When it comes to choosing a productivity suite for your business, the chances are that you’ll think almost immediately of Microsoft, and Google as the main competitors. While other options exist on the market, these remain to be the top software tools for business users throughout the country.
Both Microsoft and Google offer similar levels of functionality, from file storage to spreadsheet applications – so how do you choose which one’s right for you? Well, I’m here to help with a quick look into the major features of each.
Document Processing Features
Google Docs stays on the minimalist side of things when it comes to word processing, with a basic document creator, compared to Microsoft’s flagship “Word” application. Word can do a lot of things that Google can’t, but Google often outperforms Microsoft when it comes to real-time document editing and sharing.
Google users can access documents, suggest edits, and make changes with ease, whereas Microsoft can’t offer the same degree of convenience. Instead, users have to “suggest edits” in the review tab. When it comes to real-time collaboration, Google must be the winner.
On the other hand, Microsoft Excel is far better than Google’s offering when it comes to spreadsheets. Excel is designed for complicated number crunching and data importing or exporting. Though Google Sheets is still useful, it just can’t handle the sheer amount of data that Excel can.
Ultimately, Sheets can create graphics and calculate auto-fill sums, but it lacks most of the power associated with Excel. If you’re looking for something that delivers excellent number crunching, then Microsoft is the choice for you.
Both G-Suite and Microsoft Office 365 offer some strong email clients, but the pricing and features differ pretty significantly. For instance, if you look at Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials, you’ll get 50GB of mailbox storage, 1TB of file storage, and enough access for 300 users. With Google, on the other hand, you get more, but it’s an all-online package.
G-Suite business users get access to 1TB of cloud storage, unlimited mailbox storage, and unlimited user access.
Today, no modern business suite would thrive without the right collaboration tools. Google and Microsoft both offer solid options. For instance, Microsoft Teams is a chat-based collaboration space where you can send private messages and files instantly. Like Slack, you’ll be notified when your name is mentioned in chat. Google Hangouts, on the other hand, offers instant messaging and built-in screen sharing. However, the minimalist approach of Google means that you won’t get as many features as you would from Microsoft.
Microsoft Teams can create multiple channels for your teams, whereas Google can only develop group chats that need to be set up and managed by a single person. Plus, it’s hard to forget that Microsoft comes with Skype for Business, which is excellent for audio and video collaboration.
Price is always a big factor when it comes to buying business software. Google offers a three-tiered pricing structure: Basic, Business, or Enterprise. The Basic option provides 30GB of storage, a business email address, video and voice conferencing, docs, sheets, and slides, for £3.60 per user, per month. The Business option offers the features already above, as well as unlimited storage on the cloud, audit reports, and archiving policies for £6.60 per user, per month.
Microsoft Office 365 also comes with three choices for pricing: Business Essentials, Business, and Business Premium. The “Essentials” package delivers access to Office 365, a 50GB mailbox, 1TB of file storage, Microsoft Teams, and Skype for £3.80 per user, per month. Business offers all of that, with the full desktop version of Office 365, 1TB of file storage, and phone apps, but no email, for £7.90.
Both Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite can compete well with each other across the board. Google wins in terms of collaboration and ease-of-use, while Microsoft offers a suite that’s rich in features and document processing. If you’re already using Google’s email client, then you’ll find it easier to move down the G-Suite path, while the Microsoft path will be better for those using the Microsoft Outlook email client.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.