The days of Microsoft being able to ignore the competition or overstep “dirty words” are long gone, as evidenced by a corporate Office 2010 blog post written by the company’s customer service and support veep yesterday.
Perhaps Barbara Gordon has heeded the cry from her workmate Frank X Shaw, who late last week urged Microsoft staff to accentuate the software giant’s positives to anyone who cared to listen.
In a defensive post, Gordon takes a swipe at Google Docs in the second paragraph of her missive.
Sipping straight from Shaw’s Kool-Aid, Gordon noted that through her “conversations with friends, family, and with many of our largest customers that once they do need help, they are glad that we are there.” All of which fits in with Shaw’s mantra to the Redmonian troupe to big up Microsoft’s successes.
“The launch of Office 2010 earlier this month reminded me just how much this makes us different. When was the last time you called Google for help recovering a lost Google Doc?” asked Gordon.
“Were you even able to find a number? My guess is, no. In my opinion and the opinion of others, Google simply does not provide that level of service.”
Cue the sales pitch for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010, which Gordon claimed comes bundled with superior support over the rivals.
But the very fact that Microsoft now has to speak to its customers about Google, shows just how much the company feels under pressure in the office productivity software game.
Gordon goes on at some length about the different types of support Microsoft has to offer to its customers, including via its Office.com website, on Twitter and Facebook, and even that quaint old method of being available on the telephone.
But she’s also quick to give the whole thing a reality check.
“Ideally, customers would never even have to reach out for help when using our products. But since that is not yet a reality for any company, we want our customers to feel confident that Microsoft will provide the best service and support tools and capabilities, allowing us to deliver a much better support experience versus our competitors.”
But doth the lady protest against Google too much? Arguably, yes. Office 2010 only hit retail shelves earlier this month along with Office Apps - which is Microsoft’s online rival to Google Docs.
That said, it will be months before we get a better picture of what impact, if any, the launch has had on Microsoft’s sales, and indeed whether it’s suffered because of the Mountain View Chocolate Factory’s rival product.
However, the very fact that Gordon has taken time out to chide the competition suggests that Microsoft wonks are already looking over their shoulders. ®