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Microsoft argues while its products are pricier, they're better

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) isn't exactly shy about letting us know about how it feels about Google Inc.'s (GOOG) productivity suite -- Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides -- and its cloud storage solution, Google Drive.

With the relatively well-recieved launch of free Office 365 for the iPad (well, free for Office 365 subscribers) and with its new SkyDrive replacement OneDrive, Microsoft appears to have gotten a little cocky.  In a posting, Sanjeevini Mittal, a Office Live Workspace project manager at Microsoft, lambastes Google's offerings, writing:

[If] someone on your team moves the file to Google Drive and opens it to make changes, you no longer experience that familiar Office look and the formatting is a mess, will likely be recreating the formatting and making sure no content was lost. No matter what kind of group project you’re collaborating on, you don’t want to waste time reformatting and finalizing the collective work of your team, or worrying whether one or more of your team members is unable to share in the rich Office experience on their devices.

Why settle for a suboptimal experience using Google Docs, Sheets and Slides when Office provides you the best experience available with the modern Office experience on PC and iPad already.

To be fair, he's got a point -- somewhat.  Early in the post he raises the valid point that Office remains the most widely used and familiar document format.

And while some Android users will likely prefer Google's tightly integrated word processing software on their PCs, it occasionally has issues with Microsoft's latest Office formats, particularly in media-rich documents or documents with scripts.

Google Docs
Google Docs and its brethren do occasionally run into compatibility snags.

On the iPad, the situation is interesting.  Both Google's and Microsoft's productivity apps are free to users, although Microsoft's will only be free to those who subscribe to Office 365 on their PC.  Both suites are relatively barebones compared to some third-party competitors' offerings, but also more reliable and visually appealing.  Again, Mr. Mittal is right about at least one thing -- Microsoft does have a familiarity advantage.

On the flip side, for individual users, Google Docs is free on the PC, while Office is not.  While there are various discounted SKUs, it is still far from free.  And while Office 365 integrates cloud connectivity and other nice perks, it exacerbates this problem to some extent, as you typically will wind up paying much more if you update your devices and your Office install infrequently.  And that brings to mind another problem -- too many options.  A user has to pick between 2 or 3 versions of Office depending on your viewpoint (Office traditional, Office for Mac, or Office 365).  Given the number of guides on the topic, there's clearly not a strong consensus about which one consumers should pick, which is bad news for consumers.

Office editions

It's understandable why Microsoft is a bit testy. Google is offering enterprises productivity software that's a third the cost of Microsoft's.  Google claims that 5 million businesses now use its paid enterprise apps.  

Google apps business

Of course small businesses could also consider LibreOffice (OpenOffice, now free of Oracle Corp.'s (ORCL) meddling), which is cheaper than either Microsoft or Google's offerings (hint: it's free).

Libre Office
Libre Office is free.

This isn't the first time we've heard this kind of rhetoric from Microsoft.  Just last year it was blasting Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iWork suite.  And in 2010 propoganda against OpenOffice, it made the interesting accusation that using open source software harms students' grades.

While this debate will likely continue to roll on, one interesting side note that slipped out during the anti-Google rant was this:

Office will be available on other platforms [besides iOS, Windows] soon. These Office experiences will continue to make collaborating across devices easier, richer and more complete than ever.

Is Office going to come to popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu?  Are Office 365 apps preparing to make an Android appearance.  The latter seems more likely, but either way, this was an interesting confirmation of rumors we've long heard of coming Linux versions of Office.

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OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By chmilz on 6/13/2014 7:20:56 PM , Rating: 5
Seriously, if you use Google Drive and haven't tried OneDrive, you're doing yourself a disservice. While you're at it, go check out and then start wondering why you still use Gmail and their incredibly terrible website.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By aurareturn on 6/13/2014 7:23:36 PM , Rating: 3
We use Gmail, GDrive, Docs, Sheets here and it's very convenient. We love it here.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By Samus on 6/14/2014 1:49:39 AM , Rating: 5
Gdrive is a joke compared to OneDrive pro, which is true enterprise SharePoint-driven architecture where gdrive essentially has no 'tiers' other than space. With OneDrive pro you can create a team site and individual sites for clients you have ongoing projects with.

If Microsoft is at fault for anything, its making choosing a tier as difficult as it is. Many of my clients end up buying the wrong product the first time around. And body who has had to purchase a open licensed product from, say, CDW or another licensed reseller, knows how confusing Microsoft sku's are. They simply offer too many products.

