Google set off an enterprise-tastic bomb last night when they announced the opening of Google Marketplace, an online store for business apps. Now, we can’t help but wonder, is Microsoft an impending casualty?  

The Strip

We noted Microsoft’s attempt to be “the very best option” for cloud lovers late last year when they announced their app marketplace for Windows Azure. Dubbed PinPoint, the online store helps users find related experts, applications and professional services.

In addition to PinPoint, Microsoft released an information marketplace called Dallas. This part of Azure is designed to provide developers with content (data, imagery, real-time web services) from third-party providers through clean, consistent APIs. It’s the same idea as Salesforce's AppExchange and Apple's infamous iPhone App store.

Imagine all those little stores residing next to each other in a virtual strip mall. Combined, they form what is undoubtedly the largest directory of IT companies and their offerings we’ve got. Now, picture a Texas-sized, G-shaped supermarket dropping right down in the center of it all.

Google’s Mega Outlet

Google's marketplace will connect developers with their whopping 25 million Apps users and the 2 million businesses that have gone Google. Better yet, from what we can tell, the store is simple and straightforward. Here are some high points from the presentation:

  • Google says everything businesses need is now in the cloud
  • Developers don’t have to use App Engine to build—you can use whatever you want
  • Google asks for a one-time fee of US$ 100, and a 20% rev share
  • Big G already has Over 50 launch partners, including Zoho,, Atlassian and Aviary

And, a short explanatory video in case you haven't seen it already:



This is nice compared to Microsoft which splits its market into two sectors, and even, which forces you to build your apps on their platform. 

Microsoft, Oh, Microsoft

This is the second time Google has stepped on Microsoft's toes in the last handful of days.
The first was G's acquisition of DocVerse, a startup that allows people to collaborate with MS Office documents online. 

“The future of productivity applications is in the cloud,” wrote Google Enterprise marketing specialist, Ellen Petry Leanse, on the company’s official blog. “…we recognize that many people are still accustomed to desktop software. So as we continue to improve Google Docs and Google Sites as rich collaboration tools, we’re also making it easier for people to transition to the cloud, and interoperate with desktop applications like Microsoft Office."

Microsoft is doing what it can (moving to the cloud was one of the most popular topic's at the SharePoint 2009 Conference in October). For starters, the new SharePoint Online--a solution similar to today's SharePoint Online, but for internet websites-- is slated to come out with SharePoint 2010. 

How much do you want to bet Microsoft will announce a marketplace for SharePoint Online sometime in the near future?

Until then, do you see the Google Marketplace as the very best option? Does Microsoft stand a chance? Let us know what you think.