Who should be behind this but Google’s successful Premier Reseller partner, CloudSherpas, which is certainly making great headway, I believe, in Australia.
It isn’t known for sure why Fairfax decided to cancel its contract with Microsoft, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it found Google Apps for Business to be much more cost effective.
Microsoft has tried to halt the march of Google by creating its own cloud-based business software called Office 36, but from what I gather too many companies now find it either too expensive, not as good as the offline products, or both. As Google appears (at the moment at least) to be the only viable alternative, the internet business is flying high.
Whether other companies such as IBM who are also developing cloud systems can catch up is yet to be tested. Given Microsoft’s experience I doubt very much they will be able to.
In a way, this is a pity as Microsoft’s office programs are in many ways superior to that offered by Google, but the latter seems to have caught the imagination with its fully integrated, easy to use and no nonsense approach to online software. Google mail (Gmail for short) is a prime example of this. The latter is simple to use but its biggest benefit is that emails are not downloaded to your computer’s hard drive.
Fairfax Media may have reluctantly changed, but I doubt they will go back.