Microsoft: We're more enterprise-ready than Google Apps

The company claims its Office 365 cloud platform is winning converts from Google Apps

Microsoft is bolstering its cloud presence with its Office 365 cloud application suite and believes it has more to offer enterprises than Google has with its own online applications, a Microsoft executive said on Thursday.

Office 365 was announced last month, featuring such applications as Exchange messaging and SharePoint collaboration. While denying that Office 365 is intended to battle Google's online applications, Microsoft's Eron Kelly, senior director for Business Online Services Marketing, said in an interview that Microsoft has had business class users come to Microsoft after trying out Google Apps. The online search giant's applications lack vital capabilities, such as delegate access, which enables a user to let someone else manage their calendar, Kelly said. Directory integration also is lacking. "Things like delegate access, those are things you just must have for these organizations," Kelly said.

[ While PHP developers this week were underwhelmed with cloud computing, a VMware executive stressed its inevitability. | Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]

"I think Google represents an interesting consumer service. They put an enterprise name on it, and it's getting people interested," Kelly said. Microsoft, however, has seen users migrate from Notes to Google's applications and then approach Microsoft, said Kelly.

But a Google representative dismissed Kelly's claims. "The truth is our business is accelerating and our retention rate is actually [greater than] 90 per cent," said Google spokesman Andrew Kovacs. More companies are switching to Google, such as Virgin America, than to Microsoft, he said.

Unlike Microsoft's previous cloud offering, Business Productivity Online Suite, Office 365 will feature the latest versions of Exchange, SharePoint, and the Lync communications server. The Office rich client and Office Web applications are featured as well.

Kelly pledged a seamless experience with Office 365 across the PC, phone and browser. Office 365 currently is in a controlled beta release cycle, with general availability planned for 2011. Kelly also said the price points of Office 365 will enable Microsoft to add users who previously could not afford the company's applications. Prices for Office 365 will start at US$2 per user per month for basic email.

For partners who want to extend the Office 365 applications, they can write code and utilize Web services to interact with Office 365, Kelly said.  

Earlier in the day, Kelly pitched Office 365 at the Cloud Computing Conference & Expo in Santa Clara, Calif. "First and foremost, Office 365 is really about productivity," Kelly said. Cloud-based applications also offer environmental benefits, he said. "Even for large businesses, they can expect to see a 30 per cent reduction in their CO2 emissions when they move their apps to the cloud," Kelly said.

This article, "Microsoft: We’re more enterprise-ready than Google Apps," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter.

Read more about cloud computing in InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Channel.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsMicrosoftMicrosoft Office 365softwareDesktop productivitySoftware as a servicecloud computinginternetVMwareGoogle AppsGoogle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?