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Microsoft Needs to Worry More About Google Than Apple

Chris Neiger
October 25, 2013

With all publicity around Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL)free software push with both Mavericks and iWork, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)is firing back pretty aggressively against the iMaker -- but it should probably be more concerned about what Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG)doing.

Office 365 logo. Source: Microsoft.

Fighting the wrong battle
Microsoft has taken aim directly at the iPad lately, pitting it up against its Surface tablets in commercials and more recently in a blog post on its website. Frank Shaw, Microsoft's corporate vice president of communications, wrote earlier this week that the Surface tablets are much more of workhorses compared to iPads. He said giving away iWork for free won't have any impact on Office's productivity dominance. This is largely true because of Office's dominance in businesses and enterprise, but that doesn't mean Microsoft doesn't have anything to scared about.

Google just won contracts with the Army and the Department of Defense for its cloud-based apps. Google wrote this week: "The Army's rollout of Google Apps is part of a transformational program to improve collaboration, information sharing and mobile access for an initial group of 50,000 Army and Department of Defense (DoD) personnel ."

Google Apps logo. Source: Google.

A few contracts won't come close to killing Microsoft Office, or Office 365, but it does mean the company's software is no longer the obvious choice. Signing up for Google Apps was a way for the Army and DoD to cut expenses and move across platforms and devices seamlessly.

That's bad news for Microsoft considering Office was the biggest generator of op