Cloud Computing: Google Docs, Microsoft Word Web App Files Face Off in Cloud Comparison
Google and Microsoft have added some heat and spice to the Web-based collaboration software race, tossing barbs at each other every step of the way. This became particularly true in the last two years when Microsoft began to more aggressively push cloud collaboration software, offering its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) and other services to compete with Google Apps and its Docs suite of word processing, spreadsheet and presentation apps. Microsoft as usual has stumbled its way through name changes, and BPOS morphed into Office 365, which it released to beta testers April 18 as its answer to the Google Docs apps. While Google rewrote Docs to provide higher performance and to add several new features, including more social comments, Google Enterprise executives have boasted that they kept the suite simple and free of a lot of the throwaway features critics claim are prevalent in Microsoft Office. Google also claimed its software reads Microsoft Office docs with great fidelity. To put this to the test, Microsoft created this SharePoint Website highlighting the differences in file fidelity between the same Word file saved on Windows Live SkyDrive and Google Docs. In this slide show, eWEEK walks through Microsoft's document comparison.
Microsoft stated on its Website that "People expect existing documents from their desktop to look exactly the same when they share them in the cloud. In this demo, you will see completely different results when viewing the same document using Word Web App and using Google Documents." The circles call out file integrity differences that come through in Word Web App and Google Docs.