Google, Microsoft, and Apple: Who’s winning?

Google tries to reign in Microsoft's Office 365 clients; Microsoft launches its Surface Pro 4. The competition between the world's largest tech giants rages on, and with no clear winner.

Mark Von Holden/Microsoft via AP
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, Microsoft previewed its Surface Pro 4 at a Windows 10 Devices Event, in New York. The Surface Pro 4 was recently launched.

The giants of technology are at it again.

“Nine years ago with Google Docs, we saw an opportunity to build something that would enable people to work together in new ways. Fast forward to today and Docs is a productivity powerhouse,” wrote Rich Rao, head of global sales for Google, on Monday. A bright blue ad appears at the bottom of Mr. Rao’s post: “Switch to Google Apps now and don’t double pay.” 

The blog post is not the first in a quiet campaign against Google’s biggest corporate office competitor: Microsoft. The mega-giants of the tech world have been at it for decades.

But this is one of the first times Google has directly sought out Microsoft’s clients. The application it’s offering is exclusively for corporate users already subscribed to Microsoft Office 365, which charges its clients between $5 and $13 a month. Google is offering users the chance to subscribe to its product for free.

“There’s a new way of working,” Rao adds, “And we think that once you see Docs and the rest of Google Apps for Work in action, you’ll never want to go back. We want to help you experience it now, even if you’re locked into an existing EA.”

This comes at nearly the same time that Microsoft has announced the release of its shiny new and highly anticipated Surface Pro 4 – Microsoft’s first-ever “laptop.”

An evolved version of its tablet, the Surface Pro 4 is a laptop by day and a tablet by night. Apple’s already taken the stage with its iPad Pro. Samsung has its Tab S2; Google its Pixel C.

The Google-Apple debate has pretty much been raging since the inception of the companies. But, after Apple won the driver’s seat (its market capital is more than $670 billion more than the other two), Google versus Microsoft has become a more relevant competition. 

According to Forbes’s Gordon Kelly, “Microsoft is the new Google, Google the old Microsoft.” Earlier this year, Google’s market share dipped to its lowest point in seven years. Apple is currently ranked number one as the world’s most valuable brand, with a market capital at $741.8 billion. Microsoft is number two at $69.3 billion. And Google is shuffling in third at $65.6 billion.

Google, Apple and Microsoft have been childhood rivals since birth. When Apple developed the iPhone, Google shot back with the Android. (Microsoft fell behind with its less popular Lumia.) When Apple introduced the iPad, Google came out with the Nexus, and Microsoft with the Surface Book. As Om Malik wrote in The New Yorker: “Sometimes, I wonder if Apple and Google are like Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, the Ukranian brothers who have, for the past decade, made the heavyweight boxing championship a very boring family affair.”

Nor does the “boxing championship” look like it’ll be ending anytime soon. Reviews for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 came as soon as the product was released on Wednesday morning, and they were pretty glowing.

No one has reviewed Google’s new app to replace Microsoft 365 yet.

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