Google starting to take on Microsoft with corporate Gmail tools

Platform Industry: Google search engine

Google has announced that its corporate Gmail customers would now be able to edit documents and other files without leaving the email service, as it aims to lure clients from rivals by making its tools more integrated.

KEY POINTS:

  • Google’s corporate Gmail customers would now be able to edit documents and other files without leaving the Email service
  • Consumers using the free version of Gmail may have access to the new integrations in the future
  • This is part of a move towards taking on Microsoft

The announcement was made at Google’s cloud unit’s annual customer and partner conference, which has been turned into a virtual gathering over several weeks because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Google has been trying for more than a decade to catch up with Microsoft Corp’s Office, which dominates the global market for corporate Email and document-editing tools.

Both companies have been adding video-calling features and other collaboration tools to attract new business from companies operating from home during the pandemic.

Google contends it has found an edge with potential customers by promoting Gmail as a single hub for workers to access text chats, video calls and now documents. Microsoft has limited tie-ins between its email and chat tools, Outlook and Teams.

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“Microsoft is still telling you there’s two separate places to check, two different habits, two inboxes to look at,” Javier Soltero, a Google VP who used to work for Microsoft, said in an interview on Wednesday.

“They are not incentivised to do a deep integration between Teams and Outlook,” Soltero said, without elaborating.

Consumers using the free version of Gmail may have access to the new integrations in the future, Soltero said.

Microsoft, which has continued to post fast Office revenue growth, declined to comment.

Google on Wednesday introduced some options already on Microsoft Teams, including the ability for chat users to list an “out of office” notice and “pin” conversations to make them easier to find later.

Via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Paresh Dave. Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Peter Cooney.

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