IT consultants claim "we're seeing customers flee Google Apps for Office 365"

Microsoft has been trying to promote Office 365 as a better solution for businesses over Google Apps, including some recent video promotions starring Rob Schneider as "Google Docs". This week, Microsoft continued their campaign against Google's office software solution with a blog post written by people who have had experience in installing Office 365 in many different companies.

The post was authored by Sean McNeill, Cloud Services Specialist, and John Santiago, General Manager, at Catapult Systems, described by Microsoft as a company that works with mid and large businesses to provide "application development, enterprise solutions and infrastructure services." Their blog post says that they have recently seen many of their customers "flee Google Apps for Office 365." That apparently includes three unnamed companies in the last six months that have between 400 and 1,200 users.

McNeill and Santiago describe one specific incident at a company where an executive assistant was using Outlook on her own instead of her company's assigned Google Apps:

When we told her we were there to help her company move back to Office, her reaction was, "Thank God!" She wasn't the only one. After using Google Apps for a month, employees across the organization were exerting so much pressure on the IT department that the company decided to switch to Office 365.

Some of the reasons cited by McNeill and Santiago for ditching Google Apps for Office 365 include losing their designed format on Word and Excel files, paying extra for third party tools not included with Google Apps and simply missing the use of Microsoft Outlook.

Of course, this post was written on the official Microsoft Office blog, so it's a tad bias, but it once again illustrates that Microsoft is continuing to hammer away at Google as the two companies compete for the huge audience that is looking for a cloud software suite.

Source: Microsoft

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a client of mine is currently 'attempting' to switch to google apps... it's a ****ing disaster.

The Ministry of Education here is using Google Apps and I just hate the interface for Google Mail. I have help my bosses secretary just to do a reply and add an attachment. I like Office simply because its a nicer experience to work in. To be honest, if you are working on one page documents, either platform will achieve the same result. If you are doing heavy stuff with a lot of formatting like indented tabs, borders, specially formatted tables, then Word is gonna be your best choice. Then again, who is constantly creating documents like that? Besides, you can do that in Word 95. I can run Word 95 on Windows 8 32 bit. Then again, who wants to run Word 95?

I can say from experience that Google Docs is adequate, but I prefer Office 365. I find the mail filtering in Gmail to be terrible, though.

My previous company used some form of that Open Office crap, and I can say without question that it is terrible. It was embarrassingly bad actually.

You CAN use Outlook with GMail - in fact, Outlook is my preferred GMail client of choice (it's been that since I've HAD GMail). If anything, there is less reason to use any other e-mail client than ever since Outlook has hands-free IMAP4 support (GMail uses non-standard - even for IMAP4 - settings; Outlook is, in fact, the ONLY e-mail client to successfully configure itself for GMail other than Apple Mail, which has to cheat by using iCloud. That's right - as good as Mail has gotten on OS X - primarily due to the aforementioned iCloud integration - Outlook still eats its lunch.)

Was anyone using Google Apps in the first place? I know a lot of casual users have used it but not business users. Web applications just aren't very good when you have a lot of work to do.

Spicoli said,
Was anyone using Google Apps in the first place? I know a lot of casual users have used it but not business users. Web applications just aren't very good when you have a lot of work to do.

Uhh... Office 365 is also a "web application"... this isnt talking about the Office 2010 you install from a DVD.

Depends on which license you get. the base is web apps. anything above base includes the full version of office 2013 pro plus for each user.

sao123 said,

Uhh... Office 365 is also a "web application"... this isnt talking about the Office 2010 you install from a DVD.

Not entirely true. Depending on which plan a company purchases they also get the full Office Professional Plus suite to install on five machines per user.

Actually, O365 is a traditional application suite and is only different in installation method - it's streamed from a central server. (I've migrated from one to the other quite easily, because there was, literally, zero difference in terms of functionality. None at all.) You are doubtless thinking of Office Web Apps - which IS different from a traditional application suite. (By the way, OWA is included - at zero extra charge - with EVERY license of O365/2010 and above.) Please- don't mix up the two.

sao123 said,

Uhh... Office 365 is also a "web application"... this isnt talking about the Office 2010 you install from a DVD.

