On Tuesday, the search king made few headlines when partner Panorama Software announced a new on-demand analytics service for its Google Docs suite of software.
Docs is, ostensibly, DoubleGoo's answer to Microsoft's
But notice how Google is attacking Excel -- by adding analytics, a common feature of what's referred to as business intelligence software, or BI. It's important stuff. BI measures effectiveness in numerous tangible ways -- from customer satisfaction to inventory turns to staffing capacity, and so on.
Microsoft's largest partners and competitors have been spending billions to acquire this capability. SAP
I understand why. Excel is sometimes referred to as BI in its most basic form. But that's unlikely to last now that Google has added analytics to its own (ahem) free spreadsheet program.
So, expect Microsoft to respond. Whether that's through a deal for any of the remaining independents, such as Actuate
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers owned shares of IBM and Oracle at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio and his latest blog commentary. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy would wear a smoking jacket if it weren't, you know, a disclosure policy.