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Google Attacks Microsoft With Cloud Connect

By - Source: Google | B 19 comments

Google has made its Cloud Connect plug-in for Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 generally available.

The software allows Office users to upload and synchronize their Office documents with their Google account and edit and share Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files via Google Docs. The plug-in install itself as a menu bar in the Office UI from where a user can sync and share a document.

We had a chance to take Cloud Connect for a quick spin and were impressed, but found a few rough edges, including a missing option to switch accounts with just one click. While Google says that documents are seamlessly synced up and down, our 2007-Cloud Connect tandem synced only into the cloud, but not from the cloud down to our local computers. If you consider using Cloud Connect, especially for Excel and PowerPoint, we highly recommend reading through the supported and unsupported features list as complex features in spreadsheets and fancy animations may not survive the cloud procedure.

What works, however, is the simplicity of Cloud Connect. Microsoft seems to be going cloud all the way with Office 365 and it isn't quite clear yet how local Office software will be integrated. The other option is Office Live, which works in combination with Microsoft's Skydrive cloud storage as well as Windows Live Essentials 2011/Windows Live Mesh 2011. However, the Microsoft approach is much more complicated and requires  an entire setup procedure and is limited to certain file folders that are synced, whereas Cloud Connect targets every Office document that is created (users can manually sync or have Google sync documents automatically.)

Cloud Connect is Google's strategy to take a slice from Microsoft's office pie. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft reacts.  

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  • 0 Hide
    otacon72 , February 25, 2011 12:05 AM
    I'm no MS funboi by any means but if Google, or any company for that matter, takes on MS directly they will lose.
  • 0 Hide
    danstl , February 25, 2011 12:12 AM
    Umm obviously from the screen shot provided you did not read the directions. If you want changes from others to be immediately reflected in your document you have to choose the other option "Automatic sync" We have been using this tool for some time now and found that it works perfectly.. Also as far as slide animations and such - though they wont "sync" down they are in the file that is synced up - SO if you actually download the file via the URL then you get the entire version videos/animations and all... This keeps the sync operation quick and instant - otherwise if someone put a 30MB video embeded in the powerpoint it would take a LONG ass time to sync changes :)  but the placemarker for the video would exist.

    -Dan
  • -1 Hide
    danstl , February 25, 2011 12:12 AM
    Umm obviously from the screen shot provided you did not read the directions. If you want changes from others to be immediately reflected in your document you have to choose the other option "Automatic sync" We have been using this tool for some time now and found that it works perfectly.. Also as far as slide animations and such - though they wont "sync" down they are in the file that is synced up - SO if you actually download the file via the URL then you get the entire version videos/animations and all... This keeps the sync operation quick and instant - otherwise if someone put a 30MB video embeded in the powerpoint it would take a LONG ass time to sync changes :)  but the placemarker for the video would exist.

    -Dan
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , February 25, 2011 2:49 AM
    otacon72I'm no MS funboi by any means but if Google, or any company for that matter, takes on MS directly they will lose.

    MS ain't doing so good in the Smartphone department.
  • 0 Hide
    f-14 , February 25, 2011 4:39 AM
    ahahahaaaaa can't drm crapple on the cloud microsoft, screwed yourselves over on this one.
  • 0 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , February 25, 2011 4:49 AM
    I don't like any of these cloud based ideas by Google or Microsoft...I really hope they'll all fail actually...
  • -2 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , February 25, 2011 4:54 AM
    Hey guilfylfyilyf...Why don't ya all just flake out before you arrive at toms hardware now...An enjoy a peacefull nites sleep,so we all don't have to read those rip off free add posts that ya all chuck up on these threads...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 25, 2011 5:28 AM
    When actually install this you'll laugh - Google has just shot itself in the foot!

    Their "Cloud Connect" forces you to use Microsoft - if you decide to open the document in the browser, then you can't open it in Office anymore.

