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Should Microsoft Office 365 be Afraid of Google Workspace? Gartner 2020 Market Share Report Says …

By Craig Roth | July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

Digital Workplace ApplicationsDigital WorkplaceCloud Office

My answer to the question in this title is a solid No.  Yes.  Well … maybe.

My document “Google Workspace Continues to Slowly Take Market Share From Microsoft Office and Office 365” just published (client link: Google Workspace Continues to Slowly Take Market Share From Microsoft Office and Office 365). And, not to give away the ending, Microsoft maintained its dominant position in productivity suites in 2020 and Google continues to grab 1% to 2% of market share per year.

Having almost 90% of a large market is a nice position for Microsoft to be in. And Microsoft hasn’t been resting on its laurels either – it continues to innovate and add new functionality to the suite.

But Google, coming off a lower base, posted over 50% growth by our estimate in UCC and email and authoring. The pandemic in 2020 spurred tremendous growth in web conferencing from all providers.  With less technical debt to worry about, Google has an easier time innovating and reimagining ways of working. Although that technical debt is accumulating and it’s not as easy to make major changes as it used to be.

The overall market for productivity suites increased 18%in 2020 (by revenue) and I think there is still room to grow. So the momentum matters for net new licenses as well as getting existing buyers to switch (which is harder to do).

Of course, a company that wants to use one of these productivity suites shouldn’t pick based on market share. The decision should be informed by how you want your users to work.  Our market share figures are simply validation of the dynamism in what might, from the outside, look like a boring and static duopoly. 

For providers of add-on services (like implementation, training, or books) or products (like enhancements or better versions of suite components such as content management or meeting solutions), this analysis shows Google is still a valid partner. Microsoft has the bulk of worldwide implementations and the largest ecosystem. But Google has a bit more growth and a less crowded market which makes it easier to get noticed. 

When I dig beneath the high level numbers this market is anything but static.  I look forward to seeing how these two major vendors and the competitors and ecosystems around them respond to the evolving demands of a hybrid workforce.

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