Microsoft Online Chief: I Would Never Log Into A Chromebook

Is Google Lagging?

Rizzo claimed that Google Apps is far behind Microsoft in features, particularly when it comes to Excel. "Excel is just a million years ahead of what Google Docs provides," he said. He also noted the lack of offline access for Google Apps and the limited support options, and said Microsoft products are more robust in offering fine-grained control over IT administration.

To be fair, Google is promising offline access for this summer, and says it plans to expand 24/7 phone support for Google Apps.

Google Calendar users have been complaining over the past week about poor customer service in response to email and text message reminders not working.

But no cloud service is immune to downtime. Microsoft's hosted email suffered outages this month. Rizzo contenda that customers are better off with Microsoft than Google when outages occur, because Microsoft provides refunds on the customer's next bill, instead of tacking days on to the end of the service term as Google does for customers of its annual plan.

Google also defines downtime as "more than a five percent user error rate," whereas Rizzo said at Microsoft, "If one person is affected, it's considered downtime."

Microsoft has not yet spelled out how many customers will receive service credits or what the value of the credits will be.

But, Rizzo said, "We do our best to minimize the outages but if we don't meet our SLAs, we give our customers credits."

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