Microsoft: 440 Google companies came back to Office from Google apps

In August, Microsoft published a article on its official Office blog from some IT consultants who claimed that they were "seeing customers flee Google Apps for Office 365." Today, as part of the company's financial analyst meeting, Microsoft claimed that lots of companies were switching from Google Apps back to Office.

The presentation, as given by Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner, indicated that 440 companies and organizations have switched from Google's solution back to Microsoft during the last fiscal year. A slide that accompanied that note showed logos from some of those businesses, including Burger King, Campbell's, Dixons Retail and more.

Of course, we don't know how many customers Microsoft might have lost to Google Apps, but the fact that the company is hyping up this bullet point to analysts shows how much Microsoft wants to keep its Office division thriving in spite of growing competition. Indeed, earlier today Google announced it was making its Quickoffice apps for iOS and Android, which can edit Microsoft Office documents, free to download and use.

However, Microsoft also announced in another part of its analyst meeting that it was working to bring more touchscreen version of Office to Windows and other devices.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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rippleman said,
I use both, I could use google exclusively. I wouldn't miss office.

I drive regular cars and sports cars, but could exclusively drive my two-seat Corvette and not miss other cars.

- Of course I don't have kids or animals and can hire people to haul things for me, so my anecdotal story about how a Corvette could serve the needs of everyone might be a bit short sighted.

Not sure whether the article touched upon this: How long did those companies use Google Docs for before they decided to switch back? A switch is a significant investment, so I'd think a company switching back within 3 months would be telling a different story than if, say, they switched back after 2 years (how long has Google Docs been online for anyway?)

Which also begs the question: Don't they do trials before committing to a switch? Why haven't the trials exposed the problem(s) that caused those companies to decide to switch back after they had abandoned Office in the first place?

To me, this reeks of having some "anyone but M$" type of guy at the head of IT, and then having the CEO go "WTF is this ****" and making him switch back. And then, one would think, firing his ass.

Edited by _dandy_, Sep 20 2013, 2:15pm :

Duckie37 said,
440 Out of??
How many left Office for Google Apps?
Companies love to leave those details out.

still, can't be good news for docs which struggles even before these news.

Duckie37 said,
440 Out of??
How many left Office for Google Apps?
Companies love to leave those details out.

Only the dumb kids left Office for Google Docs, they don't need to count them.

This metric would be harder for Microsoft to have hard data on, as companies could move to Google Docs without ever telling MS and just stop using a non-subscription version of Office or let their subscription lapse.

Google would have this data, and they should offer their own numbers.

(Also remember this NUMBER is just the 'larger' enterprise companies that left and came back. There are 10s of thousands of mom and pop business that Microsoft would not have the data on and wouldn't use as an example without their permission.)

This doesn't surprise me at all. People can hate MS as much as they want but the truth is that Microsoft Office is a superior product and works brilliantly.

Microsoft Office has reached a point, if you have any of the following versions: 2007, 2010 or the newest 2013, you really don't want or need to upgrade to future releases. How many other ways are there to type the same document? I have been using Office since the release of Office for Windows 95 back in 1995 and pretty much my word processing, spreadsheet and presentations. Haven't touched Access much anymore, but my use of Publisher at work has increased a lot, its on par with Word and Excel surprisingly.

For one thing the templates screen in MS Office 2013 is a great addition to the user experience, combined with the native SkyDrive integration. It's a winner.

Mr. Dee said,
Microsoft Office has reached a point, if you have any of the following versions: 2007, 2010 or the newest 2013, you really don't want or need to upgrade to future releases. How many other ways are there to type the same document? I have been using Office since the release of Office for Windows 95 back in 1995 and pretty much my word processing, spreadsheet and presentations. Haven't touched Access much anymore, but my use of Publisher at work has increased a lot, its on par with Word and Excel surprisingly.

This type of thinking is why other products fail, because the only see Office how they use it.

Office is everything from a 'simple' wordprocessor to a full DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM that companies use to create their own internal software solutions.

