Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is definitely in a strong competition mood. The company is not only aiming at Apple Inc. (Nadaq:AAPL) iPad but also targeting Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Apps for Business, a corporate software bundle with versions of G-mail and Docs.
Tom Rizzo, Microsoft’s senior director for Office Division previously dismissed reports that Google’s Apps for Business is gaining momentum and poses challenge to Microsoft’s cloud computing and Office products. Rizzo argues that Google’s growth is unnoticeable, and he emphasizes that Microsoft sold as much as 100 copies of Office 2010 per second. He also points out that 9 out of 10 customers using Google keep Office on their desktop.
Despite Rizzo’s statement, Microsoft’s latest strategies indicate that Google Apps is a threat to the company. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is trying to stop Google’s Apps for Business from growing by implementing various strategies such as cutting prices, and increasing commissions to resellers. The software giant also revised its marketing campaigns for Office 365, a web based version of products such as Microsoft Word, Outlook e-mail and Power Point.
In addition, the company also created a “Google Compete Team.” Its primary responsibility is to encourage Office customers to keep using Office products and avoid purchasing Google Apps.
Last month, Microsoft invited Joe Fuller, chief information officer of Dominion Enterprises, a marketing company based in Norfolk, Virginia and showed road maps of Microsoft products. Microsoft tried to entice Dominion Enterprises to keep its $ 2 million annual contract with the company.
Dominion Enterprises decided to switch to Google Apps. Fuller admits that he was impressed with Office 365 but the price is 50% higher than similar Google Apps. According to him, Dominion Enterprises is currently paying $200 thousand for Google Apps. The company retains some of Microsoft’s services.
Microsoft’s spokesperson Frank Shaw explains that the company treats competition seriously and its latest strategies were not reaction to Google Apps.
Last week, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner announced during the Worldwide Partner Conference that Office 365 will become the fastest selling Microsoft product by next year. Turner also told to software vendors that Office 365 is critical for their “collective future” and he will intervene to close a contract. He also said, “Make no mistake, Google is out there pitching our customers.”