Microsoft Launches This War Against Google Docs

Screenshot of Microsoft Office Commercial
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has taken notice of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google Docs software to view and edit documents. Microsoft Office has long been the king of document creation, and Microsoft wants things to stay that way, even as cloud-based document storage and editing becomes the norm. A Microsoft Office commercial posted Friday on YouTube by the company takes aim with the underlying assertion that Google Docs is a gamble not worth the risk. Instead, the video implies, a better solution is Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based, software-as-a-service answer to online document viewing and editing.

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The video features actor Rob Schneider as a casino worker offering a shiny keychain as the reward for being able to successfully open a Microsoft Office document with Google Docs. The flip side? If the guy in the video playing the “Google Docs” table at the casino cannot open the file “without data loss and format discrepancy,” he loses credibility and an upcoming promotion at work. At the end, Pete Rose (of baseball infamy) chimes in with, “It’s too big a gamble. Even for me.” Check out the video below:

Google Docs vs Microsoft Office Online

Microsoft’s example of why Google Docs is not worth the gamble…

Jake Zborowski — director of product marketing for Office 365 — recently wrote on the Microsoft Office blog that “when you open a Microsoft Office application, you know what you’re going to get. Whether you’re working from a PC, a browser, or a smartphone, the way the software functions is familiar and consistent. You don’t have to fret as to whether you’re seeing the Office document as it was intended.” Google’s recent launch of an Office document viewer extension for the Google Chrome web browser is definitely part of a push by the company to keep the Microsoft Office PC application out of sight and out of mind on computers.

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While a key selling point of Microsoft’s Office suite is its ability to be deployed collaboratively over the company’s SharePoint server software, Google’s cloud-based Apps for Business software-as-a-service is becoming a strong competitor. Google’s Apps for Business includes Google Docs, Gmail, calendar software, and many other useful apps. Microsoft will have to fight to keep Google out of the productivity software market, and the commercial with Schneider and Rose is a good first step.

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