Google Docs is increasingly challenging Microsoft Office, according to a survey from IDC.
The analyst company found that 19.5 percent of organisations reported that Google Docs was "widely used" in their workplace, up from 5 percent in a similar survey in December 2007.
The survey did not ask how many organisations were using the paid for Google Docs service, and it is likely that many of those using the search giant’s cloud-based apps service do so a complement to Microsoft Office.
The survey found more than 97 percent reporting that Office remains widely used, indicating that workers are using both tools. But Melissa Webster, the IDC analyst who conducted the said Google Docs may cannibalise Microsoft's opportunity around its own web-based tools.
"Google Docs is far from supplanting Microsoft Office, but the fact that Google Docs is being picked up so quickly shows tremendous momentum, and that's a huge threat to Microsoft," said Webster.
IDC surveyed 262 people, 80 percent were based in the US Of that number, and 64 percent came from IT and the remaining from the business side. Of the respondents, 26 percent were C-level employees, and 23 percent vice president and director, with the remainder not specified.
Webster said the use of Google Docs in the workplace – whether as a conscious decision by the business or IT department, or through ad hoc adoption by end users, could increase the negotiating clout of Microsoft's customers.
"Just the threat of a company going to Google Docs could potentially provide the leverage that a buyer might want on negotiating an upgrade to Microsoft Office," she said.