back to article Microsoft takes fight to Google over cloud apps defections

Microsoft is so riled up over Google Apps that it has a team called Google Compete offering major inducements to convince customers to stay with Office, according to defectors and the search company itself. At this week’s Google Atmosphere conference, several defectors who had adopted Google cloud apps said that they were …

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Anonymous Coward

Everything MS are doing ...

... just smacks of sheer desperation by the day.

Why don't they go and -- for once, just once -- go and *try* to do something actually original and innovative? Oh -- I forgot. Look at what's in charge.

No, they would rather waste everyone's fucking time extorting money out of people with phoney patent threats, or try to flog ghastly phones that no one wants (instead of asking why that is) and then threaten and bad-mouth any and all competition. Even when that competition is demonstrably infinitely superior. Fuck off -- your time's up.

They are disgusting and pathetic.

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Your post is pathetic

I fail to see how trying to tempt customers away from a competitor is desperation. I play HP and Dell off against each other all the time to get the best deals. Putting together a team to counter what is arguably their main competitor is a sensible business move and I don't see how that is 'threatening' Google. Think how mobile providers work. If you want the best deals when your contract expires, you threaten to leave. Only the disconnections team is authorised to give you their best deals in order to get you to stay, so what MS are doing is different how? Competition is good and is used to the consumers advantage, or would you rather everybody went to Google and exchange one mega corp for another and pay whatever was demanded?

As for 'Even when that competition is demonstrably infinitely superior', that is just laughable. Google are seriously playing catchup when it comes to office tools and it shows. I have tried Googles offerings and they still feel like a beta release. Compare them to Office and Office wins every time. Microsoft are quite right when they state 'their consumer-oriented approach falls short of meeting enterprise customers' needs'.

PS, have you actually tried Windows Phone or do you just spew bile about it because it's Microsoft? It's actually surprisingly good (although I still prefer my Android phone)

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Thumb Up

Yep I totally agree..

..been a user of Google Apps with around 1300 users since 2007 and I can safely say it's a fucking excellent service. I think in the whole of that time we've had 3 service issues that were resolved in minutes. Outlook and Exchange kicked into touch, cost savings - damn right, increase in productivity - hell yeah, going back to Microsoft shit - not a frigging chance in hell!

Also does anyone find it a bit one that very recently there's an awful lot of down voting going on, whenever anyone bad mouths Microsoft in the comments? Paid voters - doesn't get any lower really.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes ...

"Also does anyone find it a bit one that very recently there's an awful lot of down voting going on, whenever anyone bad mouths Microsoft in the comments? Paid voters - doesn't get any lower really."

And I also find it sufficiently statistically skewed to be significant. I'm sure the others do, too.

Like I said ...

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Silver badge

So no Outlook and Exchange. Can I assume you're using Google Mail for those 1300 users? If so, how secure is that? Do they promise not to search your emails? What about your documents? Are they archived properly for audit reasons etc? I can see the value-add for small businesses but I really struggle for larger organisations.

There are definitely cost savings to be made by moving to cloud apps. However there could also be large future costs from regulators, failures etc. Being master of your own destiny is bloody handy.

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@Craiggy (well, a bit)

Whilst I would perhaps lean towards agreement that there is a surge in downvotes "whenever anyone bad mouths Microsoft", in the interests of reasoned and rational debate I would like to see some supporting fact behind your assertion that 'paid voters' are the cause, assuming of course that was just not some ad-hoc, asinine statement? If you can name a single 'paid voter', please do.

Also you 'find it sufficiently statistically skewed to be significant'... Could you please post your research data here? Thanks :)

But seriously... I use all 3 popular flavours of OS. None are perfect, but my preference is neither the Microsoft or Apple offerings (although I am posting this off my Windows game box). Even though a Linux flavour may be my personal choice of OS - for many reasons - maybe some forum readers are simply, like me, fed up having to trawl through seemingly incessant, sometimes absurd and often plain wrong OS bashing and trolling? Maybe some are simply downvoting for this reason? 'Same old, same old' gets rather tiresome.

Now, I am not pointing my finger at you personally here, but it does appear that hereabouts is populated by a burgeoning population that likes a rant, a dig or an asinine swipe at pretty much anything they have a personal dislike for. It makes for rather boring reading at times.

Personally, do I give a fig if Microsoft are offering inducements for their customers not to defect? Nope, I sure don't. Business is all about profit, sales is mostly about bullshit. At the end of the day I would much rather Microsoft remain in business, as Microsoft 'users' raise a fair portion of my income. Crap or not, I vote to keep Microsoft alive and well... My wallet will - based on the past 2 tax years - be slimmer without them.

