As you may guess from that name, Microsoft is pursuing a similar line of attack as the infamous "Gmail Man" propaganda film of earlier 2011. You can read the full Microsoft blog entry if you'd like, but here's the breakdown of its main points:
- Google is in the advertising business, not the enterprise productivity business, and the savvy CIO knows to go with Microsoft, which has a proven track record and won't jettison its Office 365 suite at the first sign of trouble.
- Google uses a new, unfamiliar interface that users have to go through costly training and tack on additional services to take full advantage. Meanwhile, Microsoft Office 365 uses the same familiar interface and services that users have been familiarizing themselves with over the span of the last 20 years.
- Google doesn't have privacy as a core value, while Microsoft has security and privacy built into the design for all its applications.
- Google often adds and removes features out from under users with no warning. Microsoft makes sure to keep customers and partners in the loop when rolling out functionalities. This one is especially lame: Google's scheduled release track was designed specifically with this complaint in mind.
- Google doesn't support the offline experience enough for the modern workforce. Microsoft, in the meanwhile, is all about offline.
I'm not going to argue the specific criticisms I haven't already, mainly because there's at least a ring of truth to all of them. And even beyond what Microsoft mentioned here, Google Apps has other problems -- its partner program, for example, remains immature.
But here's the thing: Google has been systematically improving the Google Apps offering, seemingly every week, bit by bit.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Office 365 has completely failed to impress me, with a dedication to the same desktop roots that dragged BPOS down. Even Gartner thinks Gmail has a solid chance of eating into Microsoft Exchange's market share. In the final analysis, Google may fall short in some key areas, but it's trying really hard to innovate. What's Microsoft's excuse?