Microsoft hits out at Google Apps in next round of cloud fight

Business boxing gloves
Business boxing gloves

Redmond giant tells users not to “gamble” with Google cloud services in new advert

Microsoft has fired up its anti-Google campaign again, this time taking aim at the search giant’s document creation and collaboration Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, Google Docs.

In a new advert, Microsoft urges customers – both potential and actual – not to “gamble with Google Docs”, claiming the service is unable to conserve formatting from Office documents.

Google Docs is presented as a disreputable croupier in a casino who will give the gambler a dice key ring, if he is able to retain the original formatting from a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. If not, the croupier will take the gambler's wallet, credibility and chances of a job promotion.

Despite the advice of his friend, the gambler decides to take the bet and the advert ends with him losing then passing out.

Microsoft has also sought to reinforce the position that Google's cloud offerings are not fit for business with a post on the Office 365 blog from two consultants.

Sean McNeill and John Santiago, both of Microsoft consultancy Catapult Systems, claim they have seen many customers fleeing Google Apps in favour of Office 365.

“When moving to the cloud, most customers evaluate Google Apps and other competitive offerings before making a decision. In the end, they choose Office 365 because they want to stay within the Microsoft family,” the consultants claim.

McNeill and Santiago cite three reasons they believe customers choose Office 365 over Google Apps and other competitive offerings: they can work within existing software, they can move to the cloud at their own pace, and it has enterprise credibility.

On the other hand, the duo claim customers are leaving Google Apps as they miss Microsoft Outlook, the lack of fidelity with Office documents (which they describe as “a huge problem”), and hidden costs.

However, while these claims may seem significant, they are part of an ongoing campaign Microsoft has been waging against Google’s cloud offerings.

The campaign began around Christmas 2012 under the name Scroogled, with Microsoft hitting out at Google’s practice of prioritising paid-for search results over general ones.

Subsequently, in February, the Redmond giant accused Google of invading users’ privacy by reading their Gmail subject lines in order to create targeted ads.

Most recently, in May, the company took aim at Google Docs, claiming the service is difficult to use and does not display Microsoft Office documents correctly.

Virtual Clouds approached Google for a response to the allegations, but had not received a reply at the time of publication.

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