This says two things. First, Microsoft and other vendors like IBM still have a tight grip on the largest companies. Gartner analyst Tom Eid—who predicts that enterprise email alone will be a $5 billion global industry this year, growing about 10% from last year—confirms this. He estimates that Microsoft still commands 75% of the market’s spending, versus about 3% to 5% for Google.
But Google is capturing Microsoft’s future customer base. Perhaps this doesn’t hurt as much now, but as today’s smaller companies grow into tomorrow’s leaders, will they eventually switch to Microsoft products? Or will they stick with Google? (Or, also possible—but less dramatic—both?)
We've ran Google Apps since early 2010 at our school. We did a lot of training when we launched, but new teachers really don't require much since their personal email is usually powered by Gmail. We're seeing the generation of workers who used Gmail and Google Docs in high school and college come into the workforce. They understand that you can "be productive" without Outlook and Office. For Microsoft, this is a scary situation.
This quote from The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway always comes to mind here:
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”
How does Microsoft lose their enterprise grip? Gradually and then suddenly.