Microsoft released the above Google-lambasting video on YouTube (ironically) yesterday to take aim at Google Apps and decry the Mountain View, Calif.-based advertising business of seedily selling productivity software “on the side.”

Microsoft takes a curious spin on “moonlighting” and calls its competition the “Googlighting stranger” while making many jabs at the search engine’s product. The mud-slinging does not stop at the end of the 2.15-minute video, however…

In the description section of the video, Microsoft posted a link to Why Microsoft—a website specifically meant to educate users on Microsoft’s “strategic and technical differentiation” from Google. The Microsoft Office-maker hosted comparison demonstrations, customers’ stories, video resources, and a “Microsoft vs. Google” chart to build its case against Google Apps.

Google Apps is a Google service that features several Web applications like traditional office suites, such as Microsoft Office. The services vary per edition but generally include Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Sites, Groups, Video, and Marketplace. Its popularity among students and educational institutions is rapidly increasing due to enhanced sharing features, accessibility and cost.

UC Berkeley announced Dec. 21 that it planned to make Google Apps for Education its new campus calendar and email system effective January 2012. “Operation Excellence” is a cost cutting initiative designed by the university to save $75 million annually.

“This decision has been reached after an extensive analysis over the past few months that compared Google Apps for Education and Microsoft’s Office 365 offerings,” said UC Berkley in a statement about the transition. “While both products are feature rich and offer advantages over our current environment, the analysis concluded that the Google offering was the better overall fit for the campus at this time.”

Microsoft’s “Googlighting” video and Why Microsoft website looks to change the tide and maintain the firm’s market share in productivity software. The Redmond, Wash.-based Company said Google Apps is an experimental and ever-changing service with limited, incomplete functionality and “one size fits none” availability. On the other hand, Microsoft claimed it is diverse with unsurpassed productivity experience and cloud flexibility.

It is worth noting Microsoft posted a similar video Jan. 31 to criticize the “peeping eyes of Gmail” man (as seen below). A link in the video’s description led to a post on The Official Microsoft Blog called, “Gmail and Google Apps Got You Down? Try Hotmail & Office 365.”

In the Feb. 2 blog post, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft Frank X. Shaw said his company also placed a series of ads in major newspapers to reach out to people “concerned or frustrated” by Google’s recently revamped privacy policy:

Since their announced changes provoked a backlash, Google has been trying to characterize them as ‘simpler,’ ‘easier’ and ‘more consistent.’ And finally, they keep trying to assert that they haven’t made it any harder to control what gets collected about you,” wrote Shaw. “Contrast that with using Hotmail or Office 365. We’re not using the contents of your mail to deliver ads, nor do we change your search results based on your email content. And because you’re not logged into Gmail, the videos you view on YouTube remain known only to you.”

What do you think about Microsoft’s smear campaign against Google?

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3 Responses to “Microsoft criticizes Google Apps with ‘Googlighting’ video and new website to amp smear campaign”

  1. Ken Hughes says:

    Just goes to show that people are more willing to accept something as fact if it makes them laugh. Google killed off Wave because no one used it. They killed off Buzz because….wait…are they implying that companies leveraged their businesses against Google Buzz??

  2. John says:

    I feel like anyone who starts using Google Apps will miss some of the functionality of Microsoft Office. Presentation is especially poor compared PowerPoint. I also still have to do any heavy formatting in Excel. With that being said, I've come to love using Google Apps. I work for a nonprofit and it's been fantastic for collaborating with my coworkers. The majority of our docs don't require the heavy formatting that only exists in Microsoft Office.

    As for the ad, I feel like the only merit it has is pointing out the lack of functionality in Google Apps. It does get to be really frustrating at times. But several apps have offline mode now, and I don't really care that Google is constantly making updates. That just tells me they're constantly making the product better without forcing me to purchase new editions, like Microsoft Office. And with the pace that businesses are adopting Google Apps, I doubt Google has any plans to discontinue the service any time soon. What the ad tells me is that Microsoft for the first time actually views Google Apps as a serious threat.

  3. Quim says:

    Actually i think its a great ad because it tells you somethings that some people probably don't know and are really important, but instead of doing this kind of das would be better for them if they improve their apps, people don't usually stop using something if they're happy with it