    Given the choice, I think people will stay with Microsoft, or use tools like Officsync or Syncdocs which work between the two
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , February 25, 2011 10:30 AM
    otacon72I'm no MS funboi by any means but if Google, or any company for that matter, takes on MS directly they will lose.


    They already have lost really. At least in Denmark. Googles online services have been dismissd serveral times when they tried to get goverment clearance due to security reasons. Microsoft has been granted the clearance however. I'm not sure if that's because they're offering live@edu or if their security is simply more in compliance with goverment expectations.
  • 1 Hide
    bhaberle , February 25, 2011 12:32 PM
    JOSHSKORNMS ain't doing so good in the Smartphone department.


    Give it time mate. Hopefully the increased competition will help us out.
  • 1 Hide
    Camikazi , February 25, 2011 1:11 PM
    JOSHSKORNMS ain't doing so good in the Smartphone department.

    I don't think MS has ever started in first place in anything they have done, but they usually end up in top place eventually.
  • -1 Hide
    Anomalyx , February 25, 2011 3:28 PM
    WTF... um... title fail?
    Google just released a tool that allows M$ Office to be used in conjunction with Google Docs, rather than being forced to just use a browser, and it's considered an attack? Come on, at least have TRUTHFUL headlines, rather than false statements that have little to do with the actual content, just because they are sure to grab viewers. It's starting to get out of control, Tom's...
  • 0 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , February 25, 2011 4:41 PM
    Once again they have to try something new to get us to trust that future cloud based technology...It ain't going to work on me...
  • 0 Hide
    lradunovic77 , February 25, 2011 6:34 PM
    Why would someone keep their docs on Cloud is beyond me...
  • 0 Hide
    keolien , February 25, 2011 8:29 PM
    lradunovic77Why would someone keep their docs on Cloud is beyond me...


    Well, since you asked; How about reliability? 99.9%+ up time with most cloud services. Parity? Your data is guarded against system fail and loss.

    How about 10$ a user instead of paying for an IT department, Server energy and cooling costs, or the constant need to upgrade?

    If governance of data is of no issue, than it's all about the money companies can save. Many companies never go fully in the cloud and use co-existence anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    tntom , February 25, 2011 9:22 PM
    To everyone, The Cloud is great for backup, but not as a primary service. It can be very cost effective and reliable because it is offsite and readily accessible to many mobile devices. But you can't take internet connectivity for granted (Eygpt like scenarios). Nor does the Cloud have a perfect track record (remember Microsoft's blunder with Danger?). Most everyone visiting Tom's has enough common sense to know to use the Cloud for secondary off-site backup and sync.

    Tom's it would be great if you did a updated feature article on the balanced use of implementing these various back-up and syncing services with some insights from industry professionals.
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , February 26, 2011 2:41 AM
    i love spammers.
  • 0 Hide
    Khimera2000 , February 26, 2011 8:01 PM
    i would use a service like this. It would fill a need I have right now :D  how to send/receve all my school notes, from my PC at home without needing them connected to the same network.

    Im already able to sync relatively well with images, but an auto sync feature for office documents would make shuffeling paper work easy, not to mention that i wount ever have to worry about leaving a paper behind ever again :( (
  • 0 Hide
    hythos , February 28, 2011 2:42 AM
    keolienWell, since you asked; How about reliability? 99.9%+ up time with most cloud services. Parity? Your data is guarded against system fail and loss. How about 10$ a user instead of paying for an IT department, Server energy and cooling costs, or the constant need to upgrade?If governance of data is of no issue, than it's all about the money companies can save. Many companies never go fully in the cloud and use co-existence anyway.



    Data Governance. Security speaks in volumes greater than can ever be addressed. Microsoft is already pre-programming people via "Yay! Cloud!" commercials to set up Windows v8. GOogle Chrome OS exclusively storing user-data server-side concerns me more, even though I avoid Google products like the plague it is. THEY legally own the data on their servers, and may do with it what ever they wish.
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