recently found themselves against a growing roadblock that has figuratively dulled their edge on the business communications and collaborations market which they previously dominated. With the development of cloud-based alternatives to both Exchange, Sharepoint, and even the Microsoft Office suite, new solutions have become much more attractive alternatives to Microsoft’s array of products. Google Apps, for example, gives businesses small and large access to a full suite of cost-effective and proven information technology systems. One of the biggest selling points for these services has been the fact that they operate entirely on third-party platforms, meaning that businesses and companies have the flexibility to run fully featured business communications systems without the cost or headache of traditional IT overhead.