Dear Google. . .


  Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you all have plans to spend time with someone special today. Or, if
you forgot, it might be time to make that frantic call to the florist!
Either way, be sure not to disappoint those who are special to you.

Heartache is an interesting topic today and something that
got me thinking. There are a number of businesses who've experienced heartache of their own after experiencing that initial blush of romance with Google Apps. Many of them opt to part ways with Google after
encountering a wide range of problems.


Not all of these tales have a sad ending though.  Being an optimist and somewhat of a
matchmaker myself, I wanted to showcase two customers whose break-up with
Google resulted in happy endings. Breaking up may be hard to do, but it can lead to real, long term compatibility as these letters reveal.

Our first customer, Bradshaw
& Weil
, an insurance agency and one of the oldest businesses in
Paducah, Kentucky had this to say in their Valentines-inspired missive to Mountain View:

Dearest Google,

First, let me say that
being with you has taught me so much. Painful experiences can do that. However,
the time has come to say good-bye.

In the beginning, I
remember being so happy.  I wanted to
switch to cloud-based services, to help me back up my data, recover from any
failures, and reduce my need for on-site software, hardware and management. I also
wanted to use push technology and over-the-air synchronization between
Microsoft Office Outlook and wireless devices. 
You said you'd be there for me but you let me down. 

Back in 2006 your
Google Apps Standard Edition was so young and full of promise. To be honest, I
found that your capabilities were limited but wasn't ready to face it.  It hurts to admit that I was embarrassed we
weren't able to do a two-way sync between my mobile devices and your Google
Apps.  Why couldn't you see how much pain
you were causing?

Sure, there were some
good times.  However, you've got to admit
there were problems between my Microsoft Office Word documents and your Google
Docs...I couldn't even get contacts onto my different phones! It's not like I
didn't ask for your help.  I tried
contacting you several times but each one was unsuccessful.  Oh, the unrequited love!  I can't stay in a relationship if I can't get
through to you - my business needs are important too.

I've done everything I
could.  We spent 18 months trying to make
it work.  You said you were free but in
the end, the time and frustration I experienced made me see how costly you
truly are.  I just can't keep pretending

You should know that
I've met someone else. I know you've heard the rumors that I'm getting more
done with Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite from Microsoft
Online Services - and it's true. I spend 50% less time on IT management now,
and I'm in the process of implementing a much richer document, communications
and workflow system. I've always wanted a low-maintenance relationship that is
based on trust and now I have it.  The fact
is I need more than just a service provider. 
I need a business partner that's aware of and can meet my

Please don't try and
talk me out of this.
I know I've made the right long-term
decision with Microsoft Online. Microsoft brings so much to our relationship,
including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting, and Office
Communications Online. With Microsoft Online I have high reliability and financially-backed
service-level agreements.  Without the
workarounds I faced with you, I can now spend my time generating revenue
instead of worrying about IT problems.

I hope we can still be
friends.  You're young so maybe you can
learn from all of this.  Best of luck to


& Weil


When you have problems getting something to work,
it kills productivity and that's frustrating, but not nearly as frustrating as
not being able find someone to help you.

That's something we also heard loud and clear from our
friends at BridgeView
, a high tech recruiting firm headquartered in Denver, Colorado in their break up letter to the advertising team at Big G:

Dear Google,

There is no easy way
to say this. I'm sorry but I don't think we should see each other anymore. I
think it is for the best.

Recruiting services
for technology firms is fast-paced. 
People count on me for speedy and accurate answers not to mention
modern, reliable communications technology. I can't afford downtime, and I need
a service that lets me communicate easily and reliably.

You've spotted me
using the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, and I won't
deny it. This subscription-based suite provides me with a new level of
cloud-based e-mail, collaboration, instant messaging, and web conferencing that
I've never experienced before. With multiple offices across the U.S., I've got
faster access to information and the quick answers my customers require. 

I admit I was attracted to Google Docs online document sharing and Google Talk
instant messaging.  Your price really
caught my eye too. However, in the short time we've been together, I realized I
needed more support.  Now that I'm with
Microsoft, I can get a live person on the phone in my time of need.  It really is true, communication is so
important to a good relationship.

Please be happy for me.  Microsoft Online
Services and I were meant for each other. 
I even have a single sign-on for all my Microsoft Online Services
communications tools. Employees don't have to remember multiple passwords, and
each department, including Sales, Recruiting and Operations - can share files,
calendars, distribution lists, and other information critical to teamwork.  They can even conduct web-based video
conferences in different cities with ease. 

Breaking up is hard to do but believe me, it's better this way.





Well, there you have it - tales of customers who have simply
fallen out of love with Google Apps.  At
Microsoft, we've learned the importance of focus when delivering great
cloud services that work the way you want, with reliable customer service that is there when
you need it.

