There has been a conspicuous lack of news about Google Apps, their cloud-based business software division, over the past few months that was highlighted by recent departures and reorganization moves as well as a nearly-complete omission during last week’s investor call. CEO Larry Page’s focus on social, search, and advertising in both are making the goals of taking on Microsoft head-to-head in their own territory less emphasized.
In short, the last three months, Google has blinked.
All of this comes despite positive feedback and strong moves over the last year. Four million businesses use Google Apps, though only “hundreds of thousands” of them are paying customers. The user-subscription model is certainly profitable and Google has the bandwidth to build on the technology, but it seems as if their heart simply isn’t in it anymore.
For Microsoft, it’s their core business. Office and Office 365 have shown no signs of slowing and are often shown to take back customers who shifted to Google Apps. They’re fighting hard to defend their home turf and Google appears to be losing interest in fighting a three-front war with Facebook as their prime target on the social side and Apple being their nemesis in mobile.