The Microsoft Google face-off has extended to software as a service. Both companies are now shopping for small-businesses with their respective services. While Microsoft has Office Live, Google has
introduced Google Apps-Premier Edition. In order to push the offering of Office Live, Microsoft has partnered with Best Buy and is selling subscriptions cards for Microsoft Office Live services.
With Office Live, the Redmond Company is delivering a set of comprehensible services to small businesses helping them establish an online presence. Via Office Live Basics (free), Office Live Essentials ($19.95/month) and Office Live Premium ($39.95/month) small businesses will be able to create a website with 2 GB of storage space, have access to a maximum of 50 company-branded email accounts and to a search engine advertising tool etc.
"Microsoft Office Live has established a great track record of providing small businesses with the same tools available to larger businesses," said Michael Schultz, U.S. business and marketing lead for Office Live at Microsoft. "We can add wings to any business by helping even the smallest one establish a professional Web presence in just minutes. It's just like private jet travel with the Marquis Jet Card program: a better way for small-business owners to promote and manage their business - wherever their business takes them."
The Google Apps Premier Edition is the Mountain View search giant's response to Microsoft. Google is delivering what appears to be a superior deal to Microsoft's offerings: 10 GBs of storage per user
APIs for business integration, 99.9 % uptime, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Start Page, Google Docs & Spreadssheets, and all for $50 per user account per year.
"Businesses are looking for applications that are simple and intuitive for employees, but also offer the security, reliability and manageability their organizations require," said Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager, Google Enterprise. "With Google Apps, our customers can tap into an unprecedented stream of technology and innovation at a fraction of the cost of traditional installed solutions."