But for enterprise this is irrelevant because IT depts usually plan rollout and have it all researched. Its small businesses Microsoft and Google will continue to fight over.

Then there is the whole additional benefit of plugging office365 into an existing Microsoft 2008 or 2012 server with integrated activedirectory and single sign on.

By nick2000 on 6/14/2014 11:19:42 AM , Rating: 3
Microsoft's licensing strategy is a complete nightmare. They remind me a bit of IBM. Pricey, complex, barely useable but arguably powerful.
You know you have a problem when you need a consultant to help you pick a license. Share point is a nightmare too. It's like buying a car in parts... This is strange because they had the habit of having everything pew configured on their servers so they had gained the server market that way.
I see the same thing with their source code solution: too complex, heavy, kludge, etc...

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By name99 on 6/14/14, Rating: 0
RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By Samus on 6/15/2014 4:44:29 PM , Rating: 3
Its a true enterprise product because being SharePoint based it doesn't need a proprietary client. Native webdav architecture allow cross platform support for Linus, macOS, any mobile platform, and all versions of windows going back to XP SP3.

Unfortunately regular OneDrive uses a proprietary transport layer and needs a client, which, however, is available for all major desktop and mobile OS's other than Linux.

For $5/month you get 25gb SharePoint, 50gb hosted exchange, office365 webapps, and lync. Nobody can compete with that on the usability front.

That's what I consider a true enterprise product. Cross platform dependability, 4 hour support, and unbeatable price. They need to sort their sku's and simplify their small business offerings (to the point a consultant won't be needed) and the competition will finally be forced to innovate again. Until then, cloud storage is as food as its going to get.

By Bateluer on 6/18/2014 12:06:26 AM , Rating: 2
So, somewhere in this world, there is a good implementation of Sharepoint? At my current and previous 3 employers, Sharepoint has been nothing but a useless flustercluck that users dread having to actually use. Its an essential part of my W8 install to disable/lock all OneDrive functions.

I'll keep my Google Drive. Seeing as how it, and its associated G-Docs programs are free, I don't see why another user would be editting the doc in MS Office when they can simply use the G-Doc application themselves.

Furthermore, I would like to amend Microsoft's statements a little. Its not G-Drive/Docs that have problems with Microsoft, its Microsoft's products that have issues with every other product in the world. No one should be using proprietary products unless absolutely necessary.

By rob19478 on 6/17/2014 11:29:46 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry but those apps are just not good enough not convient enough.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By sprockkets on 6/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By Ophion on 6/14/2014 5:18:26 AM , Rating: 2
I've got 15 GB of free storage on Google Drive, against 32 GB free on OneDrive, which is enough to make me side with Microsoft in this case.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By sprockkets on 6/14/14, Rating: 0
RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By atechfan on 6/15/2014 7:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
MS gave current MS e-mail users a bonus 25GB sometime around the launch of Skydrive.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By Kefner on 6/16/2014 10:48:03 AM , Rating: 2
This is true. I got a 25 GB addition for free awhile ago.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By Samus on 6/16/2014 2:09:43 AM , Rating: 2
That's too bad you are forced to use the dropbox client in Linux because if you used OneDrive, you wouldn't even need a client.

You can map a web address to a drive letter with embedded credentials in any operating system that can map an https address.

No client needed. The beauty of ooxml and webdav API's.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By Camikazi on 6/16/14, Rating: 0
RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By BPB on 6/16/2014 10:59:51 AM , Rating: 2
If his point is correct (apparently we mustn't use true here), then what does it matter where he works? It's a pretty nice feature.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By Samus on 6/16/2014 4:57:31 PM , Rating: 3
Let's just say I'm an IT consultant, and if people wouldn't use Google crap as much as they do, my job would be a lot easier.

And before you consider me a Microsoft fanboy, I am definitely willing to admit they have screwed up royally the past few years with their mobile push, and the fact corporate PC's are still shipping with Windows 7 Pro (with no end in sight) we're going to have another XP debacle in the coming decade when Windows 7 support ends because people waited 5+ years to order PC's with a "current" Windows edition. If Vista hadn't been so bad, there wouldn't be so many XP PC's. The same is happening with Windows 8 as we speak.