Even just as an end-user view, there are things you don't notice that are changed in each of the newer versions, but others do.

You mention publisher, as an old school Pagemaker user, they have added in some good features that cater more to professional designers in the last few releases, and there are STILL a few more things they can add. Using Win7/8 expanded multi-space ligature font support is a really nice feature in Publisher that appeared in 2010 and was expanded in 2013.

If Microsoft kept the attitude, that there are is only so many way to type in a wordprocessor and not much more to do with new versions, a lot of technologies we take for granted today would not exist.

(From the red squiggle lines to Autocorrect/AutoType that were also MS creations that we use in virtually all our software today.)

Your answer would be perfect in 1995 or 1993, but in 2013, seriously, that's not what the majority of users care for.

Taking into account, Microsoft's developer base numbers around 6 million versus the entire user base of Windows and Office is 1.3 and 1 billion respectively.

I'd like to see Google and others yup their game. That includes the OO/LO folks, and even Apple. That said, I'm quite happy with my subscription, although I wish they'd include email with it... As is I pay MS $120 annually for things, so throwing in a discount would be appreciated. I did appreciate the additional 20g of Skydrive storage, though... (25g + 20g = happy!)

Office >>>> every time bros.

As a student, I don't understand why Windows 7/8/8.1 is available AND free in Dreamspark, while Office is not even available.

Wtf Microsoft?? At least give us free office instead of OS.

Office is their cash cow. That brings in a much larger amount of money than their other divisions. Why would they give that away? They don't NEED to con you into using Office, but they do want people to use Windows which will lead to Office.

This kind of info is useless. How many have left and never come back? How big are the 440 companies, do they count ones with 5 employees or less? Have companies always been trying to switch away or is it more tempting now than ever? For all we know MS could be losing their grip.

I was wondering how many left and never came back as well. Different needs, I hope there's never just one choice, we all know how much that sucks.

Geezy said,
This kind of info is useless. How many have left and never come back? How big are the 440 companies, do they count ones with 5 employees or less? Have companies always been trying to switch away or is it more tempting now than ever? For all we know MS could be losing their grip.

Look at the graphic. These 440 companies are considered "enterprise". A business with 5 employees is not enterprise. Just to give you an idea about how big enterprises are, Arysta LifeScience has over 3,000 employees, FHI 360 has over 4,000 employees, Kemet has over 9,000 employees, Burger King and Smithfield have over 10,000 employees each, and the City of Chicago has over 30,000 employees.

TMYW said,

Look at the graphic. These 440 companies are considered "enterprise". A business with 5 employees is not enterprise. Just to give you an idea about how big enterprises are, Arysta LifeScience has over 3,000 employees, FHI 360 has over 4,000 employees, Kemet has over 9,000 employees, Burger King and Smithfield have over 10,000 employees each, and the City of Chicago has over 30,000 employees.


Ah the voice of reason, too many people seem to post without either reading the article or not understanding basic terms, 440 ENTERPRISE level customers is massive!

TMYW said,

Look at the graphic. These 440 companies are considered "enterprise". A business with 5 employees is not enterprise. Just to give you an idea about how big enterprises are, Arysta LifeScience has over 3,000 employees, FHI 360 has over 4,000 employees, Kemet has over 9,000 employees, Burger King and Smithfield have over 10,000 employees each, and the City of Chicago has over 30,000 employees.


That's only a handful of the 440 though, and they say 'companies and organizations', not 'enterprises' to define these companies.

Geezy said,


That's only a handful of the 440 though, and they say 'companies and organizations', not 'enterprises' to define these companies.


the slide is titled "we are winning vs google in the enterprise" seriously how much clearer does it need to be?

The Google Docs and Gmail do not look as good as Microsoft Office, I love Google; Docs and Gmail have good functionality, but style and simplicity is important as well.

Office 365 is just a better product. google tried to get a place but they simply doesn't have what MS has server products specially sharepoint as well as desktop office.

I get what they are saying but I dont know if a company the size of Microsoft should be touting a number like "440".

