If you are looking to grow your business with a productive suite, Google Workspace and Office 365 are the strongest candidates so far. So we are going to break down the comparison between these two in several categories so that you can choose a suite that really fits your business model.
Thriving in the world of startup culture itself is sheer bravado. We mean there are so many important business decisions, funding, and execution-related questions. And to add to that, you must choose what software fits the bill the most as well? Not fair. Not fair at all.
We understand your dilemma and to ease it; we are bringing you a head-to-head comparison of two well-known and productivity suite twins that are currently on your mind. We are here to ensure that you don’t choose your preference with the help of eeny, meeny, miny, mo, but instead backed up facts and technical know-how.
What is Office 365?
Launched in 2011, Office 365 is a group of productivity apps launched by Microsoft as a part of the Microsoft Office product line. Titled initially, Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) was aimed at big corporations that wanted to swiftly increase productivity by putting all their communications and collaborations online.
As of Q4 2017, Office 365’s revenue effectively surpassed the income of the eternal favorite Microsoft Office offline solutions as the enterprises operating across all scales wholeheartedly accepted the offering from Microsoft.
Office 365 consists of applications like
- Office applications like Powerpoint, Excel, Word, Access and so on,
- Outlook for managing calendars and mails,
- Yammer for social networking purposes amongst colleagues,
- Stream to record, view, upload, and share meetings and presentations,
- Skype for audio and video communications, and
- OneDrive and SharePoint for collaboration and file sharing.
This list is only demonstrative and not exhaustive.
What is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace is the productivity suite launched by the ultimate tech giant, Google. Launched in 2007 as Google Apps Premier Edition, Google has made quite a few additions (like Google Chat and Meet) and deletions (like Google Talk) to sharpen the experience for the user. In October 2016, Google launched the first hardware product in the Google Workspace line called the Jamboard. Jamboard is a 55-inch digital whiteboard for interaction and collaborative purposes.
As of April 2019, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) has 5M businesses relying on Google Workspace for their everyday productivity. Notable companies, like Uber, PwC, Salesforce, amongst many others, have adopted this productivity suite and let them navigate through their daily businesses.
Google Workspace productivity applications include the following:
- Gmail with customized domain names, synced with Google Calendar,
- Google Sheets, Slides, Docs for file collaboration and distribution,
- Google Chat for verbal (chat) and non-verbal (audio and video communications),
- Google Meet to host and attend meetings including the screen share feature to ensure that all parties are on the same page, and
- Google Workspace marketplace with a wide range of APIs to enhance and automate tasks.
There are more future updates that Google Workspace delivers every month. You can read it on Google Workspace’s official blog.
Office 365 vs Google Workspace: A Head-to-Head Comparison
Now that we have a little background of the features and the hard work that has gone into the development of both these productivity suites let’s look at some practical features that will be your guiding light to finding which productivity suite suits your business needs the best.
Both Office 365 and Google Workspace are very cheap in terms of the subscription fee. However, here are some details on how these two services charge.
|Plan Name||Monthly Price||Annual Price|
|Google Workspace Starter||$6.00||$72.00|
|Office 365 Essentials||$5.00 *||$60.00|
|Google Workspace Standard||$12.00||$144.00|
|Office 365 Business||$8.25 *||$99.00|
|Google Workspace Plus||$18.00||$216.00|
|Office 365 Business Premium||$12.50 *||$150.00|
As you can compare, the pricing of Google Workspace is a bit higher than that of Office 365 however, Google Workspace offers a lot of additional features that Office 365 doesn’t. So overall, if we say “value for money” I think both the services don’t charge an insanely high amount.
Besides paid versions, both tools provide free service to education as well as non-profit businesses.
Cloud storage is a powerful way to save digital data (completely encrypted) in multiple resources. This storage type has the fastest accessibility. Both Google Workspace and Office 365 offers cloud storage. However, there is a difference in the physical storage capacity on both these platforms.
|Plan Name||Storage Capacity|
|Google Workspace Starter||30GB Storage|
|Office 365 Essentials||1TB + 50GB Mailbox|
|Google Workspace Standard||2TB per user|
|Office 365 Business||1TB + 50GB Mailbox|
|Google Workspace Plus||5TB per user|
|Office 365 Business Premium||1TB + 50GB Mailbox|
Mails and Written Communications
Gmail and Outlook are both insanely popular emailing software with the provision of including your organization’s domain names and multiple, unlimited aliases. Here are some key differences we found:
|Features||Google Workspace||Office 365|
|Attachment size limit||Unlimited with G Drive||150 MB|
|Connectivity||POP and IMAP||POP and IMAP|
|Spam and filters||Precise and Effective||Not so accurate|
|Folders and labels||Sets automatically||Traditional style|
|SMTP Sending Limit||Unlimited||Unlimited|
- With Office 365, you can back up conversations from chat on Outlook. With Google Workspace, it is not exactly a cakewalk.