Long live Microsoft... and the pengiun!

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Anonymous Coward

@ Old n Cynical

It isn't my assertion. I was replying to someone else's assertion ... notice I am quoting the previous poster. He made an observation I happen for the most part to agree with. That's all.

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Alert

Downvoters

mrweekender, Craiggy - watch out. When I made a similar assertion, that based on my recent observations here on the forums, any less positive comment on the WP7 phones would get at least 10 downvotes, I got over 20... And I didn't call them paid voters, I just assumed they were MS employees.

Old n Cynical might have some reason with his comment that it might become tiring as some people might bash Microsoft automatically, based on previous experience (or not), but it is also tiring seeing the high number the extremely high and apparently scripted praises WP7 gets, and the vicious attacks on any criticism of the over simple interface and the lack of functionalities. Or the constant mention of the same criticisms on other mobile OSs, independently of being true or false, by the same people who only see positives on Microsoft products.

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I shall correct myself then...

Yeah, OK, so I am not normally awake at that time of night. I made a mistake already, none of us are perfect!

Anyway, maybe 'mrweekender' will enlighten the world with his evidence of 'paid voters'. My question stands, I simply directed it at the wrong person, as you pointed out. (I for one would be most interested to know if this were not just some absurd, untrue statement).

You did however write that you 'find it sufficiently statistically skewed to be significant.' So please, post your research data here. If you have any I would be genuinely interested to read it - yes, I am *that* sad. Thanks :)

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Pirate

"bitterness of poor quality"

Yeah, we get a taste of that every time we start Word2010...

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Anonymous Coward

Don't need on-premise servers for the full features of Office 365?

Looks like you just shot SBS 2011 Essentials right down.

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Anonymous Coward

re: "bitterness of poor quality"

Yeah. Spot on.

I can start Outlook, go get a coffee and have drunk half of it before I can do anything. We were sold it as an upgrade from Notes. Come back IBM, you were not that bad after all.

Anon. My PHB thinks the sun shines out of Redmond's backsides yet he still reads El Reg...

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Bronze badge

Spot off

You're doing something wrong there. Complain to your admin.

Either your PC isn't caching your Exchange mailbox and is downloading your multi-gig mailbox upon every restart; or

An Outlook add-on is slowing things down

My old Centrino laptop (with a stunning Windows 7 Experience Index Score of 1.0) starts Outlook in just a few seconds and it's perfectly usable right then.

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Re:Spot off

Plus notes is shite.

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Silver badge

@AC

Have to concur with the other posters here. Last weekend I moved my whole e-mail administration over to Outlook 2010 (6 POP mailboxes, 2 IMAP boxes and one MAPI (Hotmail)) and I can't manage to get out of the room (door being 4 meters away) before it started up.

The only time it used to start sluggish was when the Avast Outlook plugin had sneaked into it and when I was using the default database (ms sql express) for outlooks bcm module: every time you start Outlook it also needs to fire up the SQL backend. Enter the world of delay....

Absolutely check your embedded applications. You can find the option in backstage view; at the bottom of the menu.

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Anonymous Coward

Spot on

I've been forced to use Outlook at my last 3 employers, and in the last 9 years it seems to be getting slower every day. There are days when I have over 10 minutes wait between clicking on the icon and having it usable (with mailbox and shared calendars synced).

Maybe if I had a top of the range PC, updated every month, it would be bearable. But I have to use a work assigned laptop, with 2GB RAM, and outlook absolutely crawls on it, besides eating half of that just to sit there doing nothing.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't need a top of the range PC

You just need a competent admin. You really shouldn't be seeing the kind of behaviour you describe unless someone has really messed up. It could of course be caused by yourself installing all kinds of unnecessary add-ons, toolbars, 'helpers' and other assorted crap that is all being loaded when you log on and slowing everything down.

To summarise- the problem is you or your admin. Not your machine, not Outlook and not Exchange.

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Anonymous Coward

Too bad google apps suck too

I'm not going to defend MS here -Outlook is evil, and Office 2007+ gave us the docx, pptx and xlsx files whose whole purpose is to break open office.

But let's be fair, gmail aside, the Google office app suite is pretty dire too. For simple shared text and docs, it's good -way better than that other crime against corporate minions, Sharepoint, but it isn't that good for complex things.

I would also note that Gmails's new look -which they are trying to push out to app sites too- is as bad as the office 2007 ribbon. Both suck.

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Silver badge

30-ish KB of C++, maybe 1500 lines including liberal amounts of comments.

