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Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite)?

Which is right for my business?

This is a debate that is likely to go on for years as two of the behemoth organizations go at it over the next few decades. In this article, I will do the best I can to offer a detailed look into each of the services to help you decide which is best for your organization.

Each business has unique needs and requirements, and your unique requirements may make one service over the other right for your business. First, we will look at Google Workspace vs. Office 365 on an app-by-app comparison.

Word Processing: 
Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word

Word processing is arguably the most popular application in both G-Suite and Office 365.  In G-Suite the word processor is called Google Docs and in Office 365 it is called Microsoft Word.  If collaboration is important both Google Docs and Microsoft Word allow you to collaborate with other users for reviews and editing.  While Google Docs allows you to collaborate natively, Microsoft Word requires that each user subscribes to SharePoint services which are included in most of their Office 365 subscriptions.

As far as word processing features built into each app Microsoft Word has far more development time and experience in knowing what users want and need.  Therefore, it is my opinion that Microsoft Word has the advantage concerning available feature sets. Since Microsoft has far more users and a much longer history in the development of their word processing application, they have the advantage concerning features and ease of use. Word provides a wide variety of pre-built templates for documents such as resumes, brochures, reports, or most any kind of other documents.  These templates can get you to develop new documents very quickly which is a huge time saver.

Microsoft Excel vs. Google Sheets

Again, Google will win with their native collaboration concerning sharing spreadsheets with a group of co-workers. You can also share Excel spreadsheets, but you will still need the add-on subscription for SharePoint services. It is my opinion that since Google Workspace is exclusively a web-based application that runs in any web browser they will win any collaboration argument for the immediate future. Their technology was built with collaboration at the forefront in their development. 

As far features go in the spreadsheet app, Microsoft is still the clear winner here too.  Excel also has many templates to choose from which will get you building a spreadsheet for a particular project super quickly. Although Google does have Sheets templates, as of this writing there were only 3 to choose from. Microsoft Excel also has a lot more chart types to choose from when compared to Google Sheets. Excel has 17 popular chart types such as area, line, bar, pie, and column. If you want to get more advanced in Microsoft Excel, look at their more advanced chart types such as radar, surface, histogram, or whisker. All their types have sub-types also. Google Sheets only has 7 types of charters to choose from. In my opinion, it is far easier to create charts in Excel vs. Sheets.

Microsoft PowerPoint vs. Google Slides

Again, Microsoft PowerPoint has far more templates to get you started quickly when creating a presentation document. As well as the more templates to choose from Microsoft PowerPoint has a QuickStarter feature that will get your presentation started very quickly and easily. Google Slides has no such feature as of this writing.   With QuickStarter in Microsoft PowerPoint can walk you through creating themes, templates, an outline, or a starter slide. Microsoft PowerPoint makes adding graphics, images, animation, transitions, and multimedia. Like we mentioned with the Excel and Word apps, PowerPoint also has far more chart and table types too. PowerPoint also has advanced features over Google Slides like the ability to use what Microsoft calls Rehearse Timing. This feature allows you to time how long you take on each slide to you can keep within your presentation time window. Google Slide has yet to develop this feature. 

As with Google Docs and Google Sheets, Google Slides has the advantage with native collaboration.

Microsoft Outlook vs. Gmail

As with all the tools in Google Workspace, the simplicity of Gmail over Outlook is far and away ahead. However, like with the other apps you may be looking for more features and Outlook has way more features available over Gmail. Gmail has a much cleaner look because of the simplicity we just mentioned. Gmail has less clutter in its interface. Both Outlook and Gmail now offer an AI-driven feature that will suggest words or phrases as you are typing. Gmail has a cool snooze button for delaying incoming messages in case you are doing some “head down” working and don’t want any distraction.

But as I have said with the other Microsoft apps, Outlook has far more features which makes it hard to compete on the simplicity. One of the features we like best is the Focused Inbox which lets you see and respond to the most important emails first.  Also, since contacts and the calendar are built into Outlook it makes calendaring with contacts seamless. Whereas Gmail relies on the separate Google Contacts and Calendar apps making it a little clumsy.

Subscription Cost:  Office 365 vs. Google Workspace

Google is attempting to give Microsoft Office 365 a run for their money as it relates to competition. Until recently Office 365 had been the “go-to” solution for organizations needing a productivity suite.  Office 365 is widely adopted. Microsoft currently owns 90% of the large market “productivity suite”, while Google Workspace holds 10%.  Recently Microsoft introduced what they are calling the New Commerce Experience (NCE). It is an attempt to convince direct and indirect sales channels to commit to annual pricing.  Is this because Microsoft is concerned about losing any part of its dominance to Google Workspace by locking customers into annual contracts or longer?  I would argue yes. Google is beginning, to get traction with its newly rebranded Google Workspaces apps. Their suite of products has a rival product for almost every Office 365 app. Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive all have a Google Marketplace equivalate all though not as well developed as of this writing. 

For this price comparison, we are going to look at the pricing points that predate the NCE pricing from Microsoft since it will not take effect until March 2022.

Office 365 Subscription Cost

Until March of 2022, Microsoft had largely been a month-to-month commitment.  The price range for Office 365 was between $5.00 and $20.00 per month in the business world. Total Secure Technology recommends to our clientele that they subscribe to the $20.00 per month plan because it comes with added security tools that help protect the end-users and the data they connect to. With the $20.00 per month subscription, each user gets every product that Microsoft has available in the Office Suite. It comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Outlook, OneDrive, SharePoint, Exchange, Intune, Azure Information Protection, Access Database, and Publisher.  Microsoft calls this their Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscription. Other features of their $20.00 per month per user subscription are Advanced security and Cyberthreat protection.

Below is a screenshot of their pricing model:

Google Workspace Subscription Cost

In June of 2021, Google relaunched Google G-Suite as Google Workspace.  Google Workspace price plans range from $6.00 to $25.00 per month. Total Secure Technology recommends to our clientele that they consider Business Plus due to the increased storage and enhanced security that comes in the Google Workspace Business Plus subscription plan. This works for most companies with under 300 plus employees.  Each subscriber gets Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Chat, Jamboard, Docs, Sheets, Slides. Keep, Sites and Forms. All these applications are web applications only as there are no downloaded local applications for any of your devices. As mentioned before, this is likely to be the biggest differentiator between the two solutions. With Google Workspace Enterprise subscription, you can scale to no storage limits and geo-redundant data centers for your uncapped data storage.

Below is a screenshot of their pricing model:

If you would like to recommend other topics for us to discuss, please feel free to comment below on what you might want us to do in our next comparison.

Thanks for tuning in until the end! 

Total Secure Technology is a Managed Security Services Provider based out of Sacramento California.  We are currently helping hundreds of organizations manage and secure their technology.  We take a layered approach to secure your company’s data as dictated in the NIST framework we should all be striving to implement.   Securing and protecting data is everyone’s responsibility and we show companies how to be responsible.