Microsoft is the dominant provider of applications used by home workers in the Netherlands, according to research by Telecompaper. The survey looked at common applications for VPN, cloud, video chat and collaboration from home and found almost 50 percent use applications from Microsoft. Google trails with a 25 percent share and Apple has just 6 percent. Outside the big tech companies, only a handful of other applications are used regularly. These include Dropbox, with a share of 18 percent in cloud services, Zoom with 18 percent in video chat, and Slack with around 4 percent of the collaboration market.
The research looked at what can be considered the basic applications needed for home working, excluding telephony and email: VPN, cloud storage, videoconferencing, collaboration tools. Apart from VPN services, these applications are all used by over 70 percent of home workers.
It’s worth noting as well that often several apps are used within a certain category. This is likely driven by the need to work with partners or customers over different systems.
Microsoft shows that it can build on its strong base with Windows and Office to add other services, such as cloud storage with One Drive and video meetings over Microsoft Teams. Nearly nine in ten (88%) of the respondents used Windows and only 11 percent a Mac. This likely supports the high adoption of OneDrive, making it the most-used cloud service, and Microsoft Teams as the most used videoconferencing service. Office 365, of which Microsoft Teams is a part, is the most common collaboration tool as well.
Slack has complained about how Microsoft positions Teams. The bundling with Office pushes customers towards the video service rather than considering other applications. Slack noted that Microsoft was previously fined for doing something similar with Internet Explorer and Windows and forced to give customers a choice of web browser.
Cisco and Citrix lead in VPN market
The VPN market looks different, with Citrix and Cisco the main players. Together they served 84 percent of the home workers surveyed. The rest of the market was divided across a wide range of other providers. Notably, the telecom operators do not play a role in this segment.