It took a week, but Microsoft execs have come out swinging against Google's plan for providing e-mail back-up for Exchange.
Google announced its $25 per user/per year Google Message Continuity service on December 9. When I asked Microsoft execs for their initial take on Google's plan to back-up Exchange with Gmail, I got a fairly bland statement from a spokesperson. ("With their announcement, Google joins an existing list of email continuity providers for Exchange.")
On December 16, however, Microsoft went on the offensive against Google with a couple of strongly-worded blog posts. One claimed that Google Message Continuity is cumbersome and costly. In the event there's an Exchange outage, "Exchange will automatically failover if the customer has HA (high availability) setup for Exchange, which most customers do," said Tom Rizzo, a Senior Director for Microsoft Online services.
Microsoft execs noted that Exchange 2010 has high-availability back-up built into the product, and that various third-party partners offer back-up services for older versions of Exchange. (It's worth noting that Google's new backup offering backs up Exchange 2003 and 2007, not Exchange 2010.)
"Vendors like (Microsoft partners) Live Office and Dell have provided Exchange services for many years and have dedicated Microsoft Certified Exchange Professionals driving and implementing their solutions. This level of knowledge and support of Exchange should be required of any vendor being considered," blogged Julia White, Senior Director, Exchange Product Management.
I'm not surprised Microsoft is none too keen on Google's attempt to gain a toehold in targeting Redmond's established business customer base with its new enterprise backup service. But I'm still wondering if and when Microsoft will start really pushing Exchange Online, its own hosted e-mail solution, as a back-up solution for users running older Exchange servers. So far, that's not a main marketing message from the Softies....