Google has spent years trying to place its G Suite as a viable productivity alternative to Microsoft Office products. While the company has enjoyed some success in education, in enterprise Office continues to be the dominant service. Now, Google has hired a former Microsoft Office executive for the next round of its push.
Javier Soltero, a former head of strategy for Microsoft Office, is now overseeing Google’s G Suite division. Soltero was released by Microsoft a year ago as the company underwent a reorganization of its executive branch.
His departure from Microsoft was something of a surprise. In May 2018, Soltero moved to head up Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant. By November of the same year he had left the company entirely. He will now compete directly with a product he knows well in Microsoft Office.
In his new role as Vice President of G Suite, Soltero will report to Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud.
G Suite is Google’s productivity suite of apps that include Docs, Sheets, and Gmail. While all these services are available for free, the company packages them in a subscription model with additional features.
At the start of 2019, Google updated the price of G Suite to match how much Microsoft charges for Office products.
Google said it will raise the price from $5 to $6 per user per month.
G Suite Business also received a price increase, from $10 to $12 per user per month. Enterprise Edition customers who receive the suite in bulk will not have to pay more. Google says the price changes will come into effect for annual subscribers after April 2.