Android’s New Enterprise Features Aren’t Likely to Overtake Microsoft Office Anytime Soon

Sundar Pichai presented the latest innovations from Android targeted to enterprise IT and business consumers during this year’s I/O Developer conference. Samsung’s Knox is one of the two anchor tenants of this latest tech strip mall, with Quickoffice (ostensibly a seamless way for users to “natively” edit Office documents without a file conversion) providing the big box store magnetism.

The big neon sign pointing drivers to this new shopping paradise was Pichai’s big claim of much higher levels of Android penetration of enterprise business markets–58% of the Fortune 500. The shock value of this statistic is, of course, diluted by what Pichai did Not report, meaning he did not answer the following question: “Is this penetration contributing to these same enterprise consumers deciding to drop other methods of processing computing tasks?”

While we don’t know the right answer to this question, the likely choice would be “no”. Technology consumers from enterprise business and comparably sized organizations in the public and not-for-profit sectors are notorious for having an interest in consuming several different solutions for the same problem, albeit at different levels of intensity. Sure, 58% of the Fortune 500 uses Google Docs, Drive, etc. But they are also using Box, DropBox, SAP, Oracle, and everything else out there with any kind of pervasive market credibility as a solution worth having.

Missing from the above list, of course, is Microsoft® Office. This writer omitted including Office in the list for one big reason. It is highly likely that 100% of the Fortune 500 uses this one solution, and with much greater frequency than any of the others.

So, with all due respect to Android, 58% is “chump change”. When we factor in the unique features of Office 365, which is reputed to be Microsoft’s fastest selling product of all time, the significance of Android’s latest moves diminish further. There is simply nothing comparable to SharePoint, and SharePoint Online in the Google set of enterprise applications. Any highly regulated business can still save a bundle by customizing SharePoint components into a satisfactory records management, or enterprise document management solution, complete with analytics.

Should Google opt to offer something directly competitive to SharePoint (this writer sees little incentive for them to do so) the situation may stay, as is, for quite some time to come.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved

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