You might want to actually try Office 365 instead of guessing. There's free web applications but you can download install the native application when you subscribe.

sao123 said,

Uhh... Office 365 is also a "web application"... this isnt talking about the Office 2010 you install from a DVD.

Depends on the plan you get. Their higher tier plans also include the desktop apps. But even without the desktop apps, the web apps are nearly identical and much more user friendly than Google Apps...

startscreennope said,
MS gives a few very small sized company sweetheart deals to switch to Office 365, writes a PR piece about it. Sorry, it's still not working.

And on what planet do you live on exactly?

Raa said,
Depends if cost is a factor or not.
Even figuring in cost, you can't. It's not a binary thing when it comes to "is free" and "costs money" TCO is a real thing. Office365 is worth every penny it costs. If you have an information worker who just needs web access it costs nearly nothing ($5/u/m). Want office on up to 5 devices ($12.50/u/m). You can mix and match depending on your users needs. Google's offering just isn't worth it.

Google failed to understand that since Microsoft is dominant in the enterprise desktop, end users cant just switch to something unfamiliar unless their offering is way better.

Microsoft's offer is the best but you can't beat free. Universities are switching to Google. At least they force it upon their students while their own employees continue to use Office 365. I hope Microsoft realizes univerities dont mind their students being frustrated by Google and comes with a better offer for the field of education.

Ronnet said,
Microsoft's offer is the best but you can't beat free.

hmm... free cheap condoms vs paid good quality ones. you can beat free.

vcfan said,

hmm... free cheap condoms vs paid good quality ones. you can beat free.

Like I said through the example of universities, when it doesn't concern their own many don't care whether it has good quality. So while companies are switching back because it effects their own productivity the educational sector will continue to move towards Google.

I'm seeing this all around me and I hope for MS' sake they realizes they need to come with a cheaper offer for this specific market. Or the next generation won't be as frustrated by Google's offering.

Ronnet said,
Microsoft's offer is the best but you can't beat free. Universities are switching to Google. At least they force it upon their students while their own employees continue to use Office 365. I hope Microsoft realizes univerities dont mind their students being frustrated by Google and comes with a better offer for the field of education.

Here in Florida institutions are switching from Google to Office 365. I know of 3 that have switched and mine will be switching this year. Its $80 for four years of Office 365 and some are getting it for free and rolling the cost into the first semester's tuition. In comparison to all of the other expenses such as books, its insignificant. Google Docs can't compare to Office 365 when you get a full copy of the software that works offline.

Is that worldwide? I've studied at three universities and all three have switched to Google. Each time price was the most important factor in their decision.

they must not have looked into it. Office 365 is free for universities. I work at a library. I am the admin here . It was very easy to sign up for 365 also.

vcfan said,

hmm... free cheap condoms vs paid good quality ones. you can beat free.

Your anology is flawed, free condoms from family planning clinics are just as good, if not THE SAME as the ones your purchase.

akav0id said,

Your anology is flawed, free condoms from family planning clinics are just as good, if not THE SAME as the ones your purchase.

but free condoms from unknown factory in unknown country might not be. In this instance,free will screw up your life

And with O365, there is a single download (choices are .MSI, .EXE, or even a compressed version of either) that can be placed/sent a variety of ways. (UMUC/University of Maryland University College, which has stayed with O365 since its launch, uses all of them, and can also send it as an e-mail attachment.) What we are not realizing (but enterprises and some universities are), is that there is no real difference in terms of functionality between O365 and traditional Office. (While I DID move from O365 to traditional Office at the tailchase of the last trial, it actually had more to do with personal preference as opposed to anything necessarily missing/faulty with O365 - for the simple fact that there WAS nothing missing.)

Ronnet said,
Is that worldwide? I've studied at three universities and all three have switched to Google. Each time price was the most important factor in their decision.
http://office.microsoft.com/en...tion-plans-FX103045755.aspx

It's free for the web only. It's 4.50/u/m for staff 2.50/u/m for students to get the full suite online and desktop version. Frankly, any person claiming that cost is prohibited is a moron. Hell if you want to go through it you can replace your entire phone system with their cloud & on prem voip system for another $0.50/u/m for students and $1.50/u/m for staff.

