The advancements in technology have made many lives a lot simpler, faster, and more efficient. These are observable in businesses and organisations, as they strive to be faster and more efficient with their processes and services nowadays.
How do they do this? One way is by increasing the avenues for collaboration. The more people can effectively work together in a short amount of time, the more it allows organisations to get more stuff done – to be highly productive. This is where cloud office systems come into play.
In today’s market, the most dominant cloud office system for mid-market business are Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.
We hear a lot of businesses of different sizes talk about those two. So which one is actually better? Which is more suitable for your business? In this post, Onsite Helper will be giving you an updated and detailed comparison to help you decide which is best for your business.
Let’s get started.
What can Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 do?
Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 might differ in the specifics of what they do but they are still office systems, which means they do have certain similarities. These cloud office systems allow you to use a web browser to perform common tasks such as:
- Send and receive emails
- Video conferencing
- Calendar management
- File management
- Document, spreadsheet, and presentation creation
- Team collaboration
On top of the browser-based services, Microsoft 365 also provides an extensive range of desktop applications that can be locally installed on the user’s computer.
These two cloud office systems underwent name changes – Microsoft 364 was previously known as Office 365, while Google Workspace was once called G Suite.
Price - how much does it cost to use each cloud office system?
The price for Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 varies by country. For the purposes of this comparison, we will be basing the price on their offers in Australia in AUD.
Google Workspace pricing
As you can see from the image above, there are 4 different plans available. All of these plans include a custom and secure business email, security and management control, standard support, and cloud storage per user. Here’s how they differ from each other:
- Business Starter – 100 participants in video meetings, 30 GB cloud storage per user
- Business Standard – 150 participants in video meetings with a recording feature, 2 TB of cloud storage per user
- Business Plus – 250 participants in video meetings, recording feature, attendance tracking, 5 TB of cloud storage, enhanced security, and more.
- Enterprise – custom pricing for 250 participants in video meetings, recording, attendance tracking, noise cancellation, in-domain live streaming, as much storage as you need, and so much more.
Or you can schedule a meeting with one of our Google experts and know how you can get the best out of Google Workspace for your business.
Microsoft 365 pricing
Microsoft offers a lot of different pricing plans for Microsoft 365. There are plans for home use, business, enterprise, government and more. Again, to avoid confusion, we’ll be comparing the Microsoft 365 plans for business and enterprise.
Here are the differences between each option:
- Business Basic – Conference for up to 300 attendees, web and mobile version of Office apps, 1 TB of cloud storage per user, business-class email, Standard security and support
- Business Standard – Everything from the Basic plan with desktop versions of Office apps, together with premium features, webinar hosting, attendee registration, reporting tools, and customer appointments
- Business Premium – Everything from the Standard plan plus advanced security, access and data control, and cyber threat protection
- Microsoft 365 Apps – Desktop version of Office apps, 1 TB of cloud storage, standard security and support
As you can see, it’s helpful to know the pricing plans for both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, however, it doesn’t paint the full picture. For that, we need to look at the different features that each cloud office system offers.
For entry-level plans, there’s no denying that Microsoft’s 1 TB of cloud storage is definitely more attractive than Google’s 30 GB of cloud storage. For that alone, Microsoft’s Business Basic plan takes the lead.
Google, however, might have different plans. You’ll notice that if you move up beyond Google’s entry-level plans, they start to become more competitive. Google’s Business Standard and Business Plus offer 2 TB and 5 TB of cloud storage, respectively. This is a much larger advantage compared to Microsoft’s cloud storage that is capped at 1 TB for every business plan that they offer.
1 TB is a lot of data, but if you’re a growing business, you’ll notice that you’ll burn through your 1 TB of storage in no time. Upgrades are available for purchase with the Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 plans, but ultimately, Google Workspace’s file storage pricing is cheaper than Microsoft’s.
Google Workspace’s default email app is Gmail, while Microsoft 365’s default email app is Outlook. You can still access your email using any email program but for this comparison, we’d stick to their respective default email apps.
Gmail has a wide range of functionality. And because of its popularity, there are a lot of third-party apps that also add to its functionality. Finding messages using Gmail is really easy and quick, given Google’s expertise in search functionality.
