Google Apps vs. Microsoft BPOS

The “online productivity” segment is really hotting up. Google recently launched its “” advertising campaign, promoting Google Apps, it’s online productivity software, specifically positioning it against Microsoft products. In this campaign, which is being seen as possibility its biggest offensive against Microsoft yet, Google will set up 4 giant billboards at prime locations, apart from using traditional online and offline media.

On the other hand, Microsoft has also gone into overgear to promote Microsoft BPOS, its parallel product. Microsoft’s recent launch of BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) was its aknowledgment of the growing clout of the SaaS based productivity segment. In a move which had the possibility of cannibalizing its traditionally popular cash cows – MS Exchange, MS SharePoint etc – Microsoft launched the online version of these software, loosely integrated into the BPOS.

The reason for this is the undeniability of the benefits of the SaaS approach – lower costs, no hardware, universal access – and a general shift in business attitudes towards user oriented online solutions, rather than IT department oriented on-premise solutions. Microsoft sees BPOS as a product of the future, and has been agressively trying to push it into the market with the .

The hallmark of these “online productivity” solutions is that they are web based, and integrate all the essential productivity tools every organization needs – messaging (email, mobile and web mail, shared contacts/calendars), collaboration (document management, intranet/extranet workspaces, project management, forums, wikis) and web conferencing.

Apart from these two players, there are other smaller players offering solutions in this segment, but specifially oriented towards small businesses. HyperOffice is one such player, which have been offering the to SMBs since 1998.

I looked around for a good comparison of the products in this space, and came across a good one prepared by HyperOffice. Check out their

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