Hoping to lure small business users who were unhappy with Google’s recent decision to eliminate the free version of its Google Apps software, Microsoft has extended its free trial period for their competing service, Office 365, from 30 to 90 days.
On December 7th, Google announced that new users of their Google Apps for Business service would have to pay $50 per user per year starting in January 2013, regardless of the size of their company. This price increase does not apply to businesses or users who are already using the free service.
The new fee Google’s charging is cheaper than the current fee charged by Microsoft for their Office 365 product. According to Microsoft’s website, Office 365 Small Business costs $6 per user per month or $72 per year. The 90-day Office 365 Small Business trial will be available until the end of February.
This is the second offer Microsoft has pitched directly at Google users. On Monday, Microsoft offered free Outlook.com accounts after Google announced they would no longer support Google Sync starting January 30. Though Google Sync never progressed beyond beta status, it’s currently the only syncing method for Gmail accounts on iOS devices such as iPhones & iPads.
Microsoft is hoping Small Business users who were affected by the recent changes by Google will be open to switching their service. Chaundra Smith, Founder of Naturally Me, a beauty product line, is an example of a small business owner who switched from Google to Microsoft. On Technet.com she’s gave the following quote: “I had no hesitations moving Naturally Me to the cloud because Office 365 is from Microsoft, so it felt safe and secure.”
Source: Why Microsoft