Monday, August 3, 2009

Google woos IT managers with old-tech billboards

SAN FRANCISCO — Google on Monday resorted to old-time outdoor billboards in its quest to convince business IT managers to use software applications that the Internet titan offers as services online.

Messages that will change each work day for four weeks debuted on billboards along major commute routes in Boston, Chicago, New York City and San Francisco, according to Google Creative Lab managing director Andy Berndt.

"The billboards tell the story of an anonymous IT manager who gets so fed up with the typical IT status quo that his company eventually, you guessed it, goes Google," Berndt wrote in a message on the California firm's website.

Motorola and Genentech are reportedly among more than 1.75 million businesses, schools and organizations that use Google Apps programs online instead of installing and maintaining software on their networks.

The Google Apps suite includes calendar, document and email programs that compete with packaged offerings at the heart of Microsoft's software empire.

Google charges businesses 50 dollars per worker per year to use programs it offers online, referred to as "in the cloud." Google Apps are offered free to individuals for personal use.

The Internet giant recently declared its Apps suite out of test, or beta, status in a bid to assure businesses that they can rely on the services.

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