The city of Boston just said that it will be replacing Microsoft Exchange Server and Outlook with Gmail. Other municipalities have also done so, largely because of cost and IT savings over time.
In addition Microsoft is feeling frustrated with the negative publicity and critiques of Windows 8. Its tablets have not sold particularly well either. Despite this, Bill Gates recently proclaimed that users of the iPad and Android tablets were “frustrated” by the lack of Office and other aspects of the tablet UX and suggested they would be switching to Surface devices.
His assessment contains some truth but is largely incorrect. Many people would like to access Office on their tablets and make them into full fledged replacements for laptops. But there are large numbers of people who are very satisfied with the iPad as it is.
Microsoft’s dilemma is thus: put Office on the iPad and risk undermining Surface sales. But if it withholds Office from non-Microsoft tablets it risks seeing its Office audience decline over time, the adoption of viable tablet-based alternatives and the loss of Office brand cachet. PC sales declined in Q1 by 14%. At some point in the next few years there will be more tablets than PCs in the market, notwithstanding what CEO Thorsten Heins predicted about tablets being dead in five years.
Here are two relatively new Microsoft commercials that argue against adoption of Google Docs as too risky or too weak to get the job done:
The terrible irony is that these ads were posted on YouTube. What do you think about their effectiveness? (The basketball ad is better.) Do you think these ads suggest that Microsoft is nervous?