What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is a family of productivity software and cloud-based services by Microsoft. This includes online services such as Outlook Web App (OWA), OneDrive for Business (ODB), Microsoft Teams, Exchange Server, SharePoint, Yammer, and desktop applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook. It covers subscription plans and license-based subscriptions for desktop and mobile as well as hosted email and intranet services.
What is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace (formerly known as Google Apps and later G Suite) is a collection of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed and marketed by Google. It consists of Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, Meet and Chat for communication, Currents for employee engagement, Drive for storage and the Google Docs Editors suite for content creation. Depending on the edition, Google Workspace also includes Jamboard, a digital interactive whiteboard and the option to purchase add-ons such as Voice Phone service. The Education edition adds a learning platform to Google Classroom and is now called Workspace for Education.
Overview of Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace Plans
Microsoft 365 Business Plans
Microsoft 365 Enterprise Plans
Google Workspace Plans
Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace
Every business / organization has different needs and may value certain apps. For some companies, word processing and email are the most important apps in the office suite, while others need a powerful spreadsheet program above all else. For better understanding, the comparison of top office apps in Microsoft 365 & Google Workspace will allow an organization to focus on the apps that matter most to the business and make overall decisions based on the app’s strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the highlights below.
Word Processing: Microsoft Word vs Google Docs
Microsoft Word is fully functional, familiar, and designed for performance. The latest version of Word adds collaboration features for Google Workspace. The original server version of the app has an extra layer of security to protect your data.
Google Docs is more basic and designed for collaboration. It’s similar to Word, but the interface isn’t familiar and doesn’t work seamlessly. Also, since Docs doesn’t have an original version, switching between versions of Word on the server and the web-based Docs app increases the risk of data inconsistency.
Spreadsheets: Microsoft Excel vs Google Sheet
Microsoft Excel is the most powerful and complete option when it comes to creating smart business spreadsheets. Excel has advanced formatting and scripting features that are ideal for analyzing macros and provides the ability to run more complex programs directly from the Excel platform. Built for business intelligence, this set of functions are not available in Google Sheets.
Google Sheets is a basic spreadsheet application. It is great for tracking contacts and solving basic math equations. The app also has a built-in chat window for discussing table changes and collaborating in real time. But when it comes to discovery data, pivot tables, and business intelligence, Google Sheets offer far less functionality.
Presentations: Microsoft PowerPoint vs Google Slides
Microsoft PowerPoint is an effective and user-friendly presentation software that is globally used in many organizations. It offers formatting & styling capabilities which are diverse & dynamic with many desirable built-in templates. Microsoft PowerPoint also offers powerful media integration with Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube. Once video files are added to the presentation, it can record them and use them in offline presentations.
Google Slide is similar to PowerPoint but doesn’t offer the same kind of templates or features. The app is easy to use and easy to format, but its limited functionality doesn’t allow to be as creative as PowerPoint. Google Slides has native YouTube integration, but a network connection is required to create and view presentations with embedded web videos.
Email: Microsoft Outlook vs Gmail
Many a time, the question arises, how does Gmail match with Outlook and what sets the two apart. Both email platforms have many similar features. However, there are some key differences between Microsoft and Google approach to email optimization. Some of the similarities are,
- Managing company branded email addresses
- 2 step Authentication
- Spam Filtering
- Advanced malware detection with real-time link scanning and notification of potentially unsafe links.
- Calendar Integration
- Customizable Themes
- Implement legal locks on mailboxes to prevent users from misusing sensitive customer data.
Microsoft Outlook is integrated with web app, and it also includes desktop version that comes with Microsoft 365 suite which allows a user to use online and offline. A user can access all their email account data offline if it is locally saved. Microsoft Outlook has a built-in folder organization system with a familiar look and planned email routing options. The Outlook platform is customizable based on user preferences. If users want to streamline the look in Outlook, they can close the sidebar and choose single-pane or dual-pane view. Outlook also provides tools for customizing the user experience. Most notable is the ability to set rules and quick steps. These features are strong and thorough, maximizing the productivity of business users. Microsoft Outlook previously didn’t have two-step verification, but this feature has been rolled out to all Office 365 apps as a security feature. This helps users to rest assured in online environment where email security is a major concern. Outlook also offers seamless email calendar integration and the ability to cross integrate. In addition, Outlook Calendar comes with many resources management options and integration with different meeting apps such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, etc.
