The game is on.

Microsoft officially took its ubiquitous Office suite to the cloud this week with Office 365. And that, say industry watchers, is not good news for rival Google , which has been trying to capture the enterprise with its own offerings of cloud -based office apps.

This is not a great day for Google,” said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. ” Microsoft , when it comes to office productivity applications, isnt only an 800-pound gorilla, its a zoo worth of 800-pound gorillas. They are the standard.”

Last year, Google began a concerted effort to push its cloud-based Google Apps into the lucrative enterprise market, taking on Microsoft and its popular desktop applications.With Microsoft slower to get to the cloud, Google had a head start. Dave Girouard, president of Googles enterprise division, told Computerworld earlier this year that Microsoft was simply too far behind Google to catch up. However, now that Microsoft is officially in the game, that advantage might not be so clear.

“Yes, Googles office apps have been out there longer,” Olds said. “They definitely have users and a fairly decent number of users, but not a lot of noticeable revenue from it… And theres no such thing as an insurmountable lead in the Net.”

Continues at:  Microsoft Takes Cloud Fight to Google –

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