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March 22nd, 2011

We’ve been hearing about “the cloud” now for almost four years, but Jeffrey Schwartz of RedmondMag.com (“the independent voice of the Microsoft IT community”) was saying about a month that “the battle for supremacy in cloud computing is just beginning. And Microsoft’s chief enemy, Google Inc., is armed and ready to shoot down its old-school rival.” At CRE Rentals, we keep an eye on what Microsoft is doing, especially since it is one of the major players in the technology industry (we recently reviewed Office 365 and the amazing Surface Table).

Web wars on products & services

Web Wars: Google vs. MicrosoftIn the growing conflict – Google vs. Microsoft, or “The Web Wars” – the cloud is not the only battlefield. Google is also attacking the products and services that made Microsoft the powerhouse firm it is. That means the operating system (OS) and server markets, the huge, corporate-sized versions of CRE Rentals’ Xserve rentals. As more consumers and crucial corporate decision-makers buy into Google’s cloud model – Web apps, distributed operations, online storage – could the Microsoft-dominated “desktop model” begin to wane?

Microsoft makes lots of money from selling copies of the Windows OS and its Office suite, the unchallenged leader in business productivity software. Google wants to displace both of these products with Web-based alternatives, namely with its Chrome OS and Google Apps for Business. This “pure-cloud” model, says Schwartz, means that “Exchange and SharePoint are at risk”. “Redmond’s approach involves more of a hybrid model,” Schwartz continues, “with on-premises and cloud services working together.”

Microsoft fights back

Microsoft execs and engineers haven’t been asleep at the wheel, by any means. The company’s sales of Windows 7 and the latest version of Office have been impressive. The new Office 365 Web apps, indicative of the firm’s “hybrid” approach, are a smart move – whether you’ve got a low-power netbook or one of CRE’s powerful computer rentals, you can get your work done online. For its part, Google intends to go much farther down the road in devising the “network computer” (NC) of the future, a project that the company’s CEO/founder, Eric Schmidt, started while at Sun Microsystems in the mid-1990s. One day, digital media pros may be able to edit film, video or audio on a Web app – but it won’t be 2011. Probably not 2012, either. One day, though!

While technology keeps tumbling into the future, your work still needs to get done in the present. We’ll keep an eye on the tech landscape and let you know what’s going on, and in the meantime our experienced Account Executives can equip you with whatever you need. Whether it’s the sheer brains-and-brawn of CRE’s Mac Pro rentals for post-production, or a new department that needs to get up and running with some office equipment rentals, we’ve got you covered. A phone call or e-mail, or a couple of minutes with the Quick Rental Quote form, is all it takes. We’re ready when you are.

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