I also use an iPhone for business, mostly because Android has iffy ActiveSync integration and a non-standard UI for supporting clients, and Windows Phone has a poor app library. Palm RIP.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By hughlle on 6/13/2014 7:43:20 PM , Rating: 4
I have no issue using gmail, works perfectly for me. drive however, i am not overly impressed with. When using my pc it is just fine, no issues, but on my tablet or phone it's another story. That is not in comparison to the competition, simply how i find it.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By mik123 on 6/13/2014 7:56:23 PM , Rating: 5
I haven't tried OneDrive, but Google Drive is a horrible mess, and it has been that way for years. It seems like they completely ignoring it.
If not for gmail, I would never looked at it again.

By RediRobin on 6/13/2014 8:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
If you use Google Docs and MS Office, then you should really use Syncdocs to migrate between the two. It plugs right into Word but lets you collaborate in real time with unfortunates who edit in Google Docs.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By YearOfTheDingo on 6/14/2014 8:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
I wish there's a OneDrive sync utility for Linux.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By Samus on 6/16/2014 7:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you have a linux distro that supports WebDAV mapping (practically anything based on debian, redhat, even gentoo) you can get your OneDrive address "token" from the address bar when browsing to a directory within the browser, and map it as a drive letter or more ideally, a web folder.

The problem is the token expires after a reboot or a short period (sometimes ~24 hours) and will require a remap. I generally do this with a script. It's easier in powershell but it can be done at login or on a timer (or both) in linux using BASH with start= and duration= commands.

I've long suspected Microsoft has such aggressive token intervals not for security but to be a pain in the ass when not using their client.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By Flunk on 6/16/2014 10:28:18 AM , Rating: 2
I use both, OneDrive as primary and Drive for backing up Android programs. They're pretty similar for my uses with the exception that OneDrive integrates better with Windows and Drive with Android.

When you get down to it they're both Dropbox clones anyway. They're very similar and it all depends which side features you value most which is best. I have a particular hatred for Google's Office apps because they always seem to be missing the feature I want whenever I'm looking for one. But that's just me.

By Camikazi on 6/16/2014 10:45:58 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft SkyDrive was released before Dropbox so I don't see how it is a clone of it.

RE: OneDrive >>>>>>>>> Google Drive
By Wolfpup on 6/17/2014 10:04:03 AM , Rating: 2
I completely agree with Microsoft's claim that Google Drive is messy. It would be a disaster to actually use it to store a large number of documents like I do on my PC (not that I'd put them on someone else's server anyway). The interface is a complete mess for dealing with more than a small handful of documents.

Google docs is obviously ill suited for more than the basics on top of that.

I do use it on iOS some though, since it's free and has some uses.

I'd buy real Office for iOS if Microsoft actually sold it.

Have to agree with them on iWork too. It's probably decent on OS X, but on iOS it's an astonishing disaster. Just look at how many bizarre unnecessary steps it takes to copy files from and to your PC.

It's overly annoying to do that with ANY iOS program, but iWork adds a ton of extra inexplicable steps. It's like whoever made it has never actually used either iOS or and office suite before.

By rob19478 on 6/17/2014 11:28:40 AM , Rating: 2
Agree with you it is just incredible how good OneDrive. I am a teacher and use it all the time in class to take notes, show presentations, or anything else I have in the cloud

Google Drive is not Enterprise Grade
By StraightCashHomey on 6/13/2014 7:55:34 PM , Rating: 5
I use both products where I work as an IT Director.

Maybe the term "Enterprise" differs from person to person, but I would never rely on Google Docs, Slides, or Spreadsheets for corporate-grade use. Excel is far and away better than Spreadsheets, and really anything else after this sentence is rather miniscule because that is a HUGE deal.

Word clearly blows away Docs, but the difference in PowerPoint to Slides isn't that big of a deal. Google Drive is more for casual use, and I can see why it would be popular with consumers. It's great for teachers and students, but so is OneDrive.

By StraightCashHomey on 6/13/2014 7:56:59 PM , Rating: 1
...not to mention that SharePoint is the best thing going, and neither Google nor anyone else can come anywhere near matching its functionality.

RE: Google Drive is not Enterprise Grade
By retrospooty on 6/13/2014 8:36:14 PM , Rating: 3
Well yeah... Office is the standard corp suite with 2 decades of work built into it... It also costs. No serious corporation would use Google for that type of work. Maybe a super broke ma & pa shop buy not a real company with more than a dozen employees.

