In my post about the positioning and marketing wars between Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps, I discussed the fact that the battle between Microsoft and Google is likely to be a tad dirty at times. I therefore wasn’t surprised in the least to see Mary Jo Foley blog about a new video shown to 12,000 or so attendees at Microsoft’s annual briefing for its sales executives.
The video is pretty good and manages to land some smash hits on Gmail. After a while, I stopped noticing the ads that Gmail popped up on the right hand side of the screen. In fact, I stopped noticing them so much that when I went back to check today, I was astonished to find that the current Gmail interface is so much more subtle now about how it presents ads. Clearly some work has been done to refine Gmail but the fact still remains that Google still indexes mailbox contents to be able to decide what ads should be presented. This is the kernel of the criticism that Microsoft levels in their video.
I won’t spoil the fun. Go look at the video and see whether it has any value. If nothing else, it’s a nice example of how one company slams another in the best possible taste… nor not!
I had mixed feeling looking at this video.
It’s very well done and efficient, yes
It’s a lie and, in my opinion, it shows how scared Microsoft is.
– On the free Gmail version, a software robot scan the content of the mail, does not read it, and select keywords for advertising. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing is stored on this advertisement in Google Data Centers.
– On the professional version, Google Apps, the one competing against Office 365, which is clearly referenced at the start of the video, this function is… disabled for all clients, of course.
Millions of enterprises have understood this point, since 2007.
I am not sure this is the right way to compete, with false assumptions. I hope Microsoft will find other ways to present the benefits of Office 365, without attacking the competition with arguments which have absolutely no value.
It’s down and dirty… but I guess it could be deemed to be in the same category as saying that Office 365 is not a true cloud solution? I think that the point made was valid because many small practitioners use the “free” Gmail (like I do) and the direct competition to this is something like the Plan P1 for Office 365 as that is available from one license to 50. Microsoft hopes that the perceived added value (in this case, security) will convince people to spend the $6/month.
All of this proves that people like you and I need to observe and comment to inform people what the real situation is.
Oh, yes, I agree that a minimum of intelligence is needed when comparing different solutions, otherwise the fight will be ugly and uninteresting.