Eclipse and GCC on a cheapy AMD-powered gaming rig. Startup time, 17 seconds. Compile time, 4 seconds.

VS2010 on one of the beasts at the university computing labs. Startup time, maybe two or three minutes on a good day. Call it 15 minutes if you're silly enough to try using it via the terminal server. Compile time? Call that another minute or two.

I shudder to think how much time it would take to compile a few *million* lines of code in Visual Studio. Would it be done before the platform you're compiling for is obsolete?

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Silver badge

You can compile outside of VS by using the command line exe if you want. The load time of VS2010 is particularly bad though I agree.

Also, I've learned from working at many an enterprise that there is more than one way of utterly borking an OS install so it runs like treacle. A lesser powered home PC with a standard install often outperforms.

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I tried something similar, and...

I must have fallen into a temporal time distortion because I just compiled a 13,500 line (soon to be) open source native WiFi project I wrote a while back in MS Visual Studio (open source and MS in the same sentence, hush my mouth). My results, using the Ultimate Ed and compiling locally held source:

Startup time: ~4 seconds

Time to open solution: ~2 seconds

Compile time: ~5 seconds

Compiled on a 3yr old, memory retarded, Toshiba Satellite laptop running *ahem* Vista. (no check outs/ins counted)

Go figure :)

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Oi, downvoter(s)... Lol!

Prey tell how you can downvote actual times? Lol. You're funny! Please provide constructive criticism, if you can - explaining why I did not see the stated start/open/compile times. If you think I lie, say so :)

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Silver badge

All I can say is... wasn't me.

Looks like I got hit by a bunch of red-button-tards too.

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Paris Hilton

Can make a cost saving here...

“Customers do not need on-premise servers to utilize the collaboration capabilities in Office 365,”

So we didn't need to purchase licenses and deploy multi-site ADFS & ADFS Proxies and DirSync to synchronise our AD with their cloud and provide authentication? We don't need to further provision WRMS and an on site Exchange server to skirt around certain Office 365 limitations and an on site Lync server for integration with our existing phone system? And there was no need to patch endpoints with special hotfixes to allow them to interact with this leap-year ignorant service?

In that case, switching it all off tomorrow, because somebody read the wrong technet articles.

Not even Paris would have made that mistake.

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Windows

Legacy, bad image and dumb (bad!) marketing.

I think those are the main problems with Microsoft right now. And personally I think its quite unfortunate because in my opinion a lot has changed over the years with the company and their products. Not all for the better, sure, but in many fields they have made quite some progress and are actually providing quite a fair service.

The main issue here is that I don't think Microsoft realizes how far and deep a legacy can go and continue. Example; Sun's Solaris. This was my favorite Unix environment. However, quite often this is still mockingly referred to as Slowaris, even though Solaris 10 was by far the product it once was. Heck; even the mock wasn't totally fair because its not if Solaris couldn't cope or anything. No, you needed to actually get your hands dirty and tune the critter. Once that was done you were home free. Obvious problem: you had to know what you were doing. And no; cool gadgets like DTrace weren't available back then. Yes, I am generalizing a little here.

Yet myths like this still live today, even though we're talking about a very specific market.

NOW imagine a market which Windows covers. A mixture between more technical people and total computer illiterates. Raise your hands if you can still recall the funny Windows 98 introduction: "You'll notice that this scanner build.. whoah!" .... "...Moving right along! <nervous grinning>". "I guess that's why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet.."

Users who lived BSOD's a few times will be very hesitant if they need to abandon their proven stable environment for something... "Hopefully just as stable". Enter your bad image.

Now, I am biased here. As a small business user I've switched from Ubuntu LTS & OpenOffice to Win7 & MS Office 2010 and so far I'm quite pleased with the change. It helps that I'm a geek, but still...

Yet it amazes me how little attention Microsoft pays to things which really matter to quite some people. For example; "Why Windows 7?". Check the official "10 reason sheet" yourself here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/10-reasons-to-buy-Windows-7. "Better desktop", "smarter searching", "better wireless networking". Haven't we heard these things before? Like with every previous Windows version when it was released?

Then notice how Microsoft tries use the "emo approach" (as I call it) to promote Windows 7. "Its great to be a family", "Have more fun", "Reinvent family night"....

Honestly; they should use that approach with their XBox market, not with Windows 7 where a majority of people (IMO) sees Windows as a tool and not as a goal. With this approach a lot of people have no idea about some of the (IMO quite high) potential of Windows 7.

