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February 18, 2010

Microsoft on Google Apps

Microsoft posted some videos on YouTube that discuss the disadvantages of using Google Apps in an organization, while recommending businesses to try Microsoft's solutions.

Microsoft suggests that Google Apps is not an enterprise-class service because it's incomplete, has simple tools that lack basic features like copy & paste, Google Docs is not fully compatible with Microsoft Office, while Google Apps is an "one-size-fits-all cloud service".

"Google Apps provides oversimplified applications that limit how productive your people can be. In fact, Google's own executives admit they don't believe their tools can replace Microsoft Office. That means your business may require extra tools just to complete your IT portfolio. Google Apps also has an unfamiliar and inconsistent user experience. Features are sometimes released unannounced and some aren’t even supported, which can increase support calls and risk for your business. Also, Google Apps is delivered exclusively online, so users need to be connected to the internet to get the most out of their tools," says Microsoft.

Microsoft's conclusion is that "Google Apps offer an attractive initial license cost, but it can increase operational costs in other ways. For example, you may have to deploy additional technologies to integrate Google into your organization, which raises costs."

Google has its own site that compares Google Apps with Microsoft Exchange. Google's main selling points are that Google Apps costs less than Microsoft Exchange, it doesn't require maintenance and it offers an excellent email solution. "Google Apps bring speed, flexibility, anytime, anywhere access and ease of use to employees – along with the cost savings based on Google's economies of scale and leadership in cloud computing."

Google Apps is far from perfect and Google Docs is certainly not a Microsoft Office replacement, but Google Apps is constantly improving and has many business-oriented features. To see how fast Google improves its products, watch Microsoft's videos and find the limitations that have already been addressed by Google: remote wipe for mobile devices, scheduling calendar resources, better copy/paste experience in Google Docs.

Microsoft's recent initiatives validate Google's online services: Microsoft Office Live and online Exchange compete with Google Apps:

"Cloud services from Microsoft make it easier for you to respond to shifting business needs, while we take care of a lot of the IT management burdens that can suck up your time—and your money. You don't have to worry about updates, service packs, or upgrades. We handle it for you, so you're running the most secure, up-to-date software."

{ via Blogoscoped Forum }


  1. actually I would prefer google apps as it was easy to set up and exchange only fits for large corporation who has a lot of money to the reason I use google apps is that it's free and also reliable.

  2. That is fantastic! How misleading can Microsoft be? While Google Apps is not perfect, (Gmail is however) most of the issues Microsoft states here and just false.

    On the bright side we techs test services before making a choice and are thus not subject to moronic, misleading and inaccurate advertising.

  3. Google just put out there own video.

  4. Microsoft is just going to look silly and dishonest when they have videos that say things that aren't true (anymore) about Google Apps... It's a real sign of how scared Microsoft is, and how aggressive Google is at getting to MS's core business... The Enterprise.

    Andrew Rodgers

  5. Microsoft's cloud initiatives in Office and corporate, browser-based e-mail are likely in response to Google Apps.

    A couple details worth noting:

    - Unlike Google Docs, Microsoft's Web-based Office is compatible with the fat-client MS Office without major conversion issues

    - Microsoft allows running the e-mail, Office, etc., cloud in-house on internal servers in addition to externally-hosted options. This incurs some overhead, but also maintains control of data, something Google is more greatly exposed to (search google china hacking, etc.) It also allows control in updates that might cause unintended consequences.

    I'm not a Microsoft fanboy, though some of their efforts have impressed me lately. I'm also not a Google fanboy, and some of their efforts have disappointed me lately.

    When it comes to competition I am a fanboy, and Google and Microsoft competing in these arenas benefits us all overall.

  6. When you see how late the ad is compared to the Google Apps features, you understand how microsoft is running after google without catching :)

    Anyway the point that microsoft is missing (and that will kill office) is that it is not extendable in the Web like Google Apps are. Office is a great solution, but compared to the power of Google Apps + tiers applications it is only a niche.

  7. Its rather interesting to see that some of the "problems" Google apps have is with Microsoft not following standards and in some cases limiting non Microsoft apps full access to software functions like Outlook.

  8. If you want to host your own mail server. Use free and open source software, more flexible, stable and secure.

  9. The fact is that Microsoft should spend less time creating videos and more time innovating on how the SaaS model is going to change their $20B monopoly called the Office Suite. Remember Google apps for education was rolled out October 2006 and now Google has 7 million students users. What does the Google Apps suite look like in the next 3 - 5 years? Look out! When you compare the both companies timeliness of innovative functionality releases the winner is clear.

    Bloomberg article Microsoft Risks Margins as Office Business Fights Off Google - - ELOP says Opportunity ? LOL!!

  10. Microsoft is missing the point. Google Docs aren't made to replace Microsoft Office, but to provide real time colaboration and easy access to important files wherever you are, and MS Office can't provide it.

  11. I agree with Landrash. It seems quite a few of the Google Apps problems in the videos stem from using second-class Outlook instead of the preferred web client. That's like someone complaining that Exchange doesn't work 100% with another mail client like Thunderbird.

  12. How will Google fix the work offline issue and lack of support issue that Microsoft speaks of?

    Everyone knows getting support from Google is a joke. I like both companies, but what you're seeing is them speaking about the pros of their solutions and the cons of their rivals.

    Here's an interesting thought. When people realize you can use a browser/network sniffer to figure out what domains/IPs Google ads come from and block them (annoying little things) in the operating system (host file, etc), will Google still offer services free because of lack of ad revenue?

  13. I would not trust Google since I lost access to my gmail account a few years ago and Picassa lost some of my photos.

  14. There's been some questions on Remote wipe, delegation, resource book, etc. in this video. It's important to call out the difference here. The confusion is in the difference between not having the features and the features having significant limitations &/or consequences which I do point out in the video.

