Google Workspace vs. Office365: Which Productivity Suite Is Best for Your Business?
In the not-too-distant past, Microsoft Office dominated the business world. By the mid-2000s, solutions like Word, Excel and Outlook were the default productivity applications in nearly every industry.
Then, in 2006, Google introduced its own word processing and spreadsheet applications. These began as a bare-bones alternative to Microsoft. But over time, Google’s suite of productivity apps — first rebranded as G Suite, then as Google Workspace — gained more features and became more popular.
Nowadays, these productivity suites have a lot in common, but they remain different in key ways. Here’s a quick guide to the pros and cons of each — so you can decide whether Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 is right for your business.
Note: these offerings are always evolving. Make sure to check the latest specs for the most accurate info, or just give us a call to discuss whether Google or Microsoft is right for you.
What do Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have in common?
Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 are both subscription-based, meaning they charge a flat fee per user, per month in a range of tiers depending on your needs.
They both work across a range of devices: Google Workspace is strictly web-based and is compatible with any browser or operating system, while Microsoft 365 offers both desktop clients and web-based apps.
Other similarities include the following:
- Broadly similar core applications for word processing, spreadsheets, email, calendars and contacts
- A range of business communication tools for videoconferencing, messaging and note-taking
- Cloud storage, with personal storage for each user and shared spaces for collaboration
- Advanced management features for archiving, compliance and security
What are the differences between Google Workspace and Microsoft 365?
Despite superficial similarities, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are very different in terms of architecture and design. Some of these distinctions will go unnoticed by the average user but could make a big difference to administrators and power users. It’s up to you to decide which is the best fit for your tech environment and your team.
Microsoft 365 offers a range of familiar desktop apps as click-to-run packages that update automatically. These apps are also available in web-based versions, but the web apps are generally less powerful and feature-rich than the desktop apps.
By contrast, Google Workspace is cloud-native. That means Google built its suite in the cloud from the ground up. Every Google app was designed with cloud-based collaboration in mind, enabling users to share and update documents and projects in real-time.
That’s a major advantage. But here’s the downside: many of Google’s apps still lack some of the advanced features that various Microsoft users depend on. For example, power users of Microsoft Excel might be underwhelmed by the relatively limited processing power, data visualization, and business intelligence tools in Google Sheets.
Which is more important to you: in-depth features or real-time collaboration?
The gap between Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 gets narrower by the day. Google keeps adding new features, while Microsoft keeps improving its cloud-based functionality.
Even so, it all comes down to this: are you willing to give up a full set of features in exchange for more ways to collaborate? Then Google Workspace might be right for you. But if real-time collaboration is a lower priority — or if your users demand very specialized features to perform their work — then the answer might be Microsoft 365.