Microsoft offers its take on CapGemini-Google deal

Microsoft offers its take on CapGemini-Google deal

Summary: Microsoft has been noticeably quiet whenever we bloggers/press folk ask them for comments on Google various announcements. Today's CapGemini-Google partnership must have struck a nerve, as Microsoft sent out a lengthy and unsolicited response on the deal. Check it out.

TOPICS: Google, Microsoft

Microsoft has been noticeably quiet whenever we bloggers/press folk ask them for comments on Google various announcements. Today's CapGemini-Google partnership to sell Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE) must have struck a nerve, as Microsoft sent out a lengthy and unsolicited response on the deal.

Here's what Microsoft said via an emailed statement, attributable to a "corporate spokesperson:

“We believe competition is good for customers and the industry. That said, customers tell us that our solutions deliver the ease of use, reliability and security that enterprises need. This is validated in the strong reception we’ve seen to 2007 adoption and usage and by having achieved more than 90% enterprise agreement renewal in the fourth quarter of our last fiscal year. Our long history in meeting the complex needs of enterprise customers, a partner ecosystem that has grown 43% on the Office platform since last year and our current and future investments in the software + services arena will deliver even more flexibility to customers."

That was the "official" statement. Microsoft also suggested a list of "top questions that enterprises should ask when considering the switch to GAPE. Microsoft's suggested list:

"1. Google touts having enterprise level customers but how many “USERS” of their applications truly exist within the enterprise?

"2. Google has a history of releasing incomplete products, calling them beta software, and issuing updates on a “known only to Google” schedule – this flies in the face of what enterprises want and need in their technology partners – what is Google doing that indicates they are in lock step with customer needs?

"3. Google touts the low cost of their apps –not only price but the absence of need for hardware, storage or maintenance for Google Apps. BUT if GAPE is indeed a complement to MSFT Office, the costs actually become greater for a company as they now have two IT systems to run and manage and maintain. Doesn’t this result in increased complexity and increased costs?

"4. Google’s primary focus is on ad funded search. Their enterprise focus and now apps exist on the very fringe and in combination with other fringe services only account for 1% of the company’s revenue. What happens if Google executes poorly? Do they shut down given it will them in a minimal and short term way? Should customers trust that this won’t happen?

"5. Google’s apps only work if an enterprise has no power users, employees are always online, enterprises haven’t built custom Office apps – doesn’t this equal a very small % of global information workers today? –On a feature comparison basis, it's not surprising that Microsoft has a huge lead.

"6. Google apps don’t have essential document creation features like support for headers, footers, tables of content, footnotes, etc. Additionally, while customers can collaborate on basic docs without the above noted features, to collaborate on detailed docs, a company must implement a two part process – work together on the basic doc, save it to Word or Excel and then send via email for final edits. Yes they have a $50 price tag, but with the inefficiencies created by just this one cycle, how much do GAPE really cost – and can you afford the fidelity loss?

"7. Enterprise companies have to constantly think about government regulations and standards – while Google can store a lot of data for enterprises on Google servers, there is no easy to use, automated way for enterprises to regularly delete data, issue a legal hold for specific docs or bring copies into the corp. What happens if a company needs to respond to government regulations bodies? Google touts 99.9% uptime for their apps but what few people realize that promise is for Gmail only. Equally alarming is the definition Google has for “downtime” – ten consecutive minutes of downtime. What happens if throughout the day Google is down 7 minutes each hour? What does 7 minutes each hour for a full work day that cost an enterprise?

"8. In the world of business, it is always on and always connected. As such, having access to technical support 24/7 is essential. If a company deploys Google Apps and there is a technical issue at 8pm PST, Sorry. Google’s tech support is open M-F 1AM-6PM PST – are these the new hours of global business? And if a customer’s “designated administrator” is not available (a requirement) does business just stop?

"9. Google says that enterprise customers use only 10% of the features in today’s productivity applications which implies that EVERYONE needs the SAME 10% of the feature when in fact it is very clear that in each company there are specific roles people play that demands access to specific information – how does Google’s generic strategy address role specific needs?

"10. With Google apps in perpetual beta and Google controlling when and if they rollout specific features and functionality, customers have minimal if any control over the timing of product rollouts and features – how do 1) I know how to strategically plan and train and 2) get the features and functionality I have specifically requested? How much money does not knowing cost?

"I invite you to speak with customers, partners and analysts who can validate Office’s business model."

What do you think of Microsoft's retort? See any examples of the pot calling the kettle black?

Topics: Google, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Known only to Micro$oft...

    That's the best way to describe the update and release schedule of Micro$oft's products. Oh sure, Micro$oft announces release target dates, but can they be trusted? How many years late was Vista? How late were the various service packs to other versions of Windows?

    And Micro$oft's products often work (somewhat) so badly (do your Vista drivers really work?) that some of it should be considered to be permanently in the beta stage. Who do these FUDmeistrers in Micro$oft think they are fooling?
  • RE: Microsoft offers its take on CapGemini-Google deal

    I find pretty interesting the way MS tries to demonstrate that Google is bad for you.

    Companies have developped all this network support and multiple layers of security adding costs and complexity for one single reason:
    the dominant market player was not able to provide them with any simple, foolproof solution - in ANY field. Did I say MS was that player ?

