Gartner: Google and Apple are disrupting Microsoft

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Apple and Google have the potential to disrupt the status quo of the tech industry says Gartner analyst Jeffery Mann.

Google Business and Apple’s entry into enterprise are paving the way for these two tech giants to seriously shake things up for the likes Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Oracle, IBM and SAP.

The way Mann sees it, Microsoft wants to replicate its technology platform and ecosystem success in the “emerging battle for cloud-based platforms and services with its Windows Azure infrastructure platform and Azure Services Platform”.

The way the company is hoping to achieve this is through a set of services for developers, and with finished applications for consumers and enterprises.

In a battle between Google and Microsoft, Mann reckons that Google democratises information but operates on its own terms, while Microsoft democratises technology but wants to take user by the hand.

“Gartner estimates Google revenue for Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Government (and
related properties),” says Mann.

“We estimated Google revenue for Google Apps and related properties to be 0.8% of total Google revenue, up from 0.3% for the quarter ending 30 June 2010. As of the quarter ending 31 March 2012, we estimate that one percent of Google revenue comes from Apps and related properties.”

According to Gartner, Google’s cash machine will continue to boom because of its focus on providing small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with a simple way to advertise in this new, interactive world through the many projects the company has launched around the world to get business online.

Unlike Microsoft, Apple doesn’t market directly to large business but has seen strong success in the consumer market, selling its ecosystem of products and services, including iPhone and Mac computers, through its retail stores and third-party partners.

The Cupertino-based giant is gaining entry into the enterprise market is largely through employees or contractors buying products with personal funds.

Mann believes that “Apple is one of the companies to most benefit from the consumerization of IT trend”.

The three companies compete in three key areas as Mann explains: their operating systems, their devices and cloud solutions.

The way the Gartner analyst sees it Google, Apple and to some extent Facebook are winning in the cloud, because they mostly operate in that space and Microsoft is playing catch up.

Mann reckons all three companies have some key challenges to get through in order to conquer the market. He believes that Google needs to “whither the ecosystem outside advertising,” that Microsoft needs to break out of “existing business model shackles” and that Apple’s challenge lies in “maintaining margin and sales model”.

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