Devnet CEO, Craig Deveson, said Microsoft’s refusal to offer an upgrade price for Office 2010 will backfire and force customers to look at alternative solutions such as Offisync.
It brings online and collaboration capabilities to older versions of Microsoft Office by integrating apps such as Word and Excel with Google Docs and Google Apps.
"Based on all the reviews that I've read, the only compelling reasons to upgrade to Office 2010 is for Web access and improved collaboration, which is what Google does better than anybody," Deveson said. "So why pay up to $850 to upgrade your application suite, when the version that you're using now - and have grown familiar with - can be cheaply upgraded via Offisync and Google Apps, giving users instant ability to collaborate in real-time or access their documents across the Internet."
Microsoft partners hit back saying nothing compares to the features on Office 2010.
Correct Solutions technology specialist, Wayne Small, said although he was disappointed with Microsoft charging full price for customers to upgrade to Office 2010, there was no chance he would turn to Google Apps as an alternative.
“Google Apps actually says it retains the right to own the data you store with them, to sell it others, to modify it as it sees fit and so on. I won’t be moving to Google Apps anytime soon,” Small said. “I would much rather pay Microsoft the money and know that I own the data.”
Small will look at other viable on-site alternatives for customers, but they will be dictated by business requirements.
“Will I be looking for other on-site, on-premise alternatives? You betcha,” Small said. "But some of the alternative options don’t do what Microsoft Apps do.”
General manager of Ensyst, Nick Sone, said the features and benefits of the Office 2010 suite made it a very compelling offer.
“I don’t think that what he [Deveson] is saying will come true,” Sone said. “There will be a very small number of people assessing our competitive products because the features and benefits are so good, that it’s too compelling to pass up.”
Deveson said users would only need to pay a third of the Office 2010 price for Devnet’s own ‘gsyncoffice’ bundle ($69) that incorporates Offisync and Google Apps.
“We can now cost-effectively give any customer that is not quite ready to go all cloud, the best of both worlds," Deveson said. "I believe Microsoft knows it as well, which is why I suspect they think they can charge full-price for this upgrade. However, not only is Offisync a much cheaper way to achieve that goal of modernising Microsoft environments but I'd argue very strongly that it is a better way of doing it, because nobody is innovating in the cloud like Google."