Google drive and docs are good for a consumer that is not a power user. Its free and you get what you pay for. Not reaaly a mystery here.

RE: Google Drive is not Enterprise Grade
By godlyatheist on 6/14/2014 1:58:06 AM , Rating: 2
Heh, I work for a small business and my boss is clueless when it comes to IT. So, we use the cheapest stuff possible: Google Drive. I don't get why to download multiple files GDrive has to first zip them so I have to unzip it later. Also, the desktop client for GDrive constantly has "unsyncable file" issue and I've not seen an update from Google for the client in 2 years. Not to mention the times we used OpenOffice to open Powerpoint for presentation(too cheap to buy Powerpoint for all workstations) in front of visiting clients, great embarrassment cuz the formatting got messed up. For business use, just stick with the de facto software.

RE: Google Drive is not Enterprise Grade
By Gondor on 6/15/14, Rating: -1
By retrospooty on 6/15/2014 10:21:40 AM , Rating: 4
"M$ is unable to retain proper formatting across different versions of their own formats"

Wow... The format changed in Office 2007 which came out in 2006. That is 8 years ago. I agree it was an issue, but come on. Everyone is at least on 2007 now as far as business/enterprise. If your company isn't, there are internal issues that MS cant help with.

By retrospooty on 6/15/2014 10:24:54 AM , Rating: 1
Yup, and that is exactly why no-one uses it for a real business. Using Open Office or anything else at work just screams "We are a cheap low budget firm, so beware doing business with us, because we cut corners to save a few measly dollars even on the most important and standardized apps in the world"

Seriously, if I were a customer and saw a company using Open Office, I would immediately pass on the business.

By Monkey's Uncle on 6/14/2014 7:24:01 PM , Rating: 3
There is one reason Office is a standard in corporations:


They do not use 'free' office suites because they can't use the 'If you don't fix this to run the way I want I will pull my $100M worth of licenses from you and use Libre Office' strongarm tactic. That is the ONLY reason.

The CTOs of most corporations want to be able to force software vendors into providing them priority support. It makes sense. If you are responsible for providing the office suite to your corporation, will you pay the money and be assured that you can get the maker of that software jumping thru hoops, or will use the cheap/free alternatives and get no better support than your kid doing his homework? Remember that corporations write off software expenses as tax breaks - this ends up paying for those licenses over a couple years.

Trust me - I have seen this in action and have been on the receiving end of these tactics.

By Griffinhart on 6/14/2014 1:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
Enterprise users in general have a much different set of needs from a home user, or some small companies. (as you probably know)

We have had users try Google docs and libreoffice and all of them preferred Word over the others.

For spreadsheets, we have users that simply can't use anything but Excel because of the size of the spread sheets.

Google Docs doesn't offer an alternative to Access, which we use.

We need ODBC connections.

Then there are the SOX/PCI considerations.

LibreOffice and Google Docs simply aren't good enough for many Enterprises. I guess you could still use them for those don't use a lot of the features in the enterprise, but how many office applications do you want your IT department to support?

Then there is the Halo effect. People tend to want to use the same software at home that they use at work.

RE: Google Drive is not Enterprise Grade
By KoolAidMan1 on 6/15/2014 3:41:44 AM , Rating: 1
Same goes for most Google products. Half-a** "beta" crap that their fans accept because free is acceptable over better products, even when your data is being mined and sold off for advertising.

These people have been duped into accepting inferior technology by an ad company. Only thing funnier is how blindly they defend it.

RE: Google Drive is not Enterprise Grade
By ET on 6/16/2014 2:35:45 AM , Rating: 3
Haters will hate, Mr. Troll.

Whenever I needed a word processor or spreadsheet for serious work, Microsoft Office offered the best solution. However for my home needs I find Google Drive convenient.

RE: Google Drive is not Enterprise Grade
By KoolAidMan1 on 6/16/2014 3:43:02 AM , Rating: 2
Saying a negative thing isn't trolling. There is nothing outrageous here, Google ships lots of half-finished things.

All Google products aren't bad either. Chrome is very good, although like many Google products it has been getting worse over the last year. Not bad enough for me to go to Firefox, but some wtf changes even though it's still a good browser.

Google has a bad habit of releasing half-finished products and cancelling good ones. Microsoft has good criticism here.

