As cloud wars between Google and Microsoft intensify, Google has thrown a bait at Microsoft users by announcing the launch of a plug-in that enables users to sync their Microsoft Office docs with Google docs.
The service is called Google Cloud Connect, a technology that Google acquired when it bought DocVerse in March. DocVerse was started with an aim to help smooth the transition from Office to the cloud.
Google Cloud Connect supports users of Office 2003, 2007 and 2010. The feature allows users to sync Office documents with Google Docs and creates a back-up. The back-up file gets a unique URL and can be shared and simultaneously edited.
Also users can continue to use the Microsoft Office interface to manage their documents over the cloud.
However, Google's new feature will be contending with Microsoft's SharePoint Online which is now available as part of Microsoft's recently launched Microsoft Office 365, a comprehensive cloud-based productivity suite that offers Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online, for a minimum price of $6 per user/per month. It was a rebranding of its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).
Since Microsoft Office offers the familiarity of Office which keeps customers from moving to other applications, Google is addressing this issue by allowing users to use the same Microsoft interface.
Though weaning customers off Microsoft Share Point may not be easy but once users migrate their documents to Google Docs, over a period of time as users continue to edit and update documents, users will become accustomed to Google Docs.
However, this bodes well for small businesses as customers who are using older versions of Microsoft Office may not want to upgrade to a Microsoft 2010 as they can get collaborative features through Google Docs.
Competition for cloud space between the two behemoths is heating up. Recently Google filed a case against the Federal government, accusing it of favoring Microsoft by restricting opportunities for Google to bid for the contract. Microsoft had got a $59 million Federal contract for its BPOS.