Google Aims To Woo Away Microsoft Office Customers

If your business uses Microsoft Office, Google will pay you to switch to its Google Apps for Work package of competing software. If you desert Microsoft, Google will give you free use of Google Apps for Work, which usually costs between $5 and $10 per user each month.

Google appears to be targeting companies and government agencies that currently pay for Microsoft's suite of word processing, e-mail, calendar, spreadsheet and other programs, although it didn't mention Microsoft or any other vendor by name.

The price of Google Apps for Work will be waived for the duration of defecting customers' existing contracts with Microsoft or any other supplier. The offer is open for the next six months in the United States, and will be available in other countries eventually, though Google isnEUt saying when.

More Incentives

The free access to Google Apps for Work is restricted to no more than 3,000 users per customer. Hypothetically, if a company with 3,000 employees takes advantage of the offer instead of paying for Google Apps for Work, Google could stand to lose around $500,000 in a year (the suite has different rates per user on its monthly and annual contracts). When their contracts are up, Google will pay businesses up to $75,000 (or up to $25 per user) to cover the costs of making the change to Google Apps fro Work.

We reached out to Rajeev Sawhney, the president of strategic business at Mphasis, an IT services provider, who applauded the move by Google. He noted that entry barriers to new systems can be prohibitive for larger enterprises because of issues around compliance and corporate standards.

"ItEUs great to see some assertive moves being made by Google to woo Microsoft enterprise clients to [Google Apps for Work]," said Sawhney. "My personal experience is that the entry barriers to enterprise...

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