In the past, many have talked about the desktop vs. cloud wars -- is it really a "war?" -- by comparing productivity suites like Microsoft Office and Google Apps. People have had a lot of speculation about what web apps are capable of and what is truly needed when it comes to admittedly bloated apps, like Microsoft Word; but this is the first time I think we've seen two "friendly" competitors go head-to-head: Google Apps and OpenOffice. I say, "friendly," but use that term relatively loosly. Google is very open source friendly and some may say they operate in the spirit of open source, but there's a big difference between free and "open source." Either way, the results aren't too surprising: Google Apps gets spanked. While nobody has ever said Google Apps was better than Microsoft Office, it's a pretty well known fact that Microsoft Office beats out OpenOffice. Based on the transitive property of inequality, that pretty much says Microsoft Office kicks the livin' hell out of Google Apps. And, with Office Web Access just around the corner, that's pretty much game, set, match on Google Apps. I think Paul Thorrott said it best when he talked about the "small" web-based rich text editor in Office Live and how it was better than what Google Apps had to offer.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against web-based apps. I actually think we're a long way away from hitting the roof of what the web has to offer... and that's just the current incarnation. The platform itself needs another rev or two, tho. In the meantime, I'm excited to see what Google will come back with. We haven't seen Google react to competition much, other than speeding past very little, very sparse competition at 100 miles an hour. Google has vision, but Microsoft is one fierce competitor. The sleeping giant doesn't sleep for long.