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Microsoft touts Office 365 buyers that dumped Google Apps

On the eve of the Google I/O conference, Microsoft picks a loud fight with Google over online office suites.

Office 365 logo

There are a lot of businesses that pay for office suites, but two days before the Google I/O show, Microsoft spotlighted three that picked its Office 365 after trying Google Apps.

Google got a head start with Google Apps, the online service that includes Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. But Microsoft has a massive customer base using its old-school Office products who are natural candidates for moving to Microsoft's online suite.

Three customers -- Sensia Halsovard, Sepco III, and Arysta LifeScience -- all picked Office 365 "after having deployed or piloted Google Apps," Microsoft touted Monday.

Arysta LifeScience dumped Google Apps because of employee dissatisfaction with Google Apps' shared calendar and offline usability limits, Microsoft said.

Microsoft and Google have been in a publicity competition over the services of late to try to show that customers are voting with their wallets. Microsoft also recently announced that Caltex Australia, Santa Clara County, and FHI 360 selected Office 365, the latter because it concluded Microsoft had the only cloud-computing option that complied with their needs for security and HIPAA health-care regulations.

Microsoft also took potshots at Google Apps features and shortcomings even as Google won a 20,000-employee contract with the city of Boston.

Google often announces new abilities for its Google Apps services at Google I/O. One area with significant recent changes is Google's Quickoffice product line that is used for opening Microsoft Office documents using Android and Chrome. Google has been working to give Quickoffice the ability to edit Office files instead of just to read them.

Google Apps costs $50 per user per year or $5 per user per month. Office 365 costs $100 per year for a household for personal users. For business users, Office 365 per-user fees range from $60 per year for Office 365 Small Business to $180 per year for the Midsize Business version to $240 per year for the Enterprise E3 plan, which also includes the conventional PC-based Office suite.