The dominant enterprise players in Office suite have been Microsoft and IBM for a long time . Although they may not be the greatest software to have been developed but enterprise is just a bunch of risk fearing morons especially the big ones . So they are used to live with crap or to be honest shit most of the times . Microsoft has been using all sorts of bullying techniques concomitant with License sops to blackmail companies to use its Operating system / Office suite . I have heard people complaining of companies not allowing employees to use Firefox or Google Chrome and insisting on using IE .
But to face it big companies didn’t have much leverage they have to toe the line of M$ . Primarily because people are used to its crap and will resist change . GNU/Linux has not been able to make rapid inroads into desktop market especially in companies . This is mainly because of lack of awareness / knowledge among people especially the non – IT / CS workforce . So companies were forced to use a costlier office solutions . Now Google has been a subdued player but off late has been catching up on the big fish . For those who don’t know Google offers Gmail/Google Calendar /Google docs / sites / GTalk based office solution with 25 GB free space . The servers will be hosted in Google and its said that Google data center with its state of the art technologies ensures reduction in carbon foot print . The major catch here is that the cost for which this is offered 50$/user/year .
This has raised alarm bells in Redmond , Google recently announced that Wave will be available for Google Apps Premier users . People still complain that web mail is not that powerful compared to email client like thunderbird . Many big companies seldom use thunderbird but crap client like Outlook . IMHO , gmail is way better than Outlook in its search and other capabilities .
Google labs has been producing new features that is consistently raising the bar . With the web based office solutions companies can look forward to using operating system such as Ubuntu and others to reduce cost per se .
Anyways still the question of data privacy and other generic concerns of a cloud based system are still valid while using Google Apps . But its way better than the Diktuts of M$ .