Outlook, on the other hand, is available in two different versions for most Microsoft 365 plans: the browser and desktop version. The Desktop version provides a lot of flexibility when it comes to sorting, grouping, labelling, and managing your email – something that isn’t as simple when it comes to Gmail.
Aside from mail sorting, Gmail tops Outlook in most respects. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and you get more options in customizing how you want to send or receive emails – tools that would be helpful especially when you’re trying to be productive and keep things organized.
Despite Google’s popularity when it comes to cloud and online-based applications, Microsoft has more influence over offline desktop applications. This is due to people’s familiarity with Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook – more often than not, these are referred to as the ‘classic’ office applications.
While most have already adapted to the age of cloud computing, some are still fond of using offline Microsoft applications when creating and editing their documents. This is one of the factors that keep people from migrating to Google Workspace and encourages people to use Microsoft 365.
You can still open Microsoft Office files on Google Workspace, however, the full format of the file might completely look the same. There will be minor differences and for some, they don’t want to go through the hassle of converting something to the Google format, only to have the other party open it again using Microsoft Office. Some prefer to just have the whole exchange in the Microsoft format, while others have the Microsoft Desktop apps installed specifically for those files, even though they use Google Workspace.
One more thing to note about the desktop applications for Microsoft 365 is that they have to be installed locally. This means that you might have to assign somebody to take care of those facets as not everyone would know how to properly install or manage those applications. Therefore, there might be some underlying IT costs there that might surprise you. Moreover, having some work done offline could also be subject to some security issues. And you might be limiting your team’s possibility of real-time collaborative work.
Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 both offer a comprehensive set of web-based apps, here are the rough equivalents of each product:
- Google Docs – Word (word processing)
- Google Sheets – Excel (spreadsheets)
- Google Slides – Powerpoint (presentations)
- Google Sites – Sharepoint (website building)
- Google Meet – Microsoft Teams (video conferencing)
- Gmail – Outlook Online (email)
- Google Keep – Onenote Online (note writing and keeping)
- Jamboard – Whiteboard (digital whiteboard tools)
One of the biggest advantages of cloud office services is the huge collaboration possibilities. Instead of having to wait for a day or two for updates, you can see how your employees are making progress on tasks in real-time. At the same time, you are able to collaborate with them and work on the same document without disturbing each other. This allows work to be done at a much faster pace, it reduces confusion and miscommunication, and it just keeps everyone on the same page with the tasks at hand.
In this regard, Google Workspace takes the upper hand. In general, their apps just feel a lot smoother to use and collaborate on, in contrast to the Microsoft 365 equivalents. This is because Google Workspace was built with real-time collaboration in mind, whereas Microsoft 365 had to evolve from an office suite to a collaborative cloud-based one.
Pros and cons of Google Workspace and Microsoft 365
While there are a lot more facets about this topic that we can nitpick and look into, hopefully, this guide has helped clarify some information about Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. Which is the better cloud office system? It would really depend on your business’ needs. There are pros and cons to both and Onsite Helper would like to highlight those for you right now.
Why pick Microsoft 365 over Google Workspace
- Most Microsoft 365 plans come with desktop versions of the MS Office applications. Given that some clients will send, receive, and edit data using MS Office applications, you will be able to easily work with them without any problems with formatting and compatibility issues.
- Microsoft 365 offers a very generous one-month trial compared to Google Workspace’s 14-day trial.
- Microsoft 365’s entry-level plan offers more storage space, 1 TB per user
- Microsoft 365 offers more advanced phone call management options and higher video conferencing participant limits.
Why pick Google Workspace over Microsoft 365
- Google Workspace is a google cloud office system for businesses that use multiple devices and different operating systems
- The interface of Google Apps is highly intuitive and very clean. They don’t require devices with strong specs and they load pretty quickly.
- Google Workspace was built with collaboration in mind from the ground up. Their real-time collaboration features are much stronger and more conducive for cloud-based work.
- Google Workspace allows you to create, edit, and save Google Workspace and MS Office documents.
To reach your organisation’s utmost success, it’s essential to have good systems supporting processes and services, improving your productivity. Onsite Helper for many years, has been assisting mid-level businesses in their growth and development, as they pave their way to become the optimum version as an organisation. Talk to us today about Google Workspace. And hey, we have also devised a Google Workspace Security Audit that checks your system’s vulnerabilities that may lead to data loss. Connect with us now!