Moving from Office -- change is hard

Perhaps the biggest reason that companies resist leaving Microsoft Office is the question "Why change anything if it all works fine?"

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Perhaps the biggest reason that companies resist leaving Microsoft Office is the question "Why change anything if it all works fine?"

Andre Preoteasa, the IT director at Castle Brands Inc., said he hasn't switched to Google Apps partly because he is worried that it would disorient end users accustomed to Office.

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Enterprises hold onto Microsoft Office despite Google Apps option

"They are used to Outlook ... so to change it could interfere in their day-to-day work," Preoteasa said.

But others will deal with the initial discomfort because the price is right. Ben Baugher is an IT administrator at an Arkansas-based heating and ventilation manufacturer representative company that has been a Microsoft shop for almost 30 years. He recently migrated 100 employees to Google Apps in anticipation of 30% savings per year. Employees picked up Google Apps "surprisingly quick and with very little training," he said.

"Some people have complained about not having the same editing features they have with Microsoft Office. They also want better email signature, delivery confirmations, better formatting and spell check," Baugher said.

Google acknowledges that its nascent Docs product doesn't have all the features that some Microsoft users want.

"We know there are things in Office that we don't have, but we continue to develop based on what businesses want and roll those features out quickly," said Google Apps senior product manager Rajen Sheth.

Instead of shipping out a major release every three or four years, Google adds new features every few months, and since Google's own employees do all the patch management work, they can rolls those features out to customers as they come, Sheth said.

-- By Bridget Botelho, News Writer

This was first published in February 2010

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