RE: Google Drive is not Enterprise Grade
By Reclaimer77 on 6/16/2014 8:31:11 AM , Rating: 1
Google has a bad habit of releasing half-finished products

Well by that logic what do you call Windows 8, Windows Phone, and their Surface tablets?

I think almost every product, when viewed in a certain light, could be said to be "half-finished". That's just...easy.

RE: Google Drive is not Enterprise Grade
By Ristogod on 6/16/2014 9:46:49 AM , Rating: 2
Well by that logic what do you call Windows 8, Windows Phone, and their Surface tablets?

Genius. I use 2 of the 3 and don't have any complaints. They work great. I don't own a Surface tablet because I don't have any tablet needs. But if I was going to get a tablet, I'd go that route before anything Apple or Google.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/16/2014 11:11:00 AM , Rating: 2

I'm clearly talking about when these products were released, NOT today right now.

It's hard to argue that Windows 8 wasn't a half-finished product at release. Good grief, the UI barely worked with a keyboard and mouse.

As far as Windows Phone, the 8.1 update FINALLY brought it on par with the competition. So the argument could absolutely be made that it was a "half-finished" product beforehand.

Also relax, they're just examples. I'm not criticizing your precious.

I'm just saying, if you're going to call out your competition for making half-finished products, you better be damn sure you're stuff is PERFECT.

By Camikazi on 6/16/2014 10:54:03 AM , Rating: 2
Windows Phone and Surface are awesome products and Windows 8 is good once you take the 10 minutes it takes to learn it.

deliberate creation of incompatible file formats.
By Bubbacub on 6/14/2014 8:45:42 AM , Rating: 2
As far as I can see the main selling point of office is that it's file format is closed source and so poorly understood by anyone other than Microsoft that no one else can make a working rival office suite.

It's actually really anti consumer.

We need ms to use an open well documented format for documents.

Then we could get some competition going.

Ms aren't going to do this on their own, in the same way that turkeys don't vote for Christmas, so I think some form of regulatory instruction is required here.

By godlyatheist on 6/14/2014 12:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
This is one of those entitlement arguments that keeps getting circulated. It basically says because Microsoft is so successful with their product and I don't want to pay for it, MS should be forced to make their software open source so I can get a free version of it when other talented developer create one(but I have no skill in programming and I'm too cheap to pay for it). You could apply this logic to any commercial software that is "too expensive" and widely used.

If MS is really as bad as you say, someone could've made an open source version that's better in functionality than Office by now. There is a single open source office suite that is even close to matching the capability of Office. As long as this gap exists, MS can charge for their superior products.

Why don't you bitch about Canon and Nikon for not open sourcing their lens-body matching programming so third party lens like Sigma will not have autofocus issue? Why don't you bitch about printer companies encrypting their cartridge/toner so you can't use third party ones(except you can)? The list goes and on and on, and the only point is there hasn't been anyone skilled enough or willing enough to completely reverse engineer Office to the point it's compatible.

By godlyatheist on 6/14/2014 12:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
*There isn't a single

By Griffinhart on 6/14/2014 1:33:53 PM , Rating: 5
You are incorrect. MS now uses OOXML as the format. It has been standardized by ECMA, ISO and IEC. It is EXTREMELY well documented and supported, and free to use without charge.

The reason MS office is used more is simply because it's better. Especially in the enterprise.

And there is plenty of competition going. LibreOffice, Google Docs, Word Perfect, Kingsoft Office, Abiword (all which support OOXML) are all available and more beyond that. Many are free. So, it certainly isn't anti-consumer either.

Free and "Not Microsoft" doesn't mean anything when the product isn't actually as good as Office.

Like it or not, The "consumer" isn't the one driving the success of Office. They are the casual users at best that don't need it to be sophisticated. It is the Enterprise that drives it.

Grandma doesn't care about supporting more than 23K rows in a spreadsheet, or about ODBC connections to SQL databases etc... But you can bet many companies do.

RE: deliberate creation of incompatible file formats.
By bug77 on 6/14/2014 8:06:30 PM , Rating: 2
MS now uses OOXML as the format. It has been standardized by ECMA, ISO and IEC. It is EXTREMELY well documented and supported, and free to use without charge.

If the fact that we need two standards for the same thing (storing documents) and the bribery scandal surrounding the initial, fast-track standardization of OOXML doesn't give you pause, maybe this will:

Last I checked, this "standard" used to contain phrases like "should render like Excel". Neat, eh?

