Google Bends Over Backwards to Beat Microsoft

I hope somebody is awake in Redmond, because Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) is under attack.

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) is driving a big push into the educational software market, where Microsoft Office currently reigns supreme. The states of Oregon, Iowa, and Colorado have all signed up for Google Apps for Education, giving teachers and students access to a range of centralized tools such as Gmail, Calendar, Groups, and Video.

That's quite a bit more than moving single school districts onto the Google platform, and there's support for the change in high places. Colorado governor Bill Ritter gushed about the move in Google's release: "By leveraging the Internet, educators are able to bring new ways of learning to the classroom and connect with students in exciting and challenging ways."

What makes these statewide approvals of Google Apps even more intriguing is the fact that Google bent over backwards to make it happen.

Here's what happened: Google introduced an encrypted search service earlier this spring. Microsoft's Bing doesn't have that; neither does Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) Search nor IAC/InterActiveCorp's (Nasdaq: IACI  ) Ask.com. If you want a secure connection for your web searches, Google would be it.

But the power to search without worrying about snooping eyes also let students search for adult content and other inappropriate material. It's a way to circumvent the filters installed in the school's networking infrastructure, so many schools and school districts wanted to block that service entirely. But that entailed blocking effectively all of Google, including those cost-effective and neatly centralized Google Apps tools.

So Google has moved its encrypted search results to a new Internet address, which means that system administrators can now block Google's encrypted search without losing the less nefarious software. And there was much rejoicing.

The encrypted search move on its own isn't particularly noteworthy, but the way several states then immediately sang Google's praises is. Big G is listening to its prospective users and doing whatever needs to be done to get some signatures on the dotted line. Whether Google Apps is flat-out better than MS Office in any quantifiable way is beside the point; Google's aggressive tactics will eventually make a painful dent in Microsoft's ironclad Office monolith.

Would you like to see Google Apps in your school district, with or without encrypted search functions? Let me know in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick and Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on it shares. Google is a Rule Breakers choice. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2010, at 5:43 PM, Fooldank wrote:

    There have been MANY free Office-like competitors in the past (OpenOffice ring a bell?) - what makes you think that Google Apps will succeed where they have all failed?

    Also - have you heard of Office Web Apps? IMO - it's Microsoft that's beating Google to the online office apps punch... and they don't even have to bend over backwards...

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1222347, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/28/2014 9:48:07 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement