Google pushes Docs as MS prepares for launch of Office 2010

Google pushes Docs as MS prepares for launch of Office 2010

Summary: As Microsoft prepares to pull the beta tag off of Office 2010, Google tries to sell business customers on Google Docs and Google Apps as a better way.

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Many times, when a company is getting ready for a big announcement of a product, competitors will come out with news of their own in the days just before the big announcement in an attempt to steal some thunder. In most cases, those competitors are subtle about it, trying to make it look like a coincidence that their news comes at the same time.

Not Google, though. In a blog post this morning, the company is frank and straightforward about the message being put out there:

This week Microsoft will take its Office 2010 suite out of beta. If you’re considering upgrading Office with Office, we’d encourage you to consider an alternative: upgrading Office with Google Docs. If you choose this path, upgrade means what it’s supposed to mean: effortless, affordable, and delivering a remarkable increase in employee productivity. This is a refreshing alternative to the expensive and laborious upgrades to which IT professionals have become accustomed.

From there, the post goes on to talk about the rich collaboration tools that come with Google Docs, as well as plans for real-time collaboration tools from Google that are heading for Office 2003 and Office 2007 in the coming months. Finally, the post ends with a reminder that there's a free trial period for Google Docs and the rest of the Apps suite for business customers. The company also included a comparison chart (below)

As Google says: "The only thing you have to lose is a server or two."

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Google, Software

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26 comments
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  • This is the perfect time to move a percentage to Google Docs. Doc Verse

    will make it possible to colaborate with those using MS Office.
    DonnieBoy
    • Google sounds VERY desparate here

      considering that Apps is still in single digit usage after all these years, the anouncement allmost sounds like they're [b]begging[/b] companies to downgrade and use it!
      John Zern
      • Actually, Microsoft is the desperate one, trying to keep business models

        from the last century alive. But, more and more businesses are figuring out that they are not getting much in return for the huge amounts that they are paying for Microsoft crap.
        DonnieBoy
      • Sorry DB, but since you keep pointing out

        time and time again that MS makes billion on MS Office, it appears most businesses don't want to waste time and money with crappy cloud based Google Apps software, that much is sure.
        John Zern
      • @DonnieBoy

        "Most of the people want 8.5x11 formatting and printing, so they choose MS Office". that statement is yours, of course I paraphrased it. So what is your problem with that. The article clearly shows that Google is desperate to sell Docs/Apps and no one is really interested in it. And please do us a favor, since you don't know anything about enterprise productivity, please stop wasting time with your sycophancy for Eric Schmidt. I know once Eric moves out you will cry aloud.<br>--Ram--
        Ram U
  • What Google really meant to say...

    "This week Microsoft will take its Office 2010 suite out of beta. If you??????re considering upgrading Office with Office, we??????d encourage you to consider an alternative: remain in
    perpetual beta with Google Docs."
    wizard57m-cnet
  • Can anyone do serious Office productivity work in the browser?

    How does anyone do serious Office productivity work in the browser? You are entirely at the mercy of your network - which at many, many companies, fluctuates throughout the day. Do you cross your fingers and hope that everything runs smoothly while you work? On the desktop, you can fly through your work, even if the whole world implodes around you. I can understand doing light consumer computing tasks in the browser, or on networks that aren't heavily used; but removing control of the outcome of your work, and placing it in the browser, doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
    P. Douglas
    • Actually, YES. Since we are sharing more, and printing less, those baroque

      features of MS Office are looking more stupid every day.

      And, the network is becoming just as reliable as electricity. We can not work without electricity either.
      DonnieBoy
      • Still...

        With all of the improvements in web technology, it's still not the same as a desktop application. Power users will continue to prefer local access to the application.
        bmonster
      • Network connectivity is generally the weakest feature of computers ...

        ... and will remain that way for a while. It is one thing to augment local work with network related features, it is another thing to live completely on the network. As long we use continue to use <b>open</b> networks (and we can't get much more open than the Internet) the networks will not be 100 percent reliable. There is a chance that we can get very close to 100 percent reliablity on closed networks; but it is virtually impossible to achieve this on open networks. This is yet another reason why the odds will be forever stacked against applications living purely online.
        P. Douglas
      • baroque features?

        @DonnieBoy You mean those same features that Google is trying to replicate in their Office Suite?

        hmm, and I thought you were a fan of Google.
        BFD
      • The strategy should be to move the masses over to Google Docs. The

        "power users" would probably be better off with a publishing package than a generic office suite though. Google should make a local caching server, but, remember, if the network goes down, there are a whole lot of things we can not do that are probably a LOT more important than editing documents, and those on-site servers mean that your customers can not buy anything from you either.
        DonnieBoy
      • Not really. Those features you call "boroque"

        (just learn that one?) obviouslly aren't.
        John Zern
      • @BFD. NO Google is NOT trying to replicate the rats nest of features in MS

        Office. They are replicating the minimum for compatibility, but that is as far as it goes.
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: @DonnieBoy

        Compatibility? MS Office is still the defacto standard. ODF is a chatty standard, from which a professional looking document cannot be created. When they can produce a open standard that's worth a crap, maybe then we can talk about compatibility.
        bmonster
      • RE: RE: Google pushes Docs as MS prepares for launch of Office 2010

        I think Google Apps are great. And agreed that the network is as safe as electricity now. But then there is the ever loud laptop user who will complain they are cut off. However, that is becoming less and less likely as well. Just about any place you can conveniently use a laptop, you also have WiFi. The major exception (for now) that I see is the airplane. I think that's going to be a problem. If Google can solve that one, I'm all for it.<br><br>Having said that, I kind of have to agree with some of the other comments... Google will really need to add at least some decent percentage of MS Office features into Docs before I can use it all the time. Styles, Borders/Shading, better number/outlining would be great. <br>Otherwise I think it works great! I absolutely love that it's in the cloud and I can access it from anywhere.<br>SharePoint - ICK!
        rossdav
      • RE: Google pushes Docs as MS prepares for launch of Office 2010

        @DonnieBoy

        Just because you do not understand the needs of some users and organizations does not mean Office has stupid features. I hate to say this but based on your past and current commentary I highly doubt you know what you are talking about.

        Google Docs is nice but like it shows in the comparison it is $50 per year per user. So if I was to take an organization like mine with roughly 10,000 students and 1200 teachers and staff members that would cost $560,000 a year. Google requires you set up a Google/Gmail account to use their services (at least effectively) That $560,000 a year is almost more than our entire IT Budget every year. Adding in column B with Office, SharePoint, Server 2008 along with other Microsoft services we have like Exchange, Office Communicator, Unified Communications, and Live@Edu we are hundreds of thousands cheaper than that per year.

        So basically this may be a cost effective solution for small business with less than maybe 50 employees but even then those businesses can qualify for volume license pricing and I do not even know individual home users that pay MSRP on Office for $499 per user.

        So it appears we can accomplish all of what Google is advertising for a lot cheaper and easier.
        bobiroc
      • RE: @Bobiroc

        Because he doesn't. I don't think he has used Office in a while judging by his comments, nor does he know the needs of businesses or single users. It's funny too, to only see him in Google Docs posts, otherwise he is MIA.<br><br>It was pointed out that either way, you're going to be paying to either piece of software. But $50/user/year can get quite expensive, really quick, for just basic features.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • "Printing less"???

        @DonnieBoy

        That's funny, Donnie. The attorneys and accountants in my building seem to think it is their purpose in life to deforest the planet. After years of pushing for the paperless office, we use more paper today than ever.
        itpro_z
  • RE: Google pushes Docs as MS prepares for launch of Office 2010

    Microsoft will have to work hard to provide value with Office with Google nipping at their heels. Still, I've played with Google docs and I haven't been able to reproduce the documents I create so they look as professional. The spreadsheet won't connect to an OLAP cube. So I will continue on with MS Office as I always have.
    bmonster