Microsoft: 785 organizations have come back after trying out Google

Microsoft loves the enterprise - it's where they make quite a bit of their revenue and it's where they have a significant presence in productivity software as well as desktop operating systems. Of course, Google would like to cut into Microsoft's share of the market at the enterprise level but at WPC14, Microsoft took a bit of time to show that many clients who have switched to Google are switching back.

In fact, in the last eighteen months, 785 organizations who tried out Google's suite of services have now come back to Microsoft. It goes without saying that switching between Google and Microsoft is not a trivial process as the expense incurred - both financially and in terms of lost productivity - can be considerable. So, for a company to switch back from Google, they must have been quite unhappy with the services to make the transition again, in what is likely a small time window.

What we would love to know, of course, is how many customers have left Microsoft for Google. The figure of 785 customers is almost meaningless without that context. 

Certainly, Google has it much easier than Microsoft in terms of support for legacy software as they are a cloud-only service provider which allows them to push out new features faster. Microsoft's mix of on-site and cloud products makes the support cycles for their services generally longer which is one reason why corporations like Microsoft services. Additionally, it is this mix of product offerings that makes Microsoft's portfolio of applications incredibly strong.

While 785 may not seem like a high number, remember, these are enterprise customers and each company can be composed of hundreds, if not thousands, of employees. 

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I hope they counted my business in their figures as well.

I dropped Google Apps in lieu of Office 365, and we love it. Even if it is brand new, I can't wait until they blow the doors open with more and more features.

At it's current state it is worth the price of admission.

When their cloud offerings were first released the MS offerings were awful. We had them in to demo it for us and they couldn't even demo a working product. Google was better out of the gate.

Now however , complete 180. Office is way more usable and a highly superior product in terms of ease of use and functionality.

Of those companies listed on the image i just know one.

Also do they include companies that don't want to be included? How about companies that have removed all traces of MO and went GO in all locations except the main office or something, where they went back to MO?

The fact that it is 785 and not 780, 790, 800 tells me they are counting whatever they can and ar fighting tooth and nail for every customer. This is a good thing and would not have happened 10 years ago.

I'm just one author, but I went with Google Docs on a Chromebook for a short while. The lack of proper track changes made Docs painful for me. Not to mention the host of little things Word 2013 takes care of for me. Autocorrecting, autocapitalizing, and so on. A lot of fiction writers use Scrivener until they get to the editing phase, but Word really can't be beat.

Office 365 is also fantastic for a two-author household with a Windows PC, a Mac, and two iPads. So much easier to have the subscription.

Wow MS has been pulling out the big guns lately...nice to see some movement from the sleeping giant, its been awhile. Lots of smack talk lately, show us some products we want to buy now.

remember MSFT revenues never declined. They are a giant kicking ass in many areas. People just look at phones and tablets as the only market, but computing is much wider than that even if not as popular for the press.

plus the thing about being diversified is like unlike google, which is nothing but an ad machine with a single model is that MSFT can afford to take risks google can't. thus why they kicked google to the curb with office.

I guess the dumping free software on the market only goes so far when you're faced with a division of MSFT that stands united and moves very fast. Google was basically the first to market with an office suite that ran online and not only has MSFT matched it but surpassed it and then with office 365 bundles and streaming desktop apps just blew google out of the water.

MS will always surpass any new suit that comes out. Doesnt matter if it is Google, Open Source, or some other company. MS is embedded in the enterprise and for a lot of home users. IT is going to take a lot to knock them out of the lead of at all. And doesnt really matter if it is cloud based or not. If it was because of a united MSFT that moves very fast, WP would be kicking the crap out if iOS and Android.

techbeck said,
MS will always surpass any new suit that comes out. Doesnt matter if it is Google, Open Source, or some other company. MS is embedded in the enterprise and for a lot of home users. IT is going to take a lot to knock them out of the lead of at all. And doesnt really matter if it is cloud based or not. If it was because of a united MSFT that moves very fast, WP would be kicking the crap out if iOS and Android.

Technically, from an OS perspective, WP already does kick the crap out of iOS and Android. It was a tactical blunder on Microsoft's part that now sees WP having to come from behind. However, Android is a very old, very poor software design and is rapidly approaching the end of what you can do with it - almost identical to Symbian. What will happen when Android dies?

