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Does Google "Premier" Menace Microsoft? Analysts Differ

Thursday, 22 Feb 2007 | 1:09 PM ET

Google dominated the search arena, and then seized vast chunks of the e-mail market from Yahoo! and Microsoft's MSN. Now Google is taking aim at Microsoft's nearly universal office applications. But will Google's subscription-based Apps Premier Edition shake the House that Bill Gates built? Two analysts weighed in on "Morning Call."

Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, says Microsoft Office is facing a run for its money. He told CNBC's Dylan Ratigan that the firms have a dichotomy in viewpoints and strategy that may make all the difference in satisfying clients: Google is "anticipating where the market is going," says Enderle, while Microsoft is perceived as being mired by its very size.

Google Apps
Google's applications include email, instant messaging and the ability to read and edit Microsoft Word and Excel documents, with Scott Wapner, CNBC Business News

Enderle predicted that the Premier Edition "will do Microsoft some damage," adding that Google's strategy is "targeted back" at recent growth among infrastructure players like EMC and Sun Microsystems.

Sasa Zorovic, digital media senior analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., disagrees -- for now. He did concede that Google's pay-to-use suite constitutes "a real threat to Microsoft" -- but says that the danger will come to roost "maybe in 2009." As to this year and 2008, Zorovic said he is "not assuming much coming" in the way of eager subscribers -- as the public is accustomed to getting Google goodies for free.

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