Microsoft showed that it does have a sense of humor.
After Boston dumped Microsoft Exchange for Google Apps, the city claimed that saving money was a big part of the decision. Boston will pay out about $800,000 to move the government's system to Google Apps, but said that "by dropping some Microsoft products, the city government will save at least $280,000 a year."
Microsoft said, "We believe the citizens of Boston deserve cloud productivity tools that protect their security and privacy. Google's investments in these areas are inadequate, and they lack the proper protections most organizations require." But even better than a statement was the debut of two Microsoft videos starring former Saturday Night Live cast member Rob Schneider.
The actor/comedian plays the part of Google Docs on a three-man basketball team. After numerous mistakes, a frustrated teammate says: "Google Docs, you're making everybody out here less productive and even your own team has to work harder. I thought you said you had skills, man."
Schneider, aka Google Docs, admits, "To be honest, I'm not exactly Microsoft Office over there. And you're right; I don't always work well with others. Guys, I've got deficiencies." At the end of the first video, "Google Docs" says, "I don't work well without the net, so I'm taking it with me."
The corresponding post on the Office 365 blog explains why Microsoft Office is a team player and why Google Docs has deficiencies. The post is sprinkled with statements from customers who tried Google Docs and quickly went back to tried-and-true Microsoft Office. Under the heading "I'm taking the net with me," Microsoft's Jake Zborowski wrote:
Unfortunately, even today you can't always take the net with you. When you're in a location without reliable Internet access, there are times when you need a great offline experience. Microsoft Office was built to live in both the online and offline worlds, with features like document merge, track changes, and conflicting change controls in SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro when working on shared documents. With Google Apps, the offline experience is limited. When you lose Internet access, you can still create and edit documents and presentations, but you can only view spreadsheets. You also lose more features in Docs and Slides like sharing, inserting images, help, printing, non-standard fonts, and more. Google also warns you not to work on shared documents offline or risk data loss: "Try to use offline editing for documents that you own and that won't be deleted without your knowledge."
In another video and post on the Office 365 blog, Microsoft explains why "Google Docs isn't worth the gamble."
In the corresponding Google Docs gambling video, Schneider promises a shiny little keychain if the gambler can open a "beautifully-crafted presentation created with Microsoft Office" using "Google Docs, without data loss and format discrepancy." Of course, the gambler fails, before former Cincinnati Reds baseball player Pete Rose, who was permanently banned from baseball for gambling, makes a cameo appearance to claim, "That's too big a gamble. Even for me."
Microsoft is also pushing the site Why Microsoft to show how Google Apps stacks up to Microsoft Office 365.
No matter which you choose, Office 365 or Google Apps, hopefully you can appreciate the cute and funny videos with Rob Schneider.
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