For example; in my direct surroundings (all Window users) very /very/ few people know about the "Previous version" option in Windows 7 and Vista. Meaning: removed a file from a folder and suddenly discovered that it was 1) Gone, 2) /really/ gone and 3) Your backup wasn't as great as you expected ?

Windows 7 has you covered. Go to the parent folder, get the properties of the folder your file was in and then check the tab "previous versions". Changes are high (depending on your environment of course) that it can still be recovered. Even 3 weeks after the facts. (and yes; you can also turn the whole thing off if you want to).

Most of my customers have (had) no clue about this feature while in some cases it really saved their skin /big/ time. Yet to my knowledge this feature was also never marketed by Microsoft, while it can actually be a life saver.

Office? IMO they are trying, when looking at their Office blogs or their youtube video's.

But same applies: I recently discovered Outlook's "Business Content Manager" by *accident*. Check the Outlook product pages yourself; you won't see it mentioned directly while in fact it can skyrocket Outlook's functionality for small businesses. Worse: MS knew about this, the MSDN blogs for this product hold /many/ questions and complaints about "I used it on Office 2007, where has it gone to?!" and such. People wanted it, badly, and MS goofed up at first by not including / providing it with Office 2010 (only on volume licensing, go figure!) and only some time later saw their error and corrected this mistake. Now its available for free for Office business users. And ironically enough aimed at smaller business like the one I represent.

Too little, too late! And a rotten shame too, to me BCM proofs to be invaluable. It replaced my previous CRM (19 customers and rising, in the middle of some big projects here) in 1 (long) day.

How many of those disappointed BCM fans I mentioned above will have peeked at Google back then ? Just like I started checking out MS Office 2010 after OpenOffice blew up in my face?

Microsoft marketing? The first thing which pops into my mind with that phrase is seeing Ballmer running and screaming like a madman on stage. "I love this company". Of course you do; it provides your paychecks!

MS needs to learn how to deal with competitors which cannot be bought and assimilated and actually /think/ about their marketing strategies.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this article really news? Basically, it is saying Microsoft has a sales team tasked with selling to Office 365 to Google Apps customers. Wow!!! What a revelation!!! I bet they also have one trying to sell SQL to Oracle customers!!! And as for them offering ‘commercial incentives’ around licensing costs (i.e negotiating on price) – well, it may be news to most of the idiots that ranted on this thread but that happens a lot in the world of software sales…….

And also, how do you think that Google GOT their Google Apps customers in the first place? Might they, just possibly, have a sales team targeting Microsoft Office customers……?

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Happy

"...an audience with Steve Ballmer himself..."

Doesn't that count as a threat?

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FAIL

Desperation...

What this says to me is...

They can't compete on product quality, so have to offer bribes...

Their products are massively overpriced, or they wouldn't be able to afford to offer such large discounts...

Also the "not suitable for business use" argument applied to microsoft years ago, and arguably still does...

Wasn't all that long ago when MS were the cheap option compared to Novell, IBM or proprietary unix... Sure their products were garbage and they knew it, but they were also a lot cheaper. Many of their products are still a joke compared to the stability, security and performance of proprietary unix from 10+ years ago.

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Bronze badge

AC: I think the news is Microsoft being in the unfamiliar position of actually having to work hard to sell Office. As you say, yes, no doubt they do have tough sales teams wrestling for SQL sales against Oracle - because that's a competitive market with MS arguably in the underdog position - which hasn't been the case with Office since it was a 16 bit product.

Three decades ago MS had a near-monopoly on DOS. They built that into the Windows behemoth, used that to get Office to displace WordPerfect, 123 and co, then to eject the likes of NetWare and make Windows Server and Exchange almost ubiquitous - now, for the first time, there's a threat to that. IE's market share is dropping again, hosted mail offerings like Google Apps threaten Exchange - certainly looks like big news from here.

Quick test: look back at 2001, with Windows 2000 desktops and servers, IE6 taking over the web, Exchange and Active Directory taking over the server world and 'mobile computing' meaning a Windows laptop since the BlackBerry and iPhone were still at least two years away. Now look at the current environment, with almost all of us doing email on our phones and very few of those being Windows ones, half of us using Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Safari not IE, half of us having email on Google Apps or similar ... look at that decade of progress, think about what the next decade will bring, and ask how solid a market share Microsoft will have in 2021 - even right on their home territory.

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Linux

Obviously at Gandhi stage 3

", then they fight you, then you win..."

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MS Fanboys

All these MS fanboys really make me laugh. I cannot stand Microsoft as they are a totally destructive company that really has not done one little bit of innovation. All they do is emulate and then use the most destructive tactics to remove their competitors.

I would rather use worse products than continue to support this kind of organisation.

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