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Doug's Mailbag: Using Google Apps?

Readers share their likes and dislikes for Google Apps:

I use Google Apps for a non-profit organization that I run. Why? It is completely free for me to use the base applications. I would much rather use Office 365, but we like to see the funds collected by our organization be spent on our organizations goals.

As the Technical Coordinator of a small, non-profit school, I use Google Apps for education because it's free and it's an excellent product. However, I don't think I would have recommended it for this organization if we had to pay for it. We certainly would not be using Exchange or Office 365.

Since setting it up just over a year ago for our internal, administrative use, we have expanded it to the entire student population. The document and calendaring features have transformed how we operate for the better and communication with our student population has improved dramatically. Every issue I've had with it (so far) has been fixed in a few months with seamless upgrades.

On the flip side, I also do freelance consulting work and use the free version of Google Apps for my business.

I recently tried to set up Office 365 for a client only to have its system fail repeatedly. It refused to recognize DNS settings and therefore refused to accept e-mail for the domain. I had to migrate the client to Google Apps and the entire process cost us both money, headaches and lost e-mails. Sorry Microsoft, I tried.

Yes we use Google apps. We were forced to change by administration. No one likes it. Matter of fact, everyone hates it. It's like going from that Cadillac you were talking about to a Kia. Everyone wants Outlook back.

As we speak I am migrating (automatically with the nifty email migration interface) about 33 GB of current and archived mail from Gmail to Office 365 Exchange Plan 2 (the one with a 25 GB mailbox and gratuitous archiving). I have been archiving personal and business mail to Gmail via IMAP for over a year and I have been really pleased with the concept and Android integration. But I think Gmail e-mail formatting stinks and, quite frankly, think Google is slimy about privacy. Plus, I prefer the Outlook-Exchange user experience and performance.

I think Google and Microsoft are going to stay pretty close in features and price for the foreseeable future, so it comes down to who I want to do business with...and my preference is Microsoft.

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Posted by Doug Barney on 11/14/2011 at 1:18 PM

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 Tom

I think Office 365 is a better fit for us that Google apps, but I also believe Google apps does meet a need for some. My concern though is regarding decisions based on 'free'. If people are looking for free then they can also look at office web apps on hotmail - it works well. But basing decisions simply on cost is not an option for us nor something we feel is right. We put our money where we see long term viability and where we see that an organization's business model/beliefs closely align with our own. Microsoft is like a glacier, slow moving, slow to change, sometimes vexing, but does make consistent progress, is mostly predicatable (very important for long term tech planning) and has done so much to further the industry (some good, some not so good). They generate their revenue on the sales/services of actual products (rather than on ads), and so are actually building something,,, it might sound ridiculous or old fashioned but I believe in this concept. Making a quick buck isn't so difficult, but looing at the long-term and building something that lasts, IS, and seems to be a dying art. These days people always want something for nothing and its just sad. Software is valuable and I believe in paying for it DIRECTLY and so supporting those programmers DIRECTLY. Of course there are people/orgs who genuinely can not afford to pay, and so using free stuff is certainly understandable. But what I can not fathom are those who have plenty of money and still don't want to pay, believing it should be free. Imagine if a 3rd world country were to just give away steel for free? Should the developed world just take it? What happens to the rest of the steel industry? What happens to that talent? Should they move to that country for work? What happens when there is no competition left, will it still be free? What about quality and innovation? Might sound ridiculous but we as a society need to think about the kind of world we want to live in and the kinds of organizations we wish to support. My apologies for being a bit off topic but it touches a nerve.

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 doug houston

google:.. i agree.. we need a better email client form you . I KNOW you can do better.. your client is a toy for novices.

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