Of course, Google’s not without its own footholds. More than one billion users access Gmail monthly. It’s convenient for them to use the suite of apps Google has already attached to their email address, says Vanessa Thompson, research director for enterprise social networks at market industry firm IDC. Plus, as Dawson points out, increasingly popular Chromebooks have these apps built into the machines. Last year, Google Chromebooks accounted for more than half of all devices sold into US classrooms. Three years before, their share was less than 1 percent. That’s a whole lot of youngsters growing up as users of G suite, who may want to continue using the apps when they finally reach working age.

Still, Google’s a long way from challenging Microsoft’s dominance, however many fancy new features or adolescent fans it acquires For one, as Thompson says, Google hasn’t found the same strategic partnerships with the likes of IBM, Salesforce, Oracle, and Adobe that other traditionally consumer-focused tech companies have. “Getting your work done in the context of where you need to be is very important,” she says. Meanwhile, integrations like Microsoft Office and Salesforce’s CRM (customer relationship management) software, means users don’t have to fret about switching back and forth between apps. Not to mention, Microsoft infuses its products with machine learning too. Its new Tell Me feature, released in the latest version of Office, is a text field that allows for natural language searching, whileits email applearns your habits and figures out which email matters to you the most. Microsoft even recently added online document collaboration. Innovation runs both directions.

Ultimately, Dawson says,machine intelligence doesn’t matter as much to users as practical benefits. “Yes, there’s a lot of talk about AI,” he says. “But where the rubber hits the road is: do these features actually help people in dailylife?” It’s neat if Google can predict what document you’d most likely want to work on now. But sometimes, knowing your way around mail merge matters more.

Read more: https://www.wired.com/2016/10/g-suite-google-apps-microsoft-office/

Google Work Apps Gain New Powers, But Microsoft Still Rules
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