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Google Goes on Offense against Office

Google is doing something very un-Google. It's stooping to advertise

Google is doing something very un-Google. It's stooping to advertise.

What started a few months ago with "Go Google" billboards on 101 in Silicon Valley, the West Side Highway in New York, the Mass Pike in Boston and the Ike in Chicago touting Google Apps went international Monday in France, Japan, the UK, Canada, Australia and Singapore at train stations and airports as well as print ads in the Economist, the New York Time, Forbes and the Daily Telegraph and web sites like and Times Online.

Google's trolling for frustrated, cash-strapped Microsoft and IBM business users and claims to have converted two million businesses - up from 1.75 million in June - and 20 million people - up from 15 million - in over 100 countries and over 40 languages to its cloud-based applications.

Although Google Apps, currently armed with a staff of a thousand people, is supposed to be profitable, the company doesn't say how many of these two million businesses are paying $50 a seat a year for the software or just using the free stuff. The widgetry is, however, supposed to be generating hundreds of millions of dollars.

The campaign - and it's unclear what Google's laying out for it - is supposed to run through the end of the year. There are 21 different ads that run over 28 days like "Day 15: Attaching documents is so 1990s. Go Google?"

Given the recent Gmail outage, users may just be substituting one headache for another.

Microsoft Office, meanwhile, is also taking to the cloud. Google's timed its promotion to beat it to the punch.

Google has recently picked up 17,000 seats at MeadWsetVaco, 20,000 at Motorola, 7,000 at Konica Minolta and 35,000 at Rentokil Initial. Its total universe is still a drop in the bucket compared to Microsoft's.

Windows 7 officially goes on sale Thursday, which doubtless accounts for Google's timing.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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