Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Working from home: The future of business is remote

Microsoft subtly sticks the knife into Zoom

A new ad for Microsoft Teams presents a perfectly sly attempt to differentiate it from privacy-challenged Zoom.

microsoftteams.jpg

Is it better? Microsoft says it is.

Image: Microsoft

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Microsoft is a nice company these days.

It's trying to make everyone happy by providing a platform for everything. Why, even the Department of Defense adores it.

I fear, though, that Redmond isn't above a little jibe here and there, even if it happens to be subtle.

It's just released an ad promoting its own Zoom variant, Microsoft Teams. It's not easy creating an ad these days, with everyone stuck in front of their computers.

Microsoft, however, managed to pull together several of its customers from around the world to talk about how wonderful Teams truly is.

Here's a member of London's Metropolitan Police to say how its COVID-19 technology response is being run via Teams.

Next, someone from the University of Bologna explaining how Teams helps her team innovate.

A representative of French cosmetics company L'Oreal appears in what looks like a less-than-fragrant old storeroom. She insists that with Teams the company can continue to do business and decide on actions that need to be taken.

Finally, someone from St. Luke's University Hospital Network in Pennsylvania reveals how Teams makes possible thousands of patient visits.

You might think this is all a perfectly sober, effective endorsement for Teams.

There's a little more, though, isn't there? What do all these professions desperately need? Security. And that's the area in which Zoom has been so tainted. The implication is clear: Listen to those from education, business, law enforcement, and health. Or listen to someone who sent you a link to a virtual dinner party.

Microsoft has already presented very detailed reasons why it believes Teams is more secure than Zoom, even as Zoom has begun to correct its failings. 

Moreover, former Facebook CSO Alex Stamos has joined Zoom as a consultant to help plug gaping holes.

Yet once you get a reputation, it's hard to shake it. So, Microsoft is using its currently very positive brand perception to suggest people don't bother with Zoom.

It's not as if Microsoft has ever endured security issues, is it?