I would've just said hundreds and hundreds of previous customers are coming back.

Their just trying to make the numbers look good, 440 out of how many thousands would have made it look as insignificant as it really is

z0phi3l said,
Their just trying to make the numbers look good, 440 out of how many thousands would have made it look as insignificant as it really is

i guessed you missed the bit about these being enterprise customers ey? You know, thousands or hundreds of thousands of staff, each one now a paid for seat on 365? That 440 figure is large companies.......think before posting

AmazingRando said,
I get what they are saying but I dont know if a company the size of Microsoft should be touting a number like "440".

I would've just said hundreds and hundreds of previous customers are coming back.

Well ONLY 440 companies, but considering most of these companies have 10s and 100s of thousands of employees and computers, it is a bit bigger.

Microsoft doesn't have the tracking/stalking data to identify 10,000 mom and pop organizations with a few computers and whether they flipped to Google and back or not.

(I'm sure Google has this data though.)

My colleague has the same experience to come back to Office with the new Office 365 offering from MS. After his team has done a thorough cost benefit analysis. His company made a switch to Google to cut IT budget. It took a few months for the study group to finally recommend the switch. Another months to migrate to Google and release it to the users. Guess what? The IT department where he worked has never got so much issue tickets and complaints coming from the users.

After 8+ months they finally decided to drop Google. According to him, heads were rolling, including the ITD Head. All the people in the study group which recommended the switch have left the company, leaving only him to deal with the mess.

That's what happens when you don't educate end userd about the new app and how it works, had someone used their brains and made up a simple training class there would have been way less "issues", trust me I know, our call center explodes every time IT moves a button let alone update an app, these people are so set in their ways if everything is not in exactly the same spot as before they become utterly incompetent

It's not just about educating, it's about efficiency and ease of use, the two most important factors in stuff likes this. And no matter how "educated" you are in googles office, it just doesn't compare on those points.

HawkMan said,
It's not just about educating, it's about efficiency and ease of use, the two most important factors in stuff likes this. And no matter how "educated" you are in googles office, it just doesn't compare on those points.

We have no issue with ease of use or efficiency with GAFE. I looked at MS a while back and they didn't have several features we use. Mainly Forms and the way Calendars work. That might have changed now. I tried evaluating again, and I get errors every time I try to access Outllook online. I can access every other service besides email. How is that "efficient"? Microsoft's support forums have proved USELESS. I wish I could actually call someone like I can at Google...

I wish Microsoft would make their online Office interface "Windows Live like". When using Excel through my browser, I find that dark green color (without gradients, transparency or textures) depressing/dull. If they could colorize the interface a little (like in Office 2010) that would make my day.

Enron said,
Didn't you get the memo? Flat is in, gradients are out.
Flat with more than two or three colors would be nice... It's not 1990. I'm one of those who would appreciate if Aero made a comeback.

68k said,
Flat with more than two or three colors would be nice... It's not 1990. I'm one of those who would appreciate if Aero made a comeback.

These flat colors aren't 16 bit, so why the throwback to 1990? My computer screen doesn't need to be overly full of complex and functionless "bling".

Dot Matrix said,

These flat colors aren't 16 bit, so why the throwback to 1990? My computer screen doesn't need to be overly full of complex and functionless "bling".

A bit of contrast would be nice too. The blue colour scheme of Office 2007 was really nice. Now we have white, grey and a slightly darker grey. I find there's not enough contrast between the document and the tools for my liking.

I know of 3 schools here in Florida who have switched to Office 365 and there are more evaluating the switch. Its just better although we are experiencing headaches in the migration process. In the end it will be worth the pain.

It does the job for most people and converts Office documents better than OpenOffice. It was "online" before Office. Microsoft was last to the show again.

68k said,
It does the job for most people and converts Office documents better than OpenOffice. It was "online" before Office. Microsoft was last to the show again.

Say what you want - it doesn't compare.

I'm willing to bet more time, effort, and resources would be spent in questions that often involve, "So how do I do this in Sheets?"...

