Home > Customer Satisfaction, Outlook, Small Business IT > Google & Microsoft…Bullies on the playground?

Google & Microsoft…Bullies on the playground?

See the NOTE at the bottom.

See the NOTE at the bottom.

You all know I am a Google girl, and have been since Gmail was first launched. But lately I have been reconsidering my current relationship with Google. (See my article Email Affairs – My version of 50 Shades of Grey to read about my Google love affair.)

As I mentioned in that article, I was finding Google was becoming a little too controlling and I was becoming increasingly unhappy about our current relationship. After recent events, my patience with Google has been stretched thin. You see, Google and Microsoft used to play well together; but after the release of Office 2013, the two giants are and have been battling, and the consumer is caught in the middle of the squabble.

One of my clients ordered a new system from an independent shop with Office 2013, back in April. She then asked me to come in in May and set up her system in her home office. Honestly, I figured I would pop in, set up her Gmail Apps for Business accounts, configure the backup and Blackberry, and have a happy client within a few hours. You know what is said about best laid plans?

It turned out Google hadn’t released the Google Apps Sync for Outlook at the time I first went in during the month of May. I set up the client’s email, knowing she didn’t have the whole calendar/contact sync, but according to the Google forums at the time, it was coming soon. We just had a to be patient a little while longer. In the meantime, we ordered a laptop with Windows 7 and Office 2013 Home and Business from Dell. By that point, it was early June and Google has released the Outlook integration model (kind of). In mid-June, the Dell unit with MS Home and Business 2013 arrives and I quickly set it up, with the Google Apps Sync for Outlook, and the client is up and running very quickly, except for some tweaking.

Next I head back to her home office and to finish the setup on her desktop. Since Google has released their software, I am sure this will be a snap. Many hours later, after a discussion with Microsoft and a Google reseller, my client still does not have a proper working desktop system at home; and the worst of it: she is not happy, which upsets me.

And what has caused all of this grief, you may ask? This should be a no-brainer, right? Think again and prepare yourself and your clients for what is turning into a miserable mess.

According to the Microsoft reps I spoke to, Office 2013 is Click and Run only (unless you have volume licensing).  I don’t know about you, but none of my small business clients have volume licensing, because it’s usually unnecessary for their needs and budget. Google released it’s Google Apps Sync for Outlook, but it is not supported on Office 2013 Click to Run. Office 2010 was also Click to Run, but we had the option of downloading the msi and Outlook 2010, and Google Apps Sync would work seamlessly.

So what’s the solution? In this case, the client returned the unit she bought, and we ordered a new desktop from Dell with Microsoft Office Home And Business installed; as I have been assured by the Dell rep that the Office 2013 pre-installed on the Dell systems is not Click to Run.

Moving forward with this company, we will order all units preloaded with Office 2013 from Dell, until this mess can be straightened out.

Who am I upset with? In this case I am upset with both companies. I understand why Microsoft is releasing software in this fashion, but they should make an MSI version available, as they did with Office 2010, for those of us who want more control over our installations. But in this case, I am more upset at and with Google right now. Office 2013 has been available to the public for 6 months now, and the manufactures had it back in the fall of 2012. I am not a programmer, but if Google can make self-driving cars, how hard is it to get Google Apps Sync to work on the Click to Run version of Office?

Why can’t these tech giants all get along? These companies are forcing their clients to side with one or the other, and it feels like the bully in the schoolyard. Remember “if you play with him/her, I won’t be your friend”? Unfortunately, small business consumers are the ones who are going to be most affected by this, and I am sure we’ll hear more about this problem as time goes by, and more people move to Office 2013.

The playground is much happier when everyone can enjoy playing together, no matter where you come from. I think it’s time for both Microsoft and Google to grow up, and play nice with each other, and all the others on the playground.

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  1. 02/27/2015 at 4:11 am

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