Microsoft Responds to Google Cloud Connect for MS Office
Article by George Norman
On 01 Mar 2011
Yesterday we were reporting that after acquiring DocVerse back in the spring of 2010, after integrating DocVerse into its infrastructure and renaming it Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, Google has finally released Google Cloud Connect for MS Office to everyone. What does that mean? It means that Office 2003, 2007, and 2010 users can get the plug-in and experience the benefits of web-based collaboration. What the plug-in does is it brings Google Docs in-the-cloud functionality to MS Office.

Microsoft's Tony Tai responded by saying that “Google has a noble outward goal to help improve productivity with Microsoft Office by enabling people to co-edit directly from Office Word, Excel, or PowerPoint”, and then went on to present a list of reasons why you should not use Cloud Connect. Here’s that list, in brief:

Not that easy to use

Sharing documents with Cloud Connect is an unintuitive multi-step process.

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Errors and data loss
Users may run into unexpected errors because not all features and file types work with Cloud Connect.
Simultaneous editing could lead to syncing errors and data loss.

Performance loss

Cloud Connect can impact the performance of your applications, and Google admits to it.

Functionality loss
Track Changes, conditional formatting, sort settings, table styles, slide transitions, sounds, print settings, and other core Office functionality is sacrificed by using Cloud Connect.

Conflicts with other add-ins
Microsoft and 3rd party add-ins could conflict with Clod Connect, so Google recommends turning off other Office add-ins. This in turn could lead to what Microsoft calls “erratic behavior” of the add-in.

Security and privacy loss

When automatic syncing is on, all your Office files are automatically synced with your Google Docs list. That poses a security and privacy risk.

“When automatic syncing is turned on, all Office files that are opened and saved are automatically synced with your Google Docs list which is stored on Google's servers. Unless you change the default setting, anyone in your domain can find and access your document. Imagine your HR professional opens an Excel document with salaries and social security numbers, makes a change and then saves. Oops, unintended and unknown sharing to the rest of the organization,” explained Tai.

Microsoft’s Omar Shahine, Group Program Manager, Windows Live, pointed out that Office users who want in-the-cloud functionality can upload their Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010 or Office for Mac documents to SkyDrive via Office Web Apps. Product Manager and guest blogger Jennifer Kensok explains why Web Apps are a better choice than Cloud Connect here.



Tags: Google, Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Web Apps, Sky Drive
About the author: George Norman
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