By chripuck on 6/16/2014 11:40:18 AM , Rating: 2
That article was garbage and spoke of nothing about the supposed "poor" OOXML. It entirely spoke about the clipboard and how non-XML is stored in the clipboard. This has nothing to do with an interchangeable file format to be transmitted between competing products on various computers, which is what the OOXML format is about. The bias in this piece is so obvious it's ridiculous.

By bug77 on 6/17/2014 5:10:41 AM , Rating: 2
Well "file format to be transmitted between competing products" includes the clipboard. If I copy a part of an image in Paint, I can paste it in Photoshop. If I copy from Excel, I will never be able to paste into OpenOffice, because what's actually copied is a proprietary, undocumented crap.
The title is misleading, I'll give you that. It's not about the format itself, but about the implementation.

By Bubbacub on 6/15/2014 6:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
If you open a docx file created by office in gdocs (or libre office or any other office software), edit it a bit then save it and send it on to a ms office user you will end up with an incorrectly formatted pos.

The people behind gdocs, libre office are not clueless idiots. Ms goes to a lot of effort to introduce these kind of formatting errors in order to maintain their monopoly.

Gdocs and libre are not enterprise quality. But given the unfair playing field, it is very hard for them to gain traction.

Look at the web. Twelve to thirteen years ago there was only one brwoser worth using - I.e. explorer. Despite Microsoft's best efforts to corrupt open web standards there was an open playing field. Skip forward a few years and Firefox and chrome are both top notch pieces of software.

This cannot happen with office suites because of the stranglehold ms has on file formats.

By chripuck on 6/16/2014 11:34:07 AM , Rating: 3
Office formats have been XML based since 2006 (unless you go the binary file format route like anyone with a clue would do.)

I can take a standard XML parser and read the entire contents, formatting and all, of any Office 2007+ file i.e. docx, xlsx, pptx.

The reason Open Office etc. can't get it right is because they then have to take the XML information and convert it into whatever formatting they want to use. This takes manpower, something an open sourced public project doesn't have.

Neither is perfect...
By The0ne on 6/13/2014 10:58:34 PM , Rating: 2
You may want to review the help section for Microsoft's online apps. I still have issues that have yet to be resolved; it's been at least a year. There are so many and mine are severe bugs that MS really does not know how to fix, let alone address them. In that regard they just completely ignore the help, I mean completely ignore it. Integration is nice however and the flow is beautiful. For me it's a joy to work in the office apps, offline and online. The bugs are what's keeping me away from the online.

Google Docs still has issues with formatting which makes editing a file tedious. However, considering the major bugs with MS online apps and Skydrive (OneDrive?) I test them both before jumping full blown in. I made that mistake using it for work collaboration and have since discontinued using both.

Again, check Microsoft's support page for their online apps. If that doesn't scare you then good luck.

RE: Neither is perfect...
By StraightCashHomey on 6/14/2014 6:53:20 AM , Rating: 2
Can you be more specific? I've been using it since BPOS and I'm very happy with it.

RE: Neither is perfect...
By The0ne on 6/16/2014 9:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
For which?

for MS I had some severe issues,
1. It kept duplicating files, even in sub folders.
2. It kept resetting permission rights to users leaving some unable to edit.
3. The sync would take a long time before you can work on the file (this may have been resolved).

Those are just what I remember without having to go back into my MS account to check.

For Google Docs it was pretty much the formatting, especially in Excel. The cells would not line up, sometimes would chop off the inside text and it constantly does this no matter what. It was extremely annoying to everyone in the group and the less knowledgeable of the app just gave up. It is amazing how such a small issue detracts people from actually using it.

The second issue was if the file got large there would be tremendous screen lag when working in the file. My RMA list was huge and scrolling became a huge hassle.

By name99 on 6/14/2014 12:57:46 PM , Rating: 3

[If] someone on your team moves the file to Google Drive and opens it to make changes, you no longer experience that familiar Office look and the formatting is a mess, will likely be recreating the formatting and making sure no content was lost.

Word has been on the Mac for almost 30 years. It is STILL the case that if you open a document created on Windows which contains either foreign language fragments (like Chinese) or math or even fancy graphics, you'll lose formatting.
And of course, in 30 years MS has learned absolutely nothing about Mac programming --- they STILL insist on defining their own windows, own scroll bars, own event model, own print dialogs, so the app looks and behaves like nothing else on the platform.

