Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Microsoft BPOS vs Google Apps pricing

So I'm looking at Microsoft's BPOS and pricing: It starts at $10 per user per month with a minimum of 5 seats, taking account of an exchange rate of 1 U.S. dollar = 0.64230201 British pounds (at 28/072010) that's £6.42 a month but a minimum of 5 means that the least that can be charged is £32.10 a month for the Standard Suite. That's £385.20 a year for the minimum number of users (5).

Then I looked at Google Apps, they charge £33 a year a user.

Already it looks like Google are cheaper at £33 as apposed to £77.04 for a years subscription.

Per User Per Year

But that there minimum user thing is a kicker. If we look at a like-for-like of 5 users then the difference is £165 for Google Apps and £385.20 for Microsoft BPOS. That's a £220.20 saving!

5 User Per Year

It's not a totally fair comparison though as the offering are different. With Microsoft there does seem to be many more whistles and bells though you're limited to using it with Internet Explorer or FifeFox (> 3.0)... there are also stipulated system requirements which might make a difference to some organisations.

It also links in with other Microsoft products, which can be either good or bad depending upon how you feel about it I guess, it'll certainly make a difference when it comes to upgrading software on the User's machines though. Whereas all that seems to be required with the Google Apps is to have a browser (though using IE6 might be an issue).

With the drive to do more with less at the forefront of most organisations' thinking it'll be interesting to discover who does best. The expensive security blanket offered by Microsoft is a definite choice but Google Apps is getting to be more and more mature and there are more and more things that can be done with it. It seems to be a much more innovative approach, and certainly closer to the ideal of cloud based applications.


  1. Dominic,

    At first glance price seems everything. And let's be honoust price really matters in many cases. You could ask yourself in the case of IT solution what value a solution brings to end-users / organsiations.

    In your approach however you have to realise, you only focus on price and in this case comparing apples to oranges.
    Have a look at :


    Being a Microsoft employee my opion is coloured, but on the other hand a growing number of (former) Google Apps clients migrating to Microsoft Online Services may be the best proof that price is not a differentiator anymore (if ever).

  2. Hi Peter,

    thanks for your comment. You're correct in that I'm only looking at price, I'm sorry if you thought that I wasn't, perhaps I wasn't clear enough? Perhaps some bias was introduced but that's because I'm coming from a background of using Open Source Technologies such as PHP and, more frequently now, Java.

    Microsoft has done some interesting things recently with it's support for PHP on IIS and that's something that's on my list of things to investigate... as is Azure (I've a nice SitePoint tutorial waiting to be looked at). I'm also in the process of getting my poor battered head around C# so I'm not against Microsoft per se.

    Perhaps some bias was introduced from my background... I've signed up for a trial account of BPOS and I'm looking to see how to send emails programmatically... if that's easy enough I may swap... except that I'll only be needing the one account rather than 5 ;-). I really shouldn't be too biased though, I've run Windows since 3.1 and never managed to run Linux for a sustained length of time (perhaps down to my lack of skill... perhaps I shouldn't be so into Slackware (perhaps not the easiest distribution to start with!)).

    Thanks again for your comment.