Do Google's recent moves spell trouble for Microsoft? Google seems to think so, and they're doing absolutely nothing to hide that opinion. In fact, today the G team released a tool called Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange, which makes switching over a piece of cake.
Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange is a server-side tool that migrates e-mail, calendars and contact data from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps. Google claims the process is:
- Easy: It's a four step process
- Efficient: Select the combination of mail, calendar and contact data that you want to move, with the option of doing so in phases
- Fast: Users can migrate hundreds of users at the same time
- Painless: Employees can continue to use Microsoft Exchange during the migration without interruption
And so, if you were on the fence about Apps, we suppose this is Google's way of helping you make a final decision.
Admittedly, these days it's difficult to think of a reason not to go Google. After all, their recently announced Marketplace is already doing extremely well, they've acquired DocVerse (a startup that lets users collaborate with MS Office docs online) and, if you haven't noticed already, almost everything is either in the cloud or on its way there.
Hardcore desktop/Microsoft fans still haven't given up of course, citing price as one of the main issues in the Google vs. Microsoft debate. For example, the cheapest you'll pay for additional storage to integrate with Google Apps and its 1free GB is US$ 5 per year for 20GB (see other pricing options here). Meanwhile, Microsoft offers 25GB of free storage that integrates with desktop/online Office off the bat.
If you're a business that's got a couple thousand employees, five dollars per person can certainly add up. But perhaps that's a small price to pay to keep up with the changing times. For instance, Microsoft does not currently offer a desktop tool that lets users automatically sync their local files with the SkyDrive cloud. Google on the other hand, has several.
Going, Going, Google
While dollars are certainly an excellent thing to consider--especially in this problematic economy--there are some other numbers out there that speak pretty loudly:
- 25 million people are using Apps
- 2 million businesses utilize Apps, all the way from startups, to small businesses, to Fortune 500 companies.
- Google launched their Marketplace with 50 partners, and we're seeing more companies join every day.
Want to make the switch yourself? Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange works with Microsoft Exchange 2003 and 2007, and both on-premise and hosted Exchange. It's available free to Google Apps Premier and Education Edition customers here.
Still need/want more convincing, or just interested in hearing more arguments? No problem.