Yeah, sorry, Sanjeevini. How about you make your OWN code less sub-optimal before you crap on how terrible everybody else's office solutions are?

RE: Hmm
By Reflex on 6/16/2014 12:36:17 AM , Rating: 3
...sounds like iTunes on Windows....

I'm shocked
By bug77 on 6/14/2014 10:11:37 AM , Rating: 2
... that familiar Office look and the formatting is a mess, will likely be recreating the formatting and making sure no content was lost

After all this effort Microsoft put into adopting an open standard for their documents?

And while I recognize the effort they put into their suite, it has been overkill for years for anyone looking for actual content over flashy presentation. Seriously, besides some clients that shoved their templates down our throats, I have not met a single situation where a free solution wouldn't have cut it.
I only use Google Drive to send bigger attachments, so I won't comment on that.

By Stephen! on 6/15/2014 11:30:06 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft: Google Docs and Drive are Messy, "Suboptimal"

If Google's products are supposedly inferior, Microsoft should have nothing to worry about and the need to bash Google should be moot.

The reality...
By alpha754293 on 6/16/2014 9:07:15 AM , Rating: 2
The reality is that they both have their pros and cons. AND that combined, there is NO one single solution that is the best or does it all.

I like Hotmail/ because I can actually create folders and rules so that it auto-sorts my emails to keep the main inbox a little less cluttered (something that you CAN'T do with gmail). I like gmail because their anti-spam filters are quite significantly better than that of Hotmail/Outlook.

In some instances, emails from hotmail account are automatically dumped into bulk/junk mail folders because there's been so much spam with hotmail addresses (regardless of whether it or not it actually originated from a hotmail server, due to spoofing), whereas gmail (for the time being) doesn't have that problem (yet), but it's getting worse.

I like that I can run QuickOffice (which Google bought) on my first gen iPad (that's still running iOS 5.1.1) which presumably I can't do with Office for iPad (and part of the reason why I ended up going with it was because originally, MS wasn't going to port Office for iPad). Had MS launched it when I was going through the competitive selection process, it might have stood a chance, but their reluctance to do so initially has now shot themselves in the foot.

But yeah, there are things that I like and dislike on both camps. And that's really the reality of the situation.

awesome news for Google
By Quicksand Jesus on 6/16/2014 10:26:34 AM , Rating: 2
Now that MS is comparing Google apps to Office I think everyone needs to re-evaulate what we are using in the enterprise as IT pros. We can stick our heads in the ground and say that Office is great
But our users are leveraging google apps for free.

I'm upset every time I use Office. Because it doesn't have the familiar interface of my Google Apps. Think about what I just said for a minute.

By zero2dash on 6/16/2014 12:52:25 PM , Rating: 1
I like how you can edit things in real time with other users viewing the same document. (see also: Hall & Oates "Maneater" commercial) We use Sheets for several large spreadsheets at work that people need to access and update, and it works great.

Last time I checked, you couldn't do this with O365 (or at least the free versions of it).

I also recently switched from Gmail to Outlook and back to Gmail just because I prefer how Google integrates across all their services. Data mining or not; if you think MS isn't data mining just the same, you're kidding yourselves.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/14, Rating: -1
By Jim_Liquor on 6/13/2014 8:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you so anti-MS? You seem to be deeply invested in their systems, yet hate them...

Be anti-Apple. Most agree, anything with an "i" in front of it sucks ass.... but your anti-MS stance makes no sense whatsoever.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2014 9:08:56 PM , Rating: 1
If you don't know that I'm completely anti-Apple then you don't know who you're speaking to.

Buuut, this topic isn't about Apple sooooo...

By retrospooty on 6/13/2014 10:04:44 PM , Rating: 2
I can vouch for that. Reclaimer hates Apple with a passion. Angry with MS's decisions lately, but hates Apple always. LOL.

By Samus on 6/14/2014 1:53:56 AM , Rating: 2
Its important to point out the divisions in Microsoft responsible for windows ui and OneDrive are completely different. It'd be like attacking fords svt division for the c-max's poor fuel economy.

By themaster08 on 6/14/2014 2:49:29 AM , Rating: 5
Not only are the OneDrive and Windows divisions completely different, but the Windows division in general is completely different to the reign of Sinofsky that brought the original Windows 8 to market.