    - Delegate Access – The video doesn’t say Google doesn’t have delegate access in Outlook. They do, but it’s very limited, allowed untraceable behavior and requires excessive permissions, which would violate most companies corporate security.

    - Remote Wipe –Google supports remote wipe and we say that they do in the video. However, they don’t support end user self-service and this means users would have to call the helpdesk, who probably has to escalate to IT because remote wipe requires full administrative access.

    - Conference rooms – The confusion here is between being able to book a resource like a conference room vs. the ability to actually manage those resources (approve/decline meeting requests for the conference room, override bookings, etc).

    Hope that clears up some of the confusion
    Hanna - Microsoft

  15. Microsoft needs to come up with shorter videos. They are too long to have my attention.

  16. Companies should promote the strengths of their products without being negative about the competition.

    Microsoft says, "Don't use Google, they suck, they're not compliant with our proprietary stuff. Buy Microsoft!"
    Google says, "Here's what we offer. Choose us."

    Bully much, M$?

  17. Has anyone here seen what's going on with Microsoft Live? Have you seen how SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010, along with Live, give users full fidelity of Word/Excel/PowerPoint/OneNote whether you use the web based tools or the desktop versions?

    I'm a student, and we have to write team papers with references, and Word has support built in. When we use Google, we have to convert to their format, and lose formatting and reference support. Our Powerpoint presentations turn to crap, and we can't use advanced Excel formulas or pivot tables.

    Where exactly are we getting benefits from Google Apps? Microsoft Office for us is dirt cheap, BTW.

    Proprietary my butt - Microsoft published it's document formats years ago. Talk about people using old arguments... or are you too anti-Microsoft to see the irony through your blinders.

    Frankly, I don't like web apps much. Give me local desktop apps that actually use the power of the machine I bought, but let these apps use the web as a service provider. Now I have the power of both platforms working for me.

    SkyDrive gives me access to my files whereever I am, although Live Mesh makes it even easier. The only thing I can't do is edit a document at the same time as someone on my team, but that's never actually been an issue since we all work on things at different hours. Even so, when Office Live gets Word working we'll be able to do this. Not just using the web versions - we can work in the desktop version and do real-time collaboration with others that are using the desktop OR the web version.

    And for the people that talk about schools using it, well you're ignoring Live@edu, which is *free* Live for schools. So schools get everything Google offers, but full document fidelity with Office, and integration with Office desktop apps.

    Sure, Microsoft's marketing is lame. That I can't deny. But don't expect me to like the crap from Google just because it's not from Microsoft.

  18. The happiest day of my IT career (and the happiest day for my users) was when we finally got to scrap Exchange and move our mail and chat over to Google Apps. Sure MS office is strong for word processing, spreadsheet and presentation, but for companies that spend more time in email and online collaboration, Word and Excel are not used as often as they used to be. The pandering to suits and large IT organizations that need internal tools to keep their fiefdoms intact never stops for MS. Using buzzwords and the occasional reference to the cloud makes these suits feel like they know what is going on and perpetuates the myth that in order to succeed, you better be running MS products and services in house. Once you have gone Apps, you really don't want to go back to Exchange and MS infrastructure, period.

  19. The point of cloud is to get rid of all the costs related to owning and mainting your own network hosting all the services and hardware and the service teams, so even microsoft is putting all their products on cloud that does not solves the problem or in other words it does not compete with what google is offering. Google is offering services and we are not concerned what products are being used to run those services. So Microsoft is trying to make people confused by thats and wants to have people use their products like servers and stuff like that to be on the cloud which is useless. Because Microsoft being the biggest software company basically tries to monopolize the market by offering all the products which work on their own platform. While a service based model (which google is offering) is better then platform forcused model. If you are not satisfied with the services of google there would be other companies providing similar services thus creating competition and we can hope to get better services.

  20. ...unable to use folders...


  21. If Microsoft switched to Google Apps today, they could save hundreds of million dollars in costs per year, the employees at Microsoft will become 2.8 times more productive and they will have around 2.5 million extra hours per year to accomplish more productive tasks.

  22. I help small businesses get started in the world of computer information systems and generally all aspects of their tiny IT environments.
    These small operations need all the tools, at a very reasonable price, to survive.
    Server - lets go with a Linux box
    Mail - Gmail for everyone, any where, with domain branding.

    Google Apps/Calendar. GA goes a long way to get them up to speed and communicating across there task lines.

    For instance the Boss wants to know where his 2 sales guys are going next week. - a shared calendar.

    Some online data source. Example:
    The sales guys need a simple price list (no pivot tables required here) that they can pull up from there phone at a Cafe where they are meeting the client,
    Also might like to record who they saw that day and the outcome.
    Simple stuff at a very low cost.

    No Infrastructure
    Easy to use
    Lotsa new toys for the adventuresome.

  23. "FORCED" to use labels! This is humorous to me, I mean, how many times in Outlook have you thought long and hard about which folder an email goes into when it's topic would fit in both folders.

    Then Microsoft mentions that you have to install all of the software like Google Connector, GAL, etc. They totally gloss over the fact that you have to install the 500MB MS Office package! As an admin, I really loath installing and maintaining Outlook. It's unstable and way outdated (still no reliable IMAP, c'mon!). If a client calls me up and says he spilled coffee on his machine, it's nice to be able to tell him to use his web-based GMail and everything is just as it was before, no drama.

    There's no doubt that certain users will need some of those great features in Excel, but in my experience hardly anyone does. Why pay for all of the employees to have ALL of the features? Isn't it smarter to have everyone on the easier and cheaper platform and only a few users on the legacy apps?

    I can be glad that Microsoft has been forced to do better by having Google in the market.


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