Android isnt going anywhere. with the change front Dalvik to Art, it is just going to get that much better. Google is constantly making changes to the platform and switching things up. An "old" OS didnt slow down Windows and Apple is also still going strong. And as far as marketshare, no WP is not kicking the crap out of iOS and Android. And if you meant WP is kicking the crap out of others because you think it is a better platform, that is subjective.

the change of runtime will make no difference. Android's techincal merits are irrelevant. It is a windows-like momentum based OS where people only get it because it is pushed by OEMs and carriers by default, like windows on PCs.

the problem with WP isn't android's code, or google's schedule. The problem is breaking into the OEM and carrier barriers. Just like google has no chance on the PC, windows phone stands little chance on phones.

but who knows, Samsung experimenting with Tizen and refusing to kill it, may signal a tendency of OEMs to keep google in check. After all, competition in the OS space is in their best interest and google is far from an entity that fully controls android anymore.

I don't think android will go away, but like windows before it, it doesn't mean it cannot be challenged. It is just a question of when the challenger emerges, not if.

Yup. People switch things all the time. Large companies think Google can handle am their needs. They not there yet. They are fine for small organizations or schools. People try to save money going Google... Don't look at the big picture... And end up paying more.

I know a few people who use Google at work and have no problems. But of course, they are doing just the basics

Google Apps is used by companies that are trying to be ultra cheap and cut corners. It also means that some accountant is driving IT decisions. I had two companies that sent me product demo invites from Google Calendar. That was a red flag to me.

Oh, it gets better. My new CIO knows little to nothing about IT and is making... Pushing.... A lot of the decisions himself. Waiting for things to blow up.

There's that "other number" of how many have left Office for Google, but there are even more important ones on my opiniĆ³n; how many clients don't want to change? And how many have tried without deploying Google Docs?

Pretty sure the employees themselves who do productivity work never want to switch. It's the clueless upper managements looking to cut cost and the incompetent IT departments that make these uninformed decisions only to regret it later most of the time.

Office 365 is a great product and offers way more than Google. The use of Outlook alone is worth it over GMail, but the whole suite is excellent. I have many of my clients on it and no one on Google Apps.

Depends on your use case. We have stuck with Google because they do release funtionality sooner. Office 365 has always been a little behind on things we use every day.

I must say that they are getting better, but from a management standpoint, we get a lot more functionality and control with Google. We are a school, also, so we might be an exception more than the rule on the control side.

don't worry Office365 is essentially only getting started... Pretty good eh. Things will ramp up and soon as all things fall into place

farmeunit said,
Depends on your use case. We have stuck with Google because they do release funtionality sooner. Office 365 has always been a little behind on things we use every day.

I must say that they are getting better, but from a management standpoint, we get a lot more functionality and control with Google. We are a school, also, so we might be an exception more than the rule on the control side.

I'd love to know what functionality and management items are tipping you towards preferring Google over Office365. I'm not well versed in managing Google's. Office 365 is pretty much glorious at the moment.

MrHumpty said,
I'd love to know what functionality and management items are tipping you towards preferring Google over Office365. I'm not well versed in managing Google's. Office 365 is pretty much glorious at the moment.

So I'm an Office kiddie for most use cases, but I'll tell you one interesting Google Docs can do that I've come to like: spreadsheets can be queried. It's such a weirdly trivial little thing, but it's interesting. I've done some minor automations by taking advantage of it. In larger cases, I've heard of people using it as a translation database (I don't personally recommend this, but it's a neat exercise), which they can query based on the set of values (per language) they need, and get, say, a JSON of key/value pairs returned.

Again, I'd NEVER recommend this in a production product, but as an example of what you can do, it's unique and nifty.

Joshie said,
So I'm an Office kiddie for most use cases, but I'll tell you one interesting Google Docs can do that I've come to like: spreadsheets can be queried. It's such a weirdly trivial little thing, but it's interesting. I've done some minor automations by taking advantage of it. In larger cases, I've heard of people using it as a translation database (I don't personally recommend this, but it's a neat exercise), which they can query based on the set of values (per language) they need, and get, say, a JSON of key/value pairs returned.

Again, I'd NEVER recommend this in a production product, but as an example of what you can do, it's unique and nifty.

Yea, I know Google Docs has more features exposed via it's online offering (as that's all it's got). When it comes to office, though, games over if you have real needs. Google Docs is a plaything to me, frankly, and even if someone doesn't have a need for full Office at school, they should be exposed to it. People coming out of high school and college these days w/o a decent handle on office isn't doing that former student a favor... even if their watered down immediate needs were just what Google Docs has to offer.

I'm just one guy, not an organisation but, for example, my dad asked me to proofread some of his office work and while I am, for the most part, on the Microsoft side of things, I preferred using Google Docs for this particular task because of how edits by different people are shown in different colours and highlighted, instead of just putting them as comments, which requires the author to do a lot more work than just clicking on the tick or the cross to accept or reject changes. It's another small thing but it's very fundamental when it comes to productivity and collaboration.

Anonymous1b said,
I preferred using Google Docs for this particular task because of how edits by different people are shown in different colours and highlighted, instead of just putting them as comments, which requires the author to do a lot more work than just clicking on the tick or the cross to accept or reject changes.