    And I am not even talking about the story about BETA. This one adds insult to injury.
    It took MS 20 years to design a product almost right like Office or Vista, which many users are calling a beta anyway.
    And it's now a behemoth that wouldn't run on machines bought only 3 years back.
  • I like this one !!

    MS says
    "Google has a history of releasing incomplete products, calling them beta software"

    I think they got this completely wrong. Ms has a history of releasing only beta products as "production ready". At least Google is fair calling them beta when it's not complete.

    think about it.!!! quit amazing!!
  • MS obviously spun this story

    in a typical fashion, but I think that many of their points in the FAQ are legitimate. No headers or footers? Who is to say that all users need the same 10% of the features?

    MS obviously spun the whole downtime issue looking for a worst case scenario and deliberately skipped the Google Gears point on several of their issues with GAPE.

    I like Google and all that, but I am not convinced that this is the way for businesses yet. Personally, Excel is worth the price of admission for me. There may be better products, but I haven't used them yet.

    And as an aside, I have been using the new 2007 interface overhaul. It is taking a little bit of time, but I think that it might be faster then the old interface.
  • RE: Microsoft offers its take on CapGemini-Google deal

    All I can say is Google has a very long way to go to bring people over from Office, everyone that I have known to use Office never wants to try something different because MS knew what the customer wants and how they want it. Word
  • RE: Microsoft offers its take on CapGemini-Google deal

    Speaking as a former Microsoft enterprise sales person, I'm very aware that many CIOs have been waiting for an opportunity to reduce the cost of deploying and maintaining Microsoft Office for many years. They have just been waiting for the "Gartner Go" signal. Microsoft has done an excellent job in cornering the office apps market over the last decade but in doing so have developed a suite of products which, by their own admission, the vast majority of users hardly use more than a tiny percentage of the functionality.

    The really amusing thing about Microsoft's arguments above is that I"m pretty sure they copied them straight out of the Oracle sales book from 1998. These are pretty much the same kind of arguments Oracle tried to use against SQL Server. And IBM tried to use to place Lotus Notes ahead of Exchange.

    All Google now needs to do is get their hands on Microsoft's competitive sales guides from the late 90s for their products, to show CapGem how to sell cheaper products with less features / track record against expensive bloatware.

    Microsoft is becoming IBM faster than it realizes.


    Cameron Reilly
    CEO, The Podcast Network ( &
    Host of Australia's #1 podcast G'Day World (
    TPN is Australia's largest independent media company. We were proud to be named one of the ECONTENT 100 (2006) - EContent Magazine's list of the most influential digital content companies in the world ( and B&T Magazine's Biggest Players of Australia's Digital Age.
    • Another layer of snow-pack

      It does seem like glaciation is settling in a bit, doesn't it? Microsoft is moving from fresh snow pack to hardening slush as we watch. I'm getting a lot more cold calls for Google products than I am for Microsoft opportunities, so there's some serious moguls in the way for them. But I wonder, at what point will Microsoft discover -- as IBM did a few years back -- themselves to be cashed up and obsolescent, and in need of a huge amount of corporate soul-searching? IBM re-invented themselves and rose again. What shape will Microsoft be in during the crush?

      Sorry about the snow metaphors, I'll put on a jacket...


      Nefarious Wheel
      NefariousWheel@g mail @com
  • From the article, a quote, you might know.

    [B]This is validated in the strong reception we?ve seen to 2007 adoption and usage and by having achieved more than 90% enterprise agreement renewal in the fourth quarter of our last fiscal year.[/B]

    I have read the above a few times, and it keeps reading the same. Of the enterprises that purchased the semi-mandated software assurance package, 1 in 10 is balking at renewing the agreement? I remember that a lot of businesses were displeased at being forced to sign up to the yearly subscription, is the above the indication that 10% are not seeing value in renewing?

    If so, 10% going with just an outright purchase or another platform is not something to brag about. Anyone have any insight?

  • Take care of your base

    Granted MS Office has soooo many features that most people only use a small percentage...though not the same small percentage, I think Google needs to focus on capitalizing on search.

    What Google doesn't realize is that people just typing, using a spreadsheet, or doing flat presentations are evolving into something totally different than what the current office-like offerings allow you to accomplish.

    Those who try to do everything well usually end up doing nothing good.
  • RE: Microsoft offers its take on CapGemini-Google deal

    It's quite baffeling, but people really don't seem to mind <a href="">giving google their data and money</a>. Google has a huge trust in users. I would love to see the stats for active vs. email accounts. Gmail is filling my inbox with nary a hotmail to be seen.
  • Google not committed to apps?

    Re: Question #4. If you look at the Google acquisitions, with the exception of DoubleClick, ALL the acquisitions have been focused on Apps.

    Search and ads built their business and now they are working on apps -- focusing on the latter without neglecting the former.
  • RE: Microsoft offers its take on CapGemini-Google deal

    Coming soon:

    Planet of the GAPEs.
  • RE: Microsoft offers its take on CapGemini-Google deal

    As mentioned above, I noticed that "90% retention" comment as well.

    As for that other 10%, maybe all that noise that ThinkFree and Zoho make, actually has some substance behind it?

    In fact, why doesn't MSFT just buy ThinkFree and remove the thorn in their side that Google is clearly trying to be.
  • RE: Microsoft offers its take on CapGemini-Google deal

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