Happy Valentine's Day and here's to finding the right match!  If you have your own stories of heartbreak with Google, feel free to share them and I might be able to make your match with Microsoft Online Services!

Comments (66)
  1. Anonymous says:

    @Ian #1

    Thank you for you business.  I'm glad to hear that you're a happy BPOS (and soon Office 365 customer).  I would recommend taking a look at the links in the article which point to the case studies for both customers where they do talk about their migration and savings.  

    @Ian #2

    I'm sorry you feel that pointing to how customers and partners are moving to Microsoft is perpetuating drama and flimsy attacks.  It's not my words, it's theirs.  In terms of using Google Apps, I have used it.  What sort of self-respecting commentator would I be if I haven't used it 🙂  Happy to have you continue to comment as you see fit and happy to compare notes on my views of Microsoft and Google with yours.

  2. ian_pick says:

    It makes me feel sad Microsoft feels like it needs to sling mud at competitors like this. If you are confident enough in the online services then why can't I look at "Why Microsoft?" and see a rational facts based presentation that shows case studies, proven performance and cost metrics based on publicly available data which would actually aid in a feasability study or the project management side of such a move. That would be the kind of professional behaviour I would like to see from a large enterprise looking for our business as opposed to the tabloid style behaviour of these blog posts. They only serve to reinforce an impression to me that Microsoft is scared of Google and frankly getting nervous.

    Also did these 2 companies just spontaneously decide to write similarly formatted messages on the same subject and send them to microsoft addressed "Dear Google" right around the same time or is there a disclaimer missing from this post confirming that the 2 companies in question received compensation for their time in producing an advertisement? I am a Business Productivity (soon to carry over to 365) customer. Please don't make me feel like I should regret that.

  3. Ian Ray says:

    It is true that when you migrate out of an Exchange/Outlook environment, all the folder structure on each account needs to be reworked. Users have a tendency to stick every subfolder into "INBOX," resulting in all of the other folders being a subfolder of INBOX, Having everything in INBOX looks bizarre in gmail. This is not a great practice when using Outlook and the result of doing this carries over to gmail.

    Ian #1, I don't know why you would be surprised at Microsoft perpetuating drama and flimsy attacks. That is what Why Microsoft does. This is especially what Tom Rizzo has been doing for months. I've commented on Tom's posts before: Tom Rizzo, have you ever actually used Google Apps?

  4. Anon says:

    Ian (1 & 2), you mean to say no company should advertise people switching from the opposite camp to their camp? even when you know for sure is True?  Tom's post actually made an amusing read and if you are really the type that wants to read lengthy case studies, he provides you the links to the case studies.

    >> is there a disclaimer missing from this post confirming that the 2 companies in question received compensation for their time in producing an advertisement?

    Is there a disclaimer in your comment that you didn't receive any compensation from Google — such as from running Google Ads on your website (if you have one)?

  5. jessie says:

    Thanks for the breakup letters…  They were rather entertaining.   As far as Ian & Co…  This is a Microsoft Blog ya know…  

  6. Kunal D Mehta says:


    I'm a Microsoft Student Partner, MCTS x2 and a huge Microsoft fanatic. I've used both BPOS & Google Apps and agree that Google Apps suck. I respect Microsoft a lot as a company. But mud slinging (as Ian pointed out) is not the best thing to do.. 😐

    Remember when you did almost the same on the morning just before VMWorld? I really think Microsoft has a diverse range of products and services and I'm sure it does not really need posts like these to win customers. Customers need quality products and Microsoft has that! 🙂

  7. Ian Ray says:

    Jessie just because it is a Microsoft blog doesn't mean folks can't come and comment about their distaste with the mud slinging going on. I've posted the same comments on Google's blogs when they make weak claims about the shortcomings of Microsoft offerings.

  8. Brian says:

    I'm not sure how this could be considered mud slinging…

  9. Joshua says:

    I believe what Ian was stating, in a nutshell, was that they seems fake, feeble immature and coincidental that two company's post something very similar on the same day? Then again there are no dates signed so who knows.

    Things like this do not help sell products, they only give consumers an adverse impression of a given company. The reasoning behind this is that, someone coming here to learn about potential options, only to stumble across a bad love story with Microsoft's name written on it, doesn't look very professional. I think the market in general has become flooded with these kinds of stories, as well as the advertising industry somehow thinking that general consumers can't see past the obnoxiously happy and manufactured expressions of people using their product.

  10. Mani says:

    I'm definitely willing to find the best solutions for my business as you all do. Just compare the amount of satisfied users of both companies and get a clue about the uprising necessity for such rather promotional blogs.

  11. Jeff Kee says:

    I find it hard to believe that those business owners actually wrote letters like that… nice try. I have no problem with Google's sync system as well as the apps. Couldn't care less about the docs formatting – I just get everybody to start with Google Docs rather than Word anyway.

    Pathetic attempt by Microsoft.

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