New Microsoft SaaS Campaign Attacks Google Apps

New Microsoft SaaS Campaign Attacks Google Apps

Google Apps is under fire over at the official Why Microsoft blog with the announcement of two enterprises jumping ship to Microsoft Online Services solutions. It’s not surprising that Microsoft is touting cloud customer wins. But the recent blog entry signals that Microsoft is finally ready to take the offensive in the battle for SaaS supremacy.

The two wins, according to the blog entry: China Navigation, a shipping management firm with 300 employees located throughout Asia, is jumping to Microsoft’s BPOS cloud productivity suite from Google Apps due to reliability and support concerns; Intero Real Estate tried Google Apps for 15 franchise offices but had concerns enough about scaling it out to all of its 2,000 users that they’re going with an unnamed Microsoft Online Services solution, presumably another BPOS deployment.

As Mary Jo Foley over at All About Microsoft points out, the wording on that Intero description is fairly ambiguous and might mean that those franchise offices are sticking with Google Apps. But the fact remains that the blog entry raises serious concerns about Google Apps and its maturity: they use wording like “simple to a fault,” saying that it lacks advanced group management and other functionality needed for the enterprise world.

Microsoft has been subtly undermining confidence in Google with previous blog entries like “Why are Partners Leaving Google Apps?” And they love to point out Google Apps defection in cases like Capgemini or Serena Software.

All the same, this shows Microsoft is starting to take Google’s PR campaign seriously, and it’s clear they’re worried about Google Apps in the enterprise over competitors like IBM LotusLive or Zoho.

It’s not surprising, though -- roughly 20 percent of managed services providers are embracing Google Apps, according to the third-annual MSPmentor 100 survey, published in February 2010, and Microsoft doesn’t want them to gain any more of a foothold than they already have.

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