The Big Tech Battle No One's Talking About

A shift to remote work leaves a productivity gap one of the tech majors has to fill. Who will it be? A Fool has some ideas.

Mar 5, 2014 at 6:11PM

There's still a huge gap between the promise of anytime, anywhere collaborative work and the technology required to make it real, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Consider the case of Tim Bray, co-creator of XML. He's leaving Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) because he'd rather stay in Vancouver than move to California to be near company headquarters.

"Both before and after being hired, I had been asked to consider moving south. I didn't want to and politely declined. Eventually, the group I'm in politely informed me that staying remote wasn't an option," Bray wrote in a blog post announcing the change.

For his part, Bray notes the part is amicable. He also says he determined that Google's stance was correct far as its business interests go. An interesting comment, Tim says, especially when you consider the rising number of remote workers in the U.S. and around the globe. Telework says there are more than 30 million who work from home at least once per week. Of those, 3 million work exclusively from a home office.

Google's stance is also interesting in light of Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) chief Marissa Mayer's crackdown on remote workers. The implication? Distance crimps productivity, and there isn't enough sophisticated technology to bridge the gap. Tim says that's a huge opportunity for every maker of productivity software. Yet it's Google and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) that are battling to serve users via the cloud, which may have the most to lose.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you work at home? How do you see productivity software evolving? Please watch the video to get his full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google, and Yahoo! and owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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