Gates to Google: 'Your business applications stink'

Bill Gates doesn't like Google's applications. Neither do most potential users.

Bill Gates may misunderstand open source, but he's fairly accurate in his portrayal of Google's attempts to get into the enterprise. Whatever one wants to say about the quality of Microsoft's software, one can't dispute its reach. Google, on the other hand, has been king in consumer search...and that's about it.

It's a big "it" but it tends to mask Google's continual failures in just about everything else (Used many of these lately?), including enterprise applications, as Gates points out:

In terms of Google, not to overstate it, but they really don't understand the special needs of business. Today, their economic model is based on consumer search. They have done an incredible job there and obviously we're investing in challenging them in that space ...

If you've seen ... the Google tools that have tried to do productivity type things, they really don't have the richness the responsiveness. You can see that relative [to] the success they have had there. Most of these Google products, to be frank, the day they announce them is their best day and then after that ....

I really want Google to be successful in the enterprise because Microsoft needs competition. But I just can't see it. Not in the short term, anyway.

Oracle and SAP may give Microsoft a run for its money, but Google has struggled even to get people (outside Silicon Valley) to use its supposedly successful Gmail.

The good news is that Google has lots of money and lots of time to put that money to use. The bad news is that Microsoft needs competition today.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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