As seen in Round 1 and Round 2, the battle between Office 365 and Google Apps has been ongoing for some time.  There are numerous comparisons between the two and loyal users in both camps who claim the other is insufficient. Lately though, it seems that the competition has heated up - not due to users per se but on part of the companies themselves.  To be more specific, Microsoft seems to be threatened by Google and it is not being shy about it.

In early May, the city of Boston decided to adopt Google Apps, and as a result, Microsoft shunned the transition away from its services claiming the citizens of Boston deserve better security than Google can provide.  But it didn’t stop there - Microsoft is actively engaging in an ad war against Google with ads comparing Google to gambling.  And it seems to be trying to generally push Google into a lower weightclass by derailing Google’s attempt in the Enterprise market with multiple communications claiming superiority over Google.

Perhaps Microsoft has a leg up on Google when it comes to highly regulated industries, as Office 365 is one of very few cloud productivity applications that has gone through the very cumbersome process of obtaining strict certifications with regards to regulations like HIPAA, etc. But, interestingly, Microsoft is cooperating with Google more than a dominant player might typically do.  It admits a level of defeat by integrating with Google to appease the growing user base of Google Apps.

It’ll be interesting to see how the battle continues.  Will Microsoft’s efforts to derail Google work?  Will Google throw in the towel or steal even more of the Enterprise market from Microsoft?  What are your thoughts? We’ll find out more in Round 4!