Cloud-based productivity is taking the world by storm, and the two heavyweights duking it out for domination are Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.
Both are respectable choices that leave small business owners wondering which one to choose. Do you go with the well-established Microsoft 365 or the relatively new Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite?
The two platforms have distinct differences that make each attractive for businesses. But if you only had to choose one, which one would it be?
In this post, we’ll do a side-by-side analysis of Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 so you can make an informed decision.
Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace: A Quick Overview
In case you’re new to these two platforms, let’s take a moment to review the basics.
Google Workspace is a cloud-based suite of applications designed to make collaboration and productivity easier for businesses. It includes all software apps most corporate users are familiar with (Gmail, Slides, Calendar, Docs, etc.), as well as tight-knit integration between the core services.
Microsoft 365 is a desktop-based suite of software that combines flagship Microsoft applications and productivity tools, such as PowerPoint, Outlook, Word, and Excel. Those who get it also gain access to other Microsoft products, such as Windows Server and Back Office applications.
The most significant difference between the two platforms is their native environment. Google Workspace is web-based, while Microsoft 365 is installed on desktops via click-to-run packages.
Now, it’s true that both platforms can function in the other’s environment. However, neither is as powerful in its non-native state.
But that’s not the only factor differentiating the two suites. Let’s explore other points of comparison for Microsoft 365 vs. Google Workspace.
Head-to-head: Microsoft 365 vs. Google Workspace
Alright, let’s get down to the specifics. Here’s how Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace compare on various fronts.
Microsoft Word is fully-featured and has been continuously refined over the years to offer a seamless user experience. Lately, Microsoft has equipped it with collaborative capabilities so that it keeps up with Google Workspace. Plus, with native server versions of the app, data is protected by additional layers of security.
On the other hand, Google Docs is designed with collaboration in mind and is more minimalist, but lacks the familiarity and seamlessness of Word. It also has no native version, which increases the risk of losing data integrity when moving between the on-server versions of Word and the web-based Docs app.
PowerPoint is a tried-and-true presentation software that’s been widely embraced by the business community. With dynamic formatting and style features, it offers a range of attractive built-in templates and robust media integration with social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. What’s more, video files added to a presentation can be used offline for added convenience.
While Slides offers a similar experience to PowerPoint, the app falls short of variety. Although it’s user-friendly and offers a variety of features, you don’t get as much flexibility as with PowerPoint. And while a YouTube integration is available for Slides, you need an active, stable internet connection to create and share presentations.
Microsoft 365 offers Outlook as its default email app, which comes in both a browser-based and desktop version. The desktop version is a key selling point for many businesses–it offers a lot of flexibility in how users can sort, label, and manage your email.
On the other hand, Google Workspace’s default email app is Gmail, which is robust, fast, and offers powerful search functionality – something you’d expect from Google. Gmail’s search box provides customized results based on past user behavior, making it easy to find messages or contacts.
However, Gmail has limitations in sorting and grouping mail, which may lead users to look for alternative options. For example, some users may prefer to use a desktop email program like the free Thunderbird or even Outlook in conjunction with Gmail. Despite this, Gmail remains a strong email option within the Google Workspace suite.
With a maximum of 250 participants, Skype for Business boasts a large user base and a new, fantastic user experience. It also offers a clean and easy-to-navigate user interface capable of integrated enterprise-class telephone replacement. In fact, businesses can set up Skype for Business as their enterprise phone system with the full Microsoft 365 product suite. Fully-functional integration features make scheduling meetings and sharing files right from the platform incredibly easy, with endless customization options for highly optimized communication.
In contrast, Google Meet offers a more limited user base with a maximum of 100 participants, making it less ideal for big business meetings or hosting webinars. However, it does offer the ability to sync conversations across all devices and is built into Google Workspace. Nonetheless, Meet is a standalone platform with integration features that don’t measure up to Skype for Business.
Google Workspace offers four pricing plans for users:
- Business Starter for $6 per user per month
- Business Standard for $12 per user per month
- Business Plus for $18 per user per month
- Enterprise, which requires you to contact sales for pricing
On the other hand, businesses wishing to license Microsoft 365 have a few more pricing options available, including:
- Business Basic for $7.20 per user per month ($6.00 with an annual commitment)
- Business Standard for $15.00 per user per month ($12.50 with an annual commitment)
- Business Premium for $26.40 per user per month ($22.00 with an annual commitment)
- Microsoft 365 apps for Business for $9.96 per user per month, which includes desktop versions of Microsoft apps with premium features and 1 TB of cloud storage. ($8.30 with an annual commitment)
Overall, both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 offer a range of pricing plans to suit different business needs and budgets.
As we wrap up this review of Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, it’s clear that both platforms offer a lot of value to businesses. While Workspace is a solid option for smaller businesses or those looking for a simpler solution, Microsoft 365 offers unparalleled customization, advanced features, and a range of powerful tools.
If you already work with Microsoft tools and want to tap into the power of cloud software, Microsoft 365 should be the perfect fit, given your experience with the apps. Plus, as a managed IT services provider with Premier Gold Microsoft 365 partner, we can help you with licensing and implementation.
Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are popular for small businesses. Microsoft Word prioritizes security, while Google Docs emphasizes collaboration. PowerPoint excels in presentations, but Google Slides has fewer templates. Outlook and Gmail are email apps, with more customization in Outlook. Microsoft 365’s Skype for Business supports 250 participants, while Google Meet handles 100 with limited integration. Both have diverse pricing options, with Microsoft 365 suiting Microsoft app users.