Microsoft Issues 10 Reasons Why Enterprises Shouldn’t Use Google Apps
Written by Richard MacManus / September 10, 2007
Up till now, Microsoft has been very quiet about the nascent Web Office threat from Google. But today, in response to the news that IT systems consultancy CapGemini has partnered with Google to sell Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE) to enterprises, Microsoft issued an email listing 10 “top questions that enterprises should ask when considering the switch to GAPE.” The questions read more like reasons why enterprises shouldn’t choose Google Apps. This list was first published by Mary Jo Foley, who says it was an unsolicited email from a Microsoft “corporate spokesperson”.
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“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?
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“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?
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What do you make of Microsoft’s response? It certainly brings up some valid criticisms of Google Apps and Web Office, but then Google isn’t claiming their product is a replacement of MS Office. Their stance is that it’s a complement – and so in that respect this list by a Microsoft spokesperson is probably an over-reaction. It looks like someone in Redmond hit the panic button a bit too early.
I think Microsoft is right to be afraid.
What Google Apps does do is to bring to the fore the whole discussion of where does the computing load and data store properly reside. Microsoft is the champion of fat client (some would say obese) and local data store. Google is the champion of thin client and remote data store.
To Microsoft, I say “you’re too expensive in several dimensions”. To Google, I say “and what do I do when I am off network or you decide to do something different”. I think the right answer is a blend.
Linux, portable apps, and local data with remote backup.
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