Gmail can only be used and accessed online without using third-party software. Gmail can be deployed alongside native versions of Outlook, along with other third-party offline platforms. A user can access Gmail offline using Chrome and Safari, but this must be configured individually in each browser using a Gmail extension. However, the interface is clumsy and only shows email data for the last month. Gmail comes with built-in default smart sorting categories. When a user opens her Gmail account for the first time, priority is assigned to various emails as filtering begins. This filtering is automatic but limited to Google’s default categories. The user cannot customize them, but the categories can be removed, and tags can be added for searching. However, it is not customizable as Outlook. Gmail doesn’t have the ability to set rules or routing preferences, and customization of the display is limited. Users can change the look and feel of their inbox but cannot change the number of windows for visual display.
Communication & Collaboration: Microsoft Teams vs Google Chat, Meet & Spaces
Google Workspace is superior to Microsoft 365 when it comes to document collaboration. It’s built into the interface and doesn’t feel like an afterthought like Office apps do where you can invite people to collaborate, set contribution rights and chat while working together. The collaboration and how to do in Office app is not seamless as in Google apps. Collaborating on individual documents is one of its parts but when it comes to complex collaboration capabilities, Microsoft 365 has better tools than what Google Workspace offers. Microsoft Teams, combines group chats, online meetings, video conferencing, customized workspaces, calendars, and a shared team file repository in more sophisticated and convenient ways than Google offers. Also, Microsoft Teams is connected with other Office platform, easily integrating with Outlook, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, and more. Google Workspace has Google Meet for video conferencing and Google Chat for messaging. Google Spaces is a workflow integration and collaboration platform integrated with Google Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and Tasks. It allows users to create shared workspaces where they can chat, share files, and assign tasks. These tools are useful and easy to use but not as powerful as what Microsoft 365 offers. Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace has their own social network-like platforms to interact with each other like Yammer in Microsoft 365 & Currents in Google Workspace.
Storage and File Sharing: Microsoft SharePoint & OneDrive for Business vs Google Sites & Google Drive
An important feature for business users is the ability to manage content, streamline the organization, and access resources and data. Both Microsoft 365 & Google Workspace has specific applications for content management.
Microsoft SharePoint is dynamic and has built-in metadata tagging that not only provides the ability to link to references within SharePoint sites, but also links to files in organization servers. It has big capacity for collaboration with built-in check-in and check-out functionality that prevents concurrent changes. The management tools and versioning history allows a user to identify the changes and compare it with related documents. With these streamlined, automated workflow processes & proper permissions, users will save time to access files & folders and no additional uploading is required.
Microsoft OneDrive for Business offers from 1TB of storage per user under Business plans to 5TB of storage per user under Enterprise plans. OneDrive for Business integrates with Office suites and allows a user to access the files on any device. With Microsoft 365, everything is synced, on each device and in the cloud. Also, there is an option to keep certain files and folders only in the cloud. OneDrive has a feature called OneDrive Files On Demand that allows users to decide, per file, per folder, which files to keep on individual devices and which to keep in the cloud. However, all files and folders in the cloud are always available and can be downloaded when required.
Google Sites has quick and easy deployment with simple and clean user interface. They are easier to use than SharePoint but has very few features. The site design is very similar to the Wikipedia site and like wiki pages, it links to other pages within Google Sites. The site customization is limited, and the users cannot change the HTML code on the website. Therefore, users are limited to Google defaults and no branding features are available. Search functionality is limited to individual sites and the uploaded data is accessible from within the site. Therefore, if there is a spreadsheet that is not linked to a Google site, then it won’t be visible.
Google Drive offers 30GB of storage per user under Business Starter, 2TB of storage per user under Business Standard, 5TB of storage per user under Business Plus and unlimited storage under Enterprise plan. Google Drive integrates Google suites and allows a user to access the files on any device. In Google Workspace, the files are by-default saved in cloud, but they can also be saved locally. Google Workspace provides administrative tools where admins can control if users can access documents and use Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides when the computer isn’t connected to the internet. Using this tool, administrators can install a policy that allows this access on each computer, or let each user decide whether to allow offline access.
- Extras and Other Tools: Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace
Microsoft 365 has some other tools which are part of M365 Suite.
- Power Automate (previously called Microsoft Flow)
Google Workspace has some extra tools which are part of Google Suite.
The Final Verdict
Google Workspace is well-designed, clean and has a maintainable platform. It’s easy to use and has features similar to Microsoft 365. For organizations looking for the most robust, feature-rich, professional, and customizable software suite, Microsoft 365 is recommended, but it depends on the unique needs of the organizations.