Ah, Microsoft and Google. Two of the Great Tech Corporation Triumvirate, always looking to make sure the other does not trump them up in the many platforms in which they compete with each other. However, there are the select few fields in which each one of the three excels (Search and ads: Google, productivity software: Microsoft and selling overpriced gadgets for hipsters/suing the hell out of a competing phone maker creating innovative product designs: Apple) and Microsoft is hell bent on keeping it that way. At least, that is what I could make out with the recent ad launched by Microsoft against Google Apps, a cloud-based enterprise productivity solution that competes with Microsoft’s own Office 365.
The launch of the ad (ironically hosted on the Google-owned and operated YouTube.com, but let’s not make too many assumptions here as Microsoft is only targeting Google Apps and not the rest of the company’s diverse fields of work) adds to the new Why Microsoft website in which comparisons are drawn between Microsoft and Google’s enterprise productivity solutions. Terming Google’s non-search and ad services as “Googlighting” (a portmanteau of “Google” and “moonlighting”), Microsoft aggressively outline how their productivity suite is better than anything else in the market.
Googlighting is what happens when the world’s largest advertising business tries to sell productivity software on the side. In fact, according to Gartner, Google Apps accounts for merely 0.5% of the ad company’s revenue after five years of Googlighting. Meanwhile, Microsoft enjoys its trustworthy reputation in the cloud; with 40% of companies from the Interbrand list of top 100 brands.
The advertisement shows a flamboyant Googlighting Stranger as he tries to sell Google Apps to a corporation. Apart from general clarity and saturated colors, the ad looks like it was made in the 70s with very random jingles of why Microsoft is better than Google.
I honestly do not understand why Microsoft proceeded with this rather terrible ad campaign when the company has become generally better and NonDickish™. Most enterprises live by Office because it has been refined over the years primarily for corporations and end users and is known for its stability. It does seem like Microsoft is scared of Google Apps and is trying the scare tactic against medium to large enterprises, warning them to stay away from Google Apps because Google shut down Gears and Wave – known to be experimental projects while Google Apps is not – and that the software might change completely overnight because Google is using corporates as guinea pigs. I do not think Google needs to reply to this ad at all; as the Beatles said, Let It Be.