Spicoli said,

Well, they're cheap/free at least. You get what you pay for.

Which is enough for most people (home use).

NyaR said,
Libre Office and Kingsoft Office are nice and free/cheap.

They're free if your time is worthless. Office saves time.

68k said,
Which is enough for most people (home use).

I've been using Libre office for school work (Required by Course)...
Home use, I can understand...
But in relation to the article, it's not very efficient for a company

68k said,
Which is enough for most people (home use).

Maybe but Office 365 Home Premium is the native applications (5 installs of Windows or Mac), the web applications, the mobile apps, and the cloud services. You'd need to setup Libre Office, Google Apps, and Dropbox to do the same. The business Office 365 gets you user management, active directory integration, and other organizational stuff.

CygnusOrion said,
You get what you don't pay for. Libre Office is pure garbage.

Office 98 is supposidly garbage too. You don't just come up with the best ever program overnight.

Anyone that calls LibreOffice garbage doesn't know what they're talking about. If you say it's not as good as Office, you are correct. But for a LOT of people, it fits the need perfectly

n_K said,

Office 98 is supposidly garbage too. You don't just come up with the best ever program overnight.

Office 98 was a complete cross platform rewrite that was done in about one years time for the Mac, and was fixed by the next release.

Google has been developing 'Docs' longer than it took Microsoft to do the ground up Office rewrite that occurred twice in the 90s alone.

Libre and the other products being discussed have been in development for nearly 10 years or more as well.

Microsoft Office is also not just a 'light' word-processor/spreadsheet, which is what many of these are just trying to recreate for users.

At one time Microsoft Word was deemed the most complex software ever written, having more functionality and code than any other software product including the OSes available at the time.

Mobius Enigma said,

Office 98 was a complete cross platform rewrite that was done in about one years time for the Mac, and was fixed by the next release.

Google has been developing 'Docs' longer than it took Microsoft to do the ground up Office rewrite that occurred twice in the 90s alone.

Libre and the other products being discussed have been in development for nearly 10 years or more as well.

Microsoft Office is also not just a 'light' word-processor/spreadsheet, which is what many of these are just trying to recreate for users.

At one time Microsoft Word was deemed the most complex software ever written, having more functionality and code than any other software product including the OSes available at the time.


MS office is a commercial product of a very large company using hidden APIs they have on their own OS.
Libre office is a completely FREE and OPEN SOURCE office suite using reverse engineered specs of office file formats (and other file formats) which is multiplatform and doesn't use or rely on hidden APIs and is created by people in their FREE TIME.
You can't even compare MS office and libre office, they're on different spectrums.

n_K said,

MS office is a commercial product of a very large company using hidden APIs they have on their own OS.
Libre office is a completely FREE and OPEN SOURCE office suite using reverse engineered specs of office file formats (and other file formats) which is multiplatform and doesn't use or rely on hidden APIs and is created by people in their FREE TIME.
You can't even compare MS office and libre office, they're on different spectrums.

That's his point. You can't compare Libre Office (terrible) to Office (in a league of its own).

I could probably build a car out of wood and rusty gears bought off eBay but it wouldn't compare to a BMW or even a Kia.

n_K said,

MS office is a commercial product of a very large company using hidden APIs they have on their own OS.
Libre office is a completely FREE and OPEN SOURCE office suite using reverse engineered specs of office file formats (and other file formats) which is multiplatform and doesn't use or rely on hidden APIs and is created by people in their FREE TIME.
You can't even compare MS office and libre office, they're on different spectrums.

Hidden APIs? Really, going back to 1992 are we? (They were only hidden for people that weren't bright enough to open up a DLL and read the functions.)

Sure some of the OSS projects are volunteer and scattered work, but some are not...

This was also about Google, and GDocs is NOT an OSS project. Google also has the teams and cash to dump into it, and they are still hitting walls in just competing against the lighter MS Web team.

Even LibreOffice that you specifically reference was started by Sun with a lot of money and work put into the project. Over 10 years later, and being forked off in two directions, it is still a poor substitution.