Subscribe to CIO Magazine »

Google Apps vs Microsoft BPOS, Office 365 - Part 1

Will Office 365 compete with Google Apps?
Google Apps vs Microsoft BPOS, Office 365 - Part 1

IT behemoths, Microsoft and Google, have for years been embroiled in battles over who would control the move by different industries to the Cloud.

Since at least 2007, Australian universities and education authorities eager to outsource their email have turned to either provider in lieu of limited competition from the market. For the next battle, however, the stakes are higher. Both Google and Microsoft are betting all of their chips on a sector that is likely to prove much more lucrative than any before it: Enterprise.

There is little doubt Google already has the stronger foothold; the company has offered an enterprise-grade version of its Apps portfolio for four years, and claims sign-up rates in excess of 3000 businesses per day. The caveat is that most of those businesses appear to be small to medium in size, looking to reduce small volume licensing costs, but the momentum is undeniable nonetheless.

On the other hand, although Microsoft looks to have fallen behind in recent years, its Cloud suite is growing stronger with each successive product release. Its hosted Exchange solution is already highly competitive, for example, but the productivity aspect has been an obvious gap in its wider portfolio.

The software giant intends to change all that when it takes Office 365 out of beta and into the real world. When exactly that will happen remains a mystery — Microsoft is reticent to name an exact launch date and even those close to the company’s Cloud services aren’t sure when it will be confident enough to launch it to a wider customer base.

Regardless, Microsoft hopes the portfolio — a mix of Office Web Apps and hosted instances of SharePoint, Exchange and Lync unified communications — will steal thunder from arch-enemy, Google.

Even without an official launch, however, Microsoft has begun to take swipes at Google’s offering, claiming the limited suite of Google’s products means the entire portfolio isn’t ready for the enterprise. The options from the search giant — Sites, internal YouTube, Gmail, chat, video conferencing and a maturing portfolio of Docs applications — are, according to Microsoft, little to worry about.

That is, of course, just what a competitor would say.

Read part 2: the Google Apps experience.

Read part 3: the Microsoft Office BPOS, 365 experience.

In reality, the portfolios are pitched at slightly different markets. Though scaled to larger businesses, the enterprise edition of Google Apps retains much of the product offering made specifically for individuals, small businesses and the education market. SharePoint, at the very least, is considered a more robust option than any document repository currently on Google’s platform.

But the lack of a consolidated and readymade option so far from Redmond is a problem that even Microsoft observer and often evangelist, Paul Thurrott, recently recognised.

“We're in this age of transition,” he writes. “And during this time, Microsoft is vulnerable, because users may move on to other hosted office productivity offerings as they make their own transitions to the cloud.”

Follow James Hutchinson on Twitter: @j_hutch

Follow CIO Australia on Twitter: @CIO_Australia

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: Google, Microsoft
References show all




We migrated to Google apps at the turn of the year and been amazed by how bad the support is, we are into the third week of a reported issue and we are doing all the chasing. This is no minor issue, it could be devastating to our business. I can honestly say that I have never experienced anything that comes remotely close to the dire support of Google apps. What good is a 24/7 support line if Google then sit on an issue for close to 3 weeks without even a preliminary assessment of the issue? Be warned the support is incredibly bad!

Comments are now closed.
Related Coverage
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Tags: Cloud, Microsoft BPOS, Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps
Latest Blog Posts
  • The CIO Paradox
    As there are timeless leadership principles underlying IT value, there are unfortunately also timeless challenges that thwart the IT organisations efforts and make for a rocky path to CIO success. These are the inherent contradictions we call the CIO Paradox.
    Learn more »
  • ERP in the Cloud and the Modern Business
    Businesses are realizing that the cloud is the future of enterprise software and offers many attractive business benefits. But there is much to think about when evaluating the potential move to a cloud model, especially for core systems like ERP. View IDC’s White Paper ERP in the Cloud and the Modern Business, written by Mike Fauscette, Group Vice President, Software Business Solutions, IDC, to review IDC CloudTrack Survey findings, gain expert insight into the challenges and opportunities the cloud presents, and determine which deployment option could provide the biggest benefits for your organization. View the White Paper to discover: How to run your business more effectively in the cloud; How to choose the right deployment model for your ERP solutions; How new technologies create opportunities to innovate, giving you that competitive advantage
    Learn more »
  • Information Management
    Valuable data can be a needle in a haystack, but by leveraging the value in existing information assets, organisations can generate real and achievable gains in revenue generation, IT investments and productivity gains. This whitepaper discusses how Information Management (IM) is a multi-faceted discipline that can be employed to meet or exceed your business objectives.
    Learn more »
All whitepapers
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to Invitation only events CIO, reports & analysis.
Latest Jobs
Salary Calculator

Supplied by

View the full Peoplebank ICT Salary & Employment Index

Recent comments