Microsoft launched its Office 365 public beta earlier this week and has now taken the chance to demonstrate it against Google Docs.
The software giant has created a mini-site to compare the Word Web App vs Google Docs. Microsoft highlights several inconsistencies when the same Word file is saved on Windows Live SkyDrive (or SharePoint) and Google Apps, including:
- Header: Word Web App displays the header exactly the same as the original document, while the same header is moved to a different location and the style is modified when viewed in Google Documents
- Watermark: Word Web App displays “Confidential” watermark exactly the same as the original document, while the same watermark is missing when viewed in Google Documents
- Smart Art: Word Web App displays the Smart Art exactly the same as the original document, while the same Smart Art is removed when viewed in Google Documents
- Table Format: Content remains intact in both versions. Word Web App maintains the original format, while Google Documents changed the table format
- Chart: Word Web App displays the chart exactly the same as the original document, while the same chart is removed when viewed in Google Documents
- Footer: Word Web App displays the footer exactly the same as the original document, while the same footer is removed when viewed in Google Documents
Microsoft doesn’t stop there though, the company has uploaded both versions to Word Web App (link) and Google Documents (link) for the world to see. Microsoft and Google have both been at war over the past year to wow businesses and governments onto their Cloud based services. Google filed a suit in the the U.S. Court of Federal Claims against The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) on October 29 for not considering Google Apps in its Request for Quotation (RFQ). The lawsuit alleges that the DOI did not properly consider Google Apps. Microsoft has also taken the time to bash Google’s Cloud Connect Office plug-in. Microsoft claims that the plug-in, which allows users to sync documents between Word and Google Docs, can lead to data and productivity loss, erratic behavior and has serious security and privacy implications for organizations that implement the new product.
Microsoft’s senior director of Online Services Tom Rizzo also claimed in November that Google is “failing” in the enterprise. “Let Google say we’re way behind as we continue gobbling up enterprise customers. Let Google underestimate us. They’ll be shocked when they see all the momentum we have inside this space.” The ill feeling between the two companies continued this year when Google kicked off a search engine war of words. Search Engine Land posted a broad investigation into what Google claimed was Bing cheating search results. Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow who works on the company’s search engine ranking algorithm claimed that Bing was simply copying Google’s results. Google allegedly caught Microsoft’s copying by creating a “Bing Sting.” The search giant created one-time code that would manually rank a page for a certain term and create around 100 synthetic searches searches that hardly anyone would ever enter into Google. The searches returned little or no results on Google or Bing but Google created a special honeypot page to show at the top of each synthetic results page. The result? Bing started listing the random queries only a few weeks after Google began listing them.
Microsoft was quick to deny Google’s claims with a blog post entitled “Thoughts on search quality.” Microsoft’s Harry Shum simply shrugged off Google’s claims as part of over 1,000 different signals and features in Bing’s ranking algorithm. Google wasn’t happy leaving it at just that though. Amit Singhal published a Google company blog post entitled “Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it.” The blog post outlines much of the original report from Search Engine Land but also called Bing’s search results stale and a “cheap imitation” of Google results. Microsoft and Google employees also traded jibes over Twitter. Microsoft eventually “set the record straight” and both companies swept the incident under the carpet.
However, the feud came to a head recently when Microsoft filed an E.U. antitrust complaint against Google. The complaint is part of an ongoing investigation in the EU into whether Google has violated European competition law. Microsoft’s concerns center around the following:
- Google acquired YouTube – puts in place technical measures to restrict competing search engines
- Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube
- Google is seeking to block access to content owned by book publishers
- Google is restricting advertisers from accessing their own data
- Google contractually blocks leading Web sites in Europe from distributing competing search boxes
- Google discriminates against would-be competitors by making it more costly for them to attain prominent placement for their advertisements
The most recent example of Microsoft vs Google came earlier this month when Microsoft posted a stinging blog post publicly attacking Google. Microsoft’s claimed that Google had mislead its customers by claiming it has been certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel David Howard, explained that the United States Department of Justice had rejected Google’s claim that Google Apps for Government, Google’s cloud-based suite for government customers, had been certified under the FISMA. “So why did Google tell governments and the public that Google Apps for Government was FISMA certified even before it had applied for that certification? We’ll have to wait for Google to tell us what they were thinking,” said Howard in his original blog post. Google claims Microsoft’s blog post was breathless and irresponsible. “We’ve been open and transparent with the government, and it’s irresponsible for Microsoft to suggest otherwise,” said a Google spokesperson.
The war of words and products will likely continue throughout 2011 as both companies battle for search market share and enterprise customers. Microsoft appears to be moving aggressively to ensure it holds onto its key enterprise customers as more and more products move to Cloud hosted solutions. Google on the other hand is attempting to muscle into Microsoft’s key market share with products that don’t always cut the mustard, as Microsoft has proven once again this week.
Thanks to WinRumors reader Simon for the news tip