Microsoft loses out to the cloud for SMBs

Survey results released today have cast a shadow over Microsoft Office’s reign as the UK’s small business suite of choice.

Cloud option instead of Microsoft?

Microsoft is "losing its grip" on SMBs in the UK, according to survey results released today.

The research conducted by Accredited Supplier, a website marketplace for buyers and sellers of services, showed that 13 per cent of the 1,400 Microsoft customers polled were planning to change from Office to Google Apps in the next 12 months.

Although a seemingly small number, another 13 per cent said they were definitely switching from Office to go elsewhere and 22 per cent were undecided.

"Microsoft is losing their grip on the UK small business market under increasing pressure from cloud computing and open source software," Accredited Supplier said in a statement.

"Businesses are looking to move their business applications into the cloud and over 10 per cent of Microsoft's UK small business customers are actively considering making the switch to Google."

Microsoft also took another knock in the survey when it came to default browsers. Although a respectable 58 per cent still used Internet Explorer, 32 per cent of respondents used Firefox, with smaller browsers like Chrome and Safari sneaking in with two per cent each.

The final hit came with the question, "Who is planning to upgrade to Windows 7 in the next 12 months?"

Only eight per cent were definite yeses with a significant 62 per cent saying no.

When IT PRO contacted Microsoft for its take on the research, a spokesperson admitted that businesses, regardless of size, were looking for hosted services but claimed its own online services would "stand out as a flexible, reliable and most importantly safe and secure solution."

The spokesperson added: "The Office 2010 release will significantly increase the number of customers who will be able to access the benefits of our cloud based solutions. When Office Web Apps launches, it will be available to nearly half a billion customers worldwide."

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