A new advertisement by Microsoft directly attacking Google is circulating the internet after being uploaded to YouTube on Feb. 20. The video, titled Beware the Googlighting Stranger, is a response to Google moving in on its territory with its could-based productivity suite, a cheaper alternative to Microsoft's Office suite.
The video borrows heavily from the 1980s sitcom Moonlighting, which starred Bruce Willis, and features an overconfident salesman in a slick white suit and a multi-colored tie that recalls Google's colorful logo. The Google stand-in arrives an hour later to make a sloppy pitch for Google apps to a nameless company.
The women interviewing him quickly rejects his proposal and attacks some of the spots Microsoft sees as Google app's weakest points: spell check, dependency on internet access and the fact that Google apps is a constant work in process that can change overnight.
A singer then emerges from nowhere and belts out several lines, warning companies not to trust Google. The lyrics note that Google has killed off its own projects in the past (Gears, Wave and Buzz) and that If Google Apps meets its grave, your business is hosed.
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Microsoft's ad comes across as corny, bizarre and vindictive, though it may work better on the companies it is targeting then on the bloggers who have been the first to scoop it up. Although they may want to reconsider their tactics, Microsoft has reason to go on the offensive against Google, which has grown by leaps and bounds, and is now threatening to edge in on Microsoft's dominance with office programs as well as Microsoft Windows with Chromebooks, their new line of internet and app only laptops.
Tech blog BGR.com wrote about the ad that Microsoft is essentially calling Google a snake-oil salesman, writing, According to Microsoft, Google's productivity suite is a joke - a sad side project where Google moonlights in its downtime and uses unwitting corporations as guinea pigs - and businesses would be crazy to play Google's game.
The video links to a Microsoft blog titled Why Microsoft in which the company argues that Google apps are a poor substitute for Microsoft's trusted and secure service:
Google Apps is an ever-changing solution with experimental features that can increase complexity and the need for change management and training. When your business needs help, Google Apps support falls short of delivering the kind and level of support you demand...Your organization has diverse needs. With Microsoft, you can deliver the right set of tools for the right users-all with appropriate layers of security and compliance technologies.
This isn't the first time Microsoft has gone after Google with a vicious yet corny attack ad. On Jan. 31st the company uploaded a video titled G-Mailman, about a mailman who constantly read through everyone's emails in search of keywords to create personally tailored ads. Check it out below.