Hands down, Microsoft's offering blows google's away.

FGCU - Florida Gulf Coast, Offers all of its students the Office 2013 Suite for $10. This is the same price Microsoft offers School Districts for their Employees.

Ronnet said,

Like I said through the example of universities, when it doesn't concern their own many don't care whether it has good quality. So while companies are switching back because it effects their own productivity the educational sector will continue to move towards Google.

I'm seeing this all around me and I hope for MS' sake they realizes they need to come with a cheaper offer for this specific market. Or the next generation won't be as frustrated by Google's offering.

Microsoft has the best programs for education (nut just Office 365). How many schools can you name that are actually moving towards Google? I live in Florida and have heard the exact opposite personally...

5 universities in total. All in The Netherlands. I'm not sure if these programs are available in my country. And whether Microsoft does enough to promote them worldwide. Or if they are entirely 'free' just like Google's offer.

Ronnet said,
5 universities in total. All in The Netherlands. I'm not sure if these programs are available in my country. And whether Microsoft does enough to promote them worldwide. Or if they are entirely 'free' just like Google's offer.
http://office.microsoft.com/nl...ergelijken-FX103045755.aspx

Free for fully web based or € 4.30 or $5.70 USD/m/u for staff/€ 2.40 or $3.18 USD/m/u for students for everything including office on your desktop/tablet/phone etc. for up to 5 devices. Honestly, there is no thinking about that paid pricing. I can't imagine a university carving out such peanuts for what is being offered.

I agree. I guess its either people not aware of this or just plain old hatred towards MS. I know that in one case IT students are involved with maintenance. Perhaps they have a say in the matter as well.

Ronnet said,
I agree. I guess its either people not aware of this or just plain old hatred towards MS. I know that in one case IT students are involved with maintenance. Perhaps they have a say in the matter as well.
Agreed. My guess is it is more just MS hate. With the new AD Sync services included I just don't see how an institution chooses to run their networks in any other way.

I'm starting to think about migrating my company. Google docs has this air of uncertainty about it at the moment and it's not the sparkling service it once (or i thought it) was.

MikeChipshop said,
I'm starting to think about migrating my company. Google docs has this air of uncertainty about it at the moment and it's not the sparkling service it once (or i thought it) was.

I'm sure they will axe it soon enough and merge it into Google+ like everything else. Yay social office!

For libraries office 365 is free vs $50 a year per user. Microsoft considers libraries education while google does not. the next package up from the free package for education includes full office downloadable and hosted voicemail which google does not. 365 is a great value.

Raa said,
Strangely enough Google Apps used to be free for education... Maybe they'll reverse that decision now?

Google Apps is free for EDU still. They only charge for archiving. We looked at switching to 365, but haven't even been able to log into Email. Can use every service but email. Their support has been non-existent. I've had four or five different people come into the thread and start helping. I send them info, then nothing back. It's sad.

farmeunit said,

Google Apps is free for EDU still. They only charge for archiving. We looked at switching to 365, but haven't even been able to log into Email. Can use every service but email. Their support has been non-existent. I've had four or five different people come into the thread and start helping. I send them info, then nothing back. It's sad.

You must be the only person on this planet to have similar experience. I had very simple/dumb issues trying to sign up my company to test run O365 and got literally smothered by tech support people making sure everything got taken care of after they already made sure it got taken care of. MS support is second to none...

People like to criticize Microsoft, but the reality is... in the enterprise... no one even comes close. Microsoft understands the enterprise & the enterprise trusts Microsoft. Not to mention that Microsoft's enterprise software--Windows, Office, Exchange, etc.--is simply the best.

If Microsoft gains a foothold in mobile (tablets & phones), it will likely come through the enterprise adopting it. It could take a couple of years, because the enterprise moves a lot slower than consumers. It took them almost ten years to switch from XP to 7... but, eventually, they will move their mobile devices towards Microsoft, especially now that BlackBerry is pretty much finished.

I think that we are seeing the beginning of the end for Blackberry now, O2-UK and Britvic UK recently switched from Blackberry to Windows Phones for their employees.