Auckland: Alphabet Inc.’s Google said on Wednesday that its corporate Gmail customers can now edit documents and other files without leaving the email service because the company aims to attract competitors’ customers by making its tools more integrated.
The announcement was made at the annual customer and partner meeting of Google’s cloud department, which has become a virtual party within a few weeks due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus.
For more than a decade, Google has struggled to catch up with Microsoft’s Office, which dominates the global enterprise email and document editing tool market.
The two companies have been adding video calling capabilities and other collaboration tools to attract new businesses from companies operating at home during the pandemic.
Google believes that it has found an advantage among potential customers by promoting Gmail as a single hub for employees to access text chats, video calls, and now documents. Microsoft has limited connections between email and chat tools, Outlook and the team.
“Microsoft is still telling you there’s two separate places to check, two different habits, two inboxes to look at,” Javier Soltero, a Google vice president who used to work for Microsoft, said in an interview on Wednesday.
“They are not incentivized to do a deep integration between Teams and Outlook,” Soltero said, without elaborating.
Consumers using the free version of Gmail may have access to the new integrations in the future, Soltero said.
Microsoft continues to maintain rapid growth in Office revenue and declined to comment.
Google introduced some options on Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, including the ability for chat users to list “out of office” notifications and “fixed” conversations for later search.