The Microsoft Office 365 team reportedly created a spoof video (below) that pokes fun at Gmail for team-building purposes at the annual Microsoft GlobalExchange sales conference. Now "Gmail Man," featuring an unctuous, cloying mail carrier who looks through people's correspondence to identify "keywords" for advertising opportunities, could just go viral.
Apparently, one of 12,000 or so Global Exchange attendees managed to smuggle out a copy of "Gmail Man" to ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley after it was screened during opening ceremonies on July 20.
"Have you been reading my mail?" asks one flustered office worker when the Gmail Man bursts in and asks about her "burning" and "itching." "Just skimming," he replies, "for certain keywords."
Microsoft's point: Google scans Gmail correspondence as part of its ad-matching system—something privacy-minded emailers may not be too happy about.
First of all, it is pretty creepy that the ads you get while inside of GMail are from the words you type into your emails. Let that sink in a moment.
Google knows what you're typing into your emails!
I myself use multiple email accounts from various services and GMail seems to work the best for personal use. When using for professional user an Exchange server linked with all of the Microsoft services is pretty peachy as well. The second MS starts serving up ads is the day I sign up for Apple's email services!
A few months ago, Microsoft first introduced a service that we think delivers the best of the cloud, working with the Office applications people already know and trust. It's called Office 365, and it brings together all of the familiar and powerful Microsoft productivity tools in a single cloud service. Today, we’re announcing a public beta of Office 365, enabling people in 38 markets to utilize Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync as a cloud service.
Cloud computing is gaining mindshare fast. Companies of all sizes are using the cloud to deliver the latest applications and services, and they're seeing how cloud services can give them a competitive advantage while minimizing routine maintenance like patching, updating, and upgrading, and the upfront costs of traditional on-premises infrastructure. Cloud services can combine that convenience and affordability with powerful functionality and ease of use.
It's here! Well, not for me. I signed up and was promptly told that I'd have to wait 2-4 weeks to gain access to the public beta. For now I guess I'll just have to make due with Google's terrible formatting decisions when exporting to Word format.
Google Apps aside, this is great move for Microsoft. Techie people online are drifting towards web apps that store their information on far away servers and services such as Dropbox and Google, and similar moves can't be that far away for Enterprise. I myself like to keep all my writing in Dropbox so I can access wherever I go. There are even specific apps that use your Dropbox credentials so you can edit on your smartphone.
It seems like 365 is a step in the right direction, but I often wonder about the speediness of web apps and their upgrade. For instance, many users are still using Office 2003. Maybe because they can't afford to update, but also because it's what they know. Why upgrade?
Google Apps encounters issues for that exact reason. It's a web app, and therefore can be updated at the drop of a hat. If a user prefers Google Docs ver. X but Google updates to a new version, there is no going back for that user. The same will be said for Office 365. MS will be able to update small items when they choose, and not have to do in cycles of 3-5 years like native applications. Will those effect enterprise users going into the Cloud? Time will tell, but if you have any questions about implementation of Microsofts services for your own clients, let us know.