Reclaimer hates or criticises anything that isn't Google or Samsung. No news there. However, let's look at the facts. Microsoft are making great strides in righting their wrongs. They know they were wrong.

The upper management for just about every division has been changed, which has had a profound effect on the company in general. Anyone that follows MS knows the positive impact that Nadella becoming CEO has had. There's a feeling that they've completely stepped up their game.

They're making changes to Windows to make it completely usable for all input methods. Windows 8's tarnished reputation makes it difficult for Microsoft to bring back the Start Menu in the OS.

Microsoft have opened up a feedback centre for Xbox users. They genuinely want to make this console better with the help of its user base. We all know how well Microsoft can truly perform when they actually listen to their customers.

Their online services are available on just about every single major platform, and they continue to improve these services and their apps across all of these platforms.

Azure is now the second largest cloud platform on the market, with no signs of slowing. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to see it overtake Amazon in the future.

People completely underestimate Bing. It is the backbone of all of Microsoft's cloud services and everything that they have planned for the future. People see the search engine that competes with Google search and think that's it, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

There's a lot going on at Microsoft that makes a lot of sense going forward. All it takes is a little more research and little less mindless bashing.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/14/14, Rating: -1
By name99 on 6/14/2014 1:18:48 PM , Rating: 2
However, let's look at the facts. Microsoft are making great strides in righting their wrongs. They know they were wrong.

What I see is that Nadella is painting what was blue red and painting what was red blue. That's not the same thing as "righting their wrongs".

What's the strategic goal of XBox? Not a clue.
After everyone hates the unified tablet and desktop OS, what's MS' response? To double down on this strategy.
What's the long term plan for phones and tablets, given that MS hardware competes with OEMs? Not a clue.

MS today is behaving EXACTLY like IBM at the height of its PS/2 OS/2 SAA mania --- totally deluded about the future direction of tech and its relevance. Being like IBM is not a terrible place to be if your goal is to have the company keep making money; but it does mean you're not especially relevant to the kind of tech most people care about, and it means you are throwing away money hand over fist as you keep pursuing the fantasy of widespread consumer adoption.

By themaster08 on 6/14/2014 2:05:23 PM , Rating: 3
What's the strategic goal of XBox? Not a clue
Xbox is the only real brand in which Microsoft has a true connection with regular consumers. Its fanbase, whilst the vocal minority have been quite critical, are very loyal to the platform. To get rid of Xbox would be suicide for Microsoft in the consumer space.

You might argue that Microsoft doesn't need to be in the consumer space in order to remain successful. But with its main rivals, Apple and Google, excelling in this market, and nipping at their heels in the enterprise, I would argue that Microsoft most definitely need to be in the consumer space in order for their enterprise solutions to remain successful in the long term.

After everyone hates the unified tablet and desktop OS, what's MS' response? To double down on this strategy.
No. I believe it is safe to say that in its current, or at least in the state of Windows 8.0, everyone hated Metro on their desktops and laptops. The interface on tablets and touch screen devices is generally well received.

The unified desktop and tablet experience first released in the original version of Windows 8 was a result of the draconian era of Sinofsky and the inner conflict between divisions inside the company. Steps are now being taken to provide choice to the end user. Of course everyone is aware that the Start Menu will be making a return, but there's also talk of multiple SKUs for different devices, multiple options which the user can select to best use their device, and also creating enterprise applications that are not dependent on a particular interface (i.e Office on both the desktop and in Metro).

What's the long term plan for phones and tablets, given that MS hardware competes with OEMs? Not a clue.
If you had paid attention to the recent Surface announcement, Nadella stated that Microsoft's aim with Surface is not to directly compete with their OEMs, but to demonstrate what is possible to do with the platform and explore new use cases of these devices. Whilst this wasn't Microsoft's initial aim with Surface, that was, agian, under the rule of previous management.

totally deluded about the future direction of tech and its relevance
I would agree up to a point. These are the cards this new MS management have been dealt, and I think they are doing an excellent job under the circumstances. This is now a company that has been sorting out its own internal problems, and the result is a more determined Microsoft with a clearer vision.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/14/14, Rating: 0
By Reflex on 6/16/2014 12:44:03 AM , Rating: 2
Great job recycling the "Fisher-Price UI" comment from the initial Windows XP reviews of the Luna UI. As someone who was an engineer on XP and signed off on it, I love to see the insults get used again 12 years later.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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