Microsoft enlisted former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Rob Schneider and disgraced baseball star Pete Rose to denigrate Google Docs in two new videos that posted to the Web Friday.
The videos posted on Microsoft's Office 365 blog suggest that users gamble every time they trust their productivity to Google Docs.
Of course, it's a time-tested strategy for Microsoft, which rolled out its Gmail Man videos two years ago, broadsiding Google's email service for its contextual advertising program.
In one of the new videos, two buddies hit a casino. One asks if they should play poker or blackjack, favoring the latter because two attractive women are at that table. But his friend opts instead for a table marked "Google Docs."
To win a shiny keychain, the player has to open a file from Microsoft Office with Google Docs "without data loss and format discrepancy," according to dealer Schneider. Of course, he fails, enduring the loss of his credibility and upcoming promotion. The video ends with Pete Rose stepping up to the table, but declining to play, saying, "It's too big a gamble, even for me."
The second video features Schneider's Google Docs character playing pickup basketball with two guys, facing off against another pair that have teamed with player called Microsoft Office. Schneider gets his shots blocked, puts the ball in the wrong basket, and generally slows his teammates down, saying, "To be honest, I'm not exactly Microsoft Office over there."
In one of the blog posts that accompanies the videos, Jake Zborowski, a senior product manager in the Office group, wrote that documents created in Office, the most widely used productivity application, don't always open correctly in Google Docs.
"People often entrust important information in these documents -- from board presentations to financial analyses to book reports," Zborowski writes. "You should be able to trust that what you intend to communicate is what is being seen."
Google declined to comment on the videos. But the company did have a victory of its own Friday. The city of Boston dumped its Microsoft Exchange email system for Google Apps, according to the Boston Globe.