Word (desktop) supports color coded edits by multiple users. When using Track Changes, edits are saved inline with the doc (not as comments), and they can be accepted or rejected just as easily as with Google Docs. (Actually, even without the cloud powered sync in Word 2013, previous versions of Word have always worked this way when people passed documents around for review.) Perhaps people are using the commenting feature (instead of Track Changes) incorrectly?

FYI, real-time co-editing is supported in Word Online in a fashion similar to Google Docs. If using the full desktop app, changes between collaborators are synced each time the document is saved.

Anonymous1b said,
I'm just one guy, not an organisation but, for example, my dad asked me to proofread some of his office work and while I am, for the most part, on the Microsoft side of things, I preferred using Google Docs for this particular task because of how edits by different people are shown in different colours and highlighted, instead of just putting them as comments, which requires the author to do a lot more work than just clicking on the tick or the cross to accept or reject changes. It's another small thing but it's very fundamental when it comes to productivity and collaboration.
I'll just TL;DR Silversee and say "you're doing it wrong."

MrHumpty said,
I'd love to know what functionality and management items are tipping you towards preferring Google over Office365. I'm not well versed in managing Google's. Office 365 is pretty much glorious at the moment.

In OUR situation, we can turn off Email, but leave Docs open for certain OUs. That's just one example, but we can enable/disable any Google Service per OU.

Also Chrome management functionality and integration.

Google had Forms for a LONG time before MS. (MS finally released theirs)

Google had better shared/public calendars before MS. (that may have changed)

With Office 365, you have to provision licenses after syncing. It's separate licenses for students/teachers. In GAFE there are no licenses, per se.

We can sync our AD OUs with Google OUs, and AD groups with Google Groups.

There is the Google Marketplace to add functionality or integrates services, and they'll even work with SSO with most if not all those services.

There are others I've come across before and MS "might" have matched those features, but I just gave up after a while. Also, their email search hasn't been as good for me as Google's. Again, I haven't tried lately.

Back when it was Live@Edu and when Live365, you couldn't log on as a another user (view student email accounts) very easily if there was an issue, but with Google Apps, there was a way without changing passwords. Maybe that has changed. Just an example of how Google Apps held an advantage for us.

We are creating Office 365 accounts for all students so they can use the Student Advantage Program, but that's about the only reason. If you want to use it, it'll be there.

So..

You can leave SP/OneDrive activated but deactivate Mail, as well as piecemeal services as needed.

Better shared calendars? Have you used Exchange in the past 10+ years?

As far as "Provisioning Licenses" it's part of the Implementation Guide, not a big deal clicking a checkbox or rolling out via PowerShell/AD.

Active Directory was created by MS.

O365 Marketplace?

Overall Google is still an advertising agency who will probably not reverse their policy for a measly Business Division.

To say Google "releases" things faster than MS is obtuse, MS is on a Rapid Release Cadence as well, and with the layoffs it should divert resources accordingly.

Oh and in regards to "logging in" as another user, "Private Tab" perhaps?

It's amazing to see everyone use the "Jump to conclusions" mat from Office Space when it comes to Cloud services!

farmeunit said,
...
I'd just say things have definitely changed.

And as for Teachers being able to log into Student accounts... I'd not want that as a feature anyway. That just seems like bad news.

What I was referring to was the online app. While I didn't know this was even possible with the desktop version (which I only found out after people corrected me here so thanks for that), after learning of this, I checked and saw that the "Track Changes" feature which is what gives the different colours for different people is not avaiable on Word Online (you can make it so that the changes are recorded but they won't be shown unless you use the desktop application) so that is one thing where Google is good at and the thing which made me use Google Docs over Word Online, despite my preference for Microsoft products most of the time.

Anonymous1b said,
What I was referring to was the online app. While I didn't know this was even possible with the desktop version (which I only found out after people corrected me here so thanks for that), after learning of this, I checked and saw that the "Track Changes" feature which is what gives the different colours for different people is not avaiable on Word Online (you can make it so that the changes are recorded but they won't be shown unless you use the desktop application) so that is one thing where Google is good at and the thing which made me use Google Docs over Word Online, despite my preference for Microsoft products most of the time.
I understand your point. However, you are limited to online functionality. If you are comfortable with that being the absolute most you can get out of your service that's great. However, two things: 1. MS has been quickly upgrading their online capabilities with, at the least, "view only" availability of desktop features 2. Google will never give you a rich desktop experience and will never be able to match the rich desktop experience in a browser.

Which is why I had emphasised the fact that I usually prefer Office but, only in this case, went for Google Docs which shows that there is still a lot of room for improvement, especially since these are probably very small and easy things to add.