Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 are cloud-based computing services that allow an organization’s staff to work in an identical space from any device. Workers can also communicate and collaborate on projects with ease. Which platform performs the best? Here’s an overview of both options so you can make the best decision for your business.
Google Workspace’s pricing is straightforward, with four plans in separate tiers:
- Business Starter: $6 per user per month, offering 30 gigabytes (GB) of cloud storage and access to Google’s productivity app suite
- Business Standard: $12 per user per month to add cloud search, uncapped cloud storage, and an archiving vault that stores users’ data and activity
- Business Plus: $18 per user per month with more video call capabilities and heightened security
- Enterprise: custom pricing with access to more security features and Google’s Appsheet tool, which allows you to create apps without coding
Microsoft Office 365 also has four business plans, but the pricing and additional features look slightly different:
- Business Basic: $5 per user per month with one terabyte (TB) of storage and access to the web and mobile versions of Microsoft’s Office apps (Word, Powerpoint, etc.)
- Business Standard: $12.50 per user per month with unlimited storage, registration/reporting tools, and Microsoft’s Office apps’ desktop versions with premium features
- Business Premium: $20 per user per month, with everything in Business Standard plus advanced security and cyber threat protection and more data control
- Apps for Business: $8.25 per user per month, with access to Microsoft’s desktop apps and standard security features
Google Workspace’s monthly plans give you the most bang for your buck. If you want to use Microsoft 365, you should sign up for a more cost-effective annual payment plan. You should take full advantage of Microsoft’s generous 30-day free trial before committing. Google also offers a 14-day free trial.
All of Google Workspace’s plans offer the following features:
- Gmail for Business
- Google Meet (video/voice conferencing)
- Chat (secure instant messaging)
- Shared calendars
- Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
- Keep (shared notes)
- Forms (survey builder)
- Sites (website builder)
- Currents (Workspace’s version of Google+)
- At least 30 GB of cloud file storage
- Security and administrative controls
Microsoft Office 365 also has a laundry list of features for each plan:
- Exchange Online email hosting (maximum inbox size of 100 GB)
- Web-based versions of Office Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook)
- 1 TB of OneDrive for Business file storage per user
- SharePoint Online team sites
- HD video conferencing
- Microsoft Teams or Skype Meeting Broadcast for online meetings
- Microsoft Teams for secure messaging and collaboration
- Security and administrative controls
Both platforms offer satisfactory service, but Google Workspace takes the slight upper hand once again. It provides the business email feature for all price plans, and its premium plan has more storage for a lower price.
Usability ultimately comes down to which brand you’re more familiar with. Google Workspace has a more basic user interface for beginners, while Microsoft’s applications are more advanced and flexible.
For example, Google Docs automatically saves your work and lets you share it with other users in seconds, but its design scope is somewhat limited. Microsoft Word requires you to save your work manually, but you can make more detailed modifications with a wider array of tools.
Since over one-third of the world’s population uses email, it’s naturally the go-to communication method for both platforms. Gmail and Microsoft Outlook are reliable business email services, allowing companies to set up their own branded emails and offering plenty of storage space.
Here are some noteworthy numbers for Gmail to consider:
- Has a minimum of 30 GG storage
- Allows attachments up to 25 megabytes (MB)
- Can send up to 2,000 emails a day and receive over 86,000
- Provides a comprehensive Gmail business setup guide
- Has a mobile app
Outlook also has some impressive features:
- 50 GB storage limit (separate from your overall cloud storage, so emails won’t take up space in OneDrive)
- Can send up to 5,000 emails a day
- Has a mobile app
The new Outlook app has a consistent design compared to its browser and desktop versions, while the Gmail app looks quite different from its counterparts. However, Google Workspace takes the overall advantage because its email is less than half the price and offers more storage and security features.
Google Workspace’s creation apps (Docs, Sheets, and Slides) have browser and mobile app versions, though the browser is more popular. The absence of desktop means you must have an internet connection to work, but Google has solved this issue by adding an “offline access” feature to the apps. Though the work cannot autosave while offline, you can still make changes and save them when you reconnect.
You might be more familiar with Microsoft Office 365’s main apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) from the 2000s, but they have changed a lot over the years. They are available as desktop, browser, and mobile apps. Like Google Workspace, you can work offline and save the changes once you regain an internet connection.
Microsoft Office 365 has the advantage because its apps have been around for almost 30 years and the public knows them better. It also offers a wider variety of templates and design features, such as tables and charts.
WHICH IS BEST? IT DEPENDS ON YOUR BUSINESS.
Google took the upper hand in most of the categories discussed, but you and your staff’s comfortability with the platform should be the final word. Choose the service you believe will empower your business to succeed, not which one might be easier. Easier is not always better. Evaluate your company’s needs, consider the above information, and make the best decision for your situation.