back to article Google swallows your Docs bill from Microsoft, pitches for user familiarity

Google will swallow the cost of its online collaboration apps to harvest business users on Microsoft Office, a global sales bigwig has announced. The search giant will cover the fees of Google Apps until its contract with Microsoft runs out. Google didn’t name Microsoft specifically, but head of global sales for Google Apps …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Stick your googly evil where the sun doesn't shine

    Google Docs isn't even on the short-list of any serious business, the chocolate factory is really clueless about the needs of corporates.

    It may be OK for the Parish Council's newsletters but otherwise Office 365 is monstering the oompa-loompas

    1. John 104

      Re: Stick your googly evil where the sun doesn't shine

      Can't thumb up enough.

      Used Google Docs at a previous job. It was a nightmare. Any serious document writing required copying the doc into the on prem Word, fixing all the formatting fuck ups, then doing your writing. Once finished, copying that back to the cloud, whilst saving a local copy.

      Total Joke.

      Microsoft makes 1/4 of their money off of Office for a reason...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Even for non corporate users, Google docs are just not good enough...

      I'm not that particular about document formatting, cause if I need to really format something, I use Adobe's InDesign.

      But for spreadsheets, I find Google severely lacking to the point its mostly a joke.

      Sure, its nice that I can copy rudimentary sheets to google docs to share.

      Or make super simple ones from an internet cafe. That's nice and all.

      But if I got real work to do, there's no way to get around Excel and I wish it wasn't so, cause I dislike Microsoft's 95% self serving priorities.

      Someone point me to a NEW spreadsheet software that actually advances the whole concept of a spreadsheet and I'd be happy to re-learn things...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really they both suck for two very good reasons:

    1) They don't work very well. True Google Docs is good for collaborative writing, but not for complex formatting where it sucks donkey balls. While Office365 promises all of the power of the desktop but in reality the web version sucks a different flavour of donkey balls.

    2) Both result in your files being under the control of a USA company. Sure MS complain loudly about court orders, but they did sign up to PRISM when it was a secret service request (before it went public and thus might hit their bottom line) and not a federal court. Google makes no bones about whoring you to advertisers, but apparently "don't read" your files.

    A pox on both of them!

    1. John 104

      You don't have to use the web client... You CAN if you are not near storage of any kind. However, every business subscription to O365 comes with 10 - yes 10 - licensed copies of the entire Office suite. So each user can install it on 10 of their favorite machines. And if you don't want MS storing what you work on, just save it local. It's a pretty sweet heart deal really.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @John 104

        That is a better deal than I thought, but still I can't quite get around the idea that if I stop paying then I can't edit my documents any-more (certainly not legally). Still, if it is going to stay under £10/month its not so bad in a business context.

        For now I'll stick to Windows XP and Office 2010 in a VM (actually I preferred Office 97 but far buggier and can't do .docx)

        1. Steve 114

          Re: @John 104

          My Office 2003 does docx, and handles edit notes footnotes and pagination better than LibreOffice. A pity, really.

      2. kryptylomese

        There are multiple tiers of entitlement so not every license necessarily comes with an on prem copy bundled.

        1. John 104

          Good point. I think at E3 and above you get the full suite. Below that I think it is reduced. Depends on your business needs.

          For us, we use E4 and I think it runs around $12 a month.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge


    I guess I need a kick to the head but why put your docs (and usually with proprietary info) on the public "cloud"... ???

    1. John 104

      Re: Why?

      So Google can mine your data. Anonymously of course.

    2. P. Lee

      Re: Why?

      >I guess I need a kick to the head but why put your docs (and usually with proprietary info) on the public "cloud"... ???

      Because many people have the ludicrous idea that only HTTP/S is safe to allow through the firewall, and SMB over a WAN stinks. Try getting IMAPS outbound through most corporate firewalls. Or IPSEC.

      That means MS clients have nothing with which to access data and no decent server services for the WAN. MS are basically a LAN-based corporation. Yes, there is sharepoint, but what a monster that is.

      SSH (ok, it came out - yesterday!) / sshfs, rsync, version control systems? Even VMS had auto-version updates.

      There are still things to do. The Cloud basically creates identities based on email address, puts file permissions control in the hands of users and runs the lot over http. Its an http file server which isn't under IT admin control. The question is, how far do you trust your users to adhere to good policy?

  4. MrGrumpy

    Is Google Docs a real option for a large business?

    Serious question?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is Google Docs a real option for a large business?

      In my experience it is great, especially that you don't ever need to attach a document to a mail, or need to connect to a shared file system. For large distributed companies, it is very nice to stop having to serve files or move them around; that's the reason Microsoft had to go and offer 365 after ridiculing cloud-based solutions. Remember that only ten years ago, Microsoft was the only business in town! The fact Microsoft are forced to compete on price proves that they do consider Google Docs a real competitor.

      Woolworths has been using Google Docs and the like for a couple of years, and they seem to like it, because they are now going into Chrome OS.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is Google Docs a real option for a large business?

      It depends, as always, on your needs.

      If you want to have shared documents without emailing around, automatic versioning (or sorts), and the ability for several people to edit a section with ease (each user's cursor shows as a different colour so you see where they are and what they are changing) then it is great. It also really works as a stand-along web product, no ActiveX, Java, Flash or special (AKA insecure) plug-in stuff is needed, so practically any machine including the cheap, secure, but very basic locked-down Chrombooks work fine.

      The down side is its not good at doing complicated documents, so you can't have very fancy formatting and I think the printing options are limited, basically you get what a web browser has in set-up which is a bit less than Office. Also you can't have (or maybe "are spared the horrors of") the whole VB and object embedding that MS Office supports. And it really needs a decent broadband connection at all times, (though they say it has off-line support now).

      In summary, if you have a heavy investment in MS Windows & Office already (or your business needs accurate editing of other's such documents), you probably would not change unless the collaboration within the company is so important. However, if looking for a cheap refresh and worried about malicious hacking (as opposed to Google slurping) then deploying £200 Chromebooks and Google Doc accounts is a very cost-effective way of doing so.

  5. Alan Denman

    are you real?

    Public/consumers dictating how businesss should operate is laughable.

    Who will have the last Word?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Horses for courses

    I've got clients using both Google Docs and Office 365. I'd never suggest Google Docs to a larger client. Why? Because users. The average user brain says e-mail = outlook, writing stuff = Word and fiddling expenses = Excel.

    If you're a school, a sports club, a voluntary org or some other cash strapped outfit Docs is you're thing. You can even use locally installed Libre Office with Google Drive if you're keen enough. For anything with cash flow and users with a silent 'L', Office 365 will give them the warm fuzzy feeling of comfortably numb that they're used to.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsource your tech admin and be happy.

    Perfectly acceptable documents can eb produced using web-solutions and the whole added-features overload of fat-client wordprocessing just distracts in most cases. Put your basis in Keep-It-Simple-Stupid google-docs with added possibilitiees for fat-client users.

    The old "techie" approach of saying no to everything and then having lots of support running around until it all becomes to costly and has to be cut is hopelessly outdated.

    1. ijustwantaneasylife
      Thumb Up

      Hear, hear

      Agree entirely - most well thought-out docs in business are black on white and use a limited number of fonts and font sizes. Colour should be used sparingly - or pasted in as a picture (PNG or JPG). Who needs Word to do that?

      One problem with delivering through web is getting page breaks right, though this can often be mitigated by looking at print preview.

      Of course the other option is to use a web based editor to produce PDF files, which I believe are coded using a free/open standard.

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