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By | Kelly Fiveash 19th October 2009 10:46

Google limbers up for Windows 7 with Apps billboard onslaught

Behind every cloud is another cloud

Google is doing its utmost to piss on Microsoft’s chips ahead of the official 22 October launch of Windows 7, by expanding its “Going Google” campaign to lure customers away from the software giant.

Until recently Mountain View has characteristically shied away from marketing its products by splashing flashy ads on billboards.

But all that changed in August when the firm began a US advertising campaign to convince biz customers to tear up their Software Assurance agreements with Microsoft in favour of a cloudier Apps option with Google.

Today the web kingpin is cranking up the publicity machine, spouting impressive figures that it hopes will snare yet more customers. Google Apps is now powering two million businesses used by 20 million people in 40 languages worldwide, the company pronounced.

To underline all of that, the “Going Google” campaign that kicked off Stateside in August has been expanded to the UK, France, Canada, Australia, Japan and Singapore.

Oh, and it's scored a few big customer wins along the way too.

"We're happy to welcome companies around the world such as Konica Minolta, Rentokil Initial and TOTO that have just decided to go Google," wrote Google's Tom Oliveri and Vivian Leung in a blog post today.

Motorola, Heinz and BP have also put their faith in Google's occasionally shaky cloud.

"These companies no longer have to deal with the hassles of managing email servers or rolling out software updates, and their employees now enjoy the convenience of shared documents and calendars, Gmail and more," said Oliveri and Leung.

Of course for now at least, Google is gunning for Microsoft Office and Sharepoint customers, seeing as the firm doesn’t actually have an operating system to compete with Windows 7 just yet.

However, its decision to ramp up its advertising campaign in the week that Windows 7 officially debuts isn’t a coincidence. And - as we’ve noted before - the fact that the wonks at Google have dropped cash on a big billboard campaign, which is the sort of thing Microsoft’s been doing with at best mixed results for many years, is a major declaration: take your seats in the arena, audience - this is truly game on. ®

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