Google takes on Microsoft Office via billboard

4 Aug 2009

As Microsoft aims to erode Google’s search engine dominance through its Bing marketing campaign and last week’s Yahoo! deal, so too is Google taking aim at Microsoft’s strong point: software, specifically Microsoft Office.

With a rare series of billboard advertisements across cities in the US, Google hopes to draw attention to its own productivity suite that is often overlooked in favour of Microsoft Office.

The month-long advertising campaign will see billboards across Boston, Chicago, New York and San Francisco change on a daily basis as a fictional IT manager decides to ‘go Google’ or switch over to Google Apps for his workplace.

Andy Berndt, managing director for Google Creative Lab, said on the official Google blog: “Here at Google, we have a term for the moment a company realises there’s a better way and goes for it: ‘going Google’.

“Over 1.75 million businesses, schools and organisations have gone Google – including Motorola, University of Notre Dame, the Mercy Corps and many more – and each day, 3,000 more organisations join them. We want every organisation to understand the benefits of going Google, so today we’re telling the story in a new way.”

While Google Apps delivers its software services solely through cloud computing, with all data backup and access carried out ‘in the cloud’, Microsoft Office 2010 is also positioning itself as a web-based service, as well as a standalone desktop offering, something that may eat into the popularity of Google Docs, and perhaps one of the triggers for the billboard campaign.