- With Google Workspace, you get a 99.9% SLA with no maintenance and zero downtime. Outlook, on the other hand, has a reputation of breaking down out of the blue. We’ve seen frequent outages in the last year, or so.
- Google Workspace allows the migration of free Gmail accounts to Google Workspace addresses. This is a big plus. If your clients have your old Gmail address and you have recently started sending out from your official ID, you can still get their mails (along with the backup) on your collective Google Workspace linked Gmail account.
The bottom line is Google Workspace has proven its worth in terms of the reliability and security factor in recent times, whereas Outlook has excelled with proven backups of previous communications.
This makes the utilization of the applications much easier and smoother for new additions to your organization, irrespective of whether they are a novice or experienced personnel. With Office 365, there is a learning curve that ensures more seamless navigation. Office 365 has incorporated every possible feature, but it is at the expense of a hampered user experience. That has led to a much lower uptake amongst the audience. Somehow it feels that it is trying to roll up so much that in turn, it brings an element of complexity to it.
Now we are not saying that Google Workspace does not have a learning curve at all; it is just a tad bit steeper, and the user interface is much more intuitive if we are to believe survey results.
Here is why Google Workspace is a powerful tool
|Google Workspace Marketplace||Get thousands of add-on to enhance your productivity|
|Web notification||Send or receive push notifications on the go|
|Attach heavy files||Send emails with Drive to add GBs file size|
|Social Integration||Integrate with Facebook and Youtube for eg. Facebook’s Workplace|
Check 3 more unique Google Workspace features here.
Both Office 365 and Google Workspace provide around-the-clock phone, email, and web support services. As a business, you will need this support to tackle technical glitches that can crop up at any point in time.
However, alongside the one-on-one means of support resources and customer forums with helpful resources, both platforms have a ton of troubleshooting guides that can help the customers tackle some standard glitches that they may face from time to time.
In Google Workspace, however, you can request support in fourteen different languages, which is a huge plus. Customers have also highlighted how the agents are easily accessible and agile in tackling customer issues.
Office 365 is well-known to favor businesses, and therefore, their fast-tracking feature with respect to companies with 150+ employees bears a cost-efficiency element to it. This serves as a useful resource in the long-term, particularly in terms of gaining more productivity during deployment.
Desktop and Mobile Compatibility
Office 365 is great. It is for big businesses, but this one might come across as a big bummer if you are big on Powerpoint, Word documents, and Excel. Office 365 has native apps on your desktop where you can work remotely on all these above files. If you think that it is a big plus, think again!
Since these are native apps on your system, you are devoting considerable storage to these applications. Furthermore, your files are either to be saved manually or just retrieved from the autosave folder. This also means that sharing this file would involve uploading and cross-checking. Not everything you want is on the cloud productivity application suite you invested in.
GSuite, on the other hand, operates solely on the cloud. You can track changes, add comments, pick up work from wherever, whenever you want (including SMART TVs, your laptops, anyone else’s laptops, tablets, phones, and every other smart device with internet connectivity) by merely initiating a login to your Google Workspace account.
With Office 365, the desktop and mobile compatibility often becomes a hassle and therefore, the use of the segmented (and somewhat dissociated!) administration panel.
Therefore, both desktop and mobile compatibility play a crucial part in online collaboration amongst employees as well as efficient workflow management. And Google Workspace emerges as the clear winner by merely integrating a robust, minimalistic approach to productivity and the sheer factor that it is not trying too hard to impress everyone.
Post analyzing all the aspects of both the productivity suites explicitly created for organizations, here are our observations.
Google Workspace is right for you, if
- You are running a small organization with limited employees
- You are functioning at a basic level, i.e., less than ten employees
- You are looking for a mix of fresh as well as experienced talent in your workforce
- You are not looking for an all-in-one solution
Google Workspace is governed justly by intuition. Their basic plans are the most attractive ones and work brilliantly during the transition phase where you are looking for a swift, crease-free transformation to a professional, legit company.
Office 365 is right for, if
- You are already functioning at an enterprise level
- You have a workforce of greater than 100 people
- You feel that you need an all-in-one solution
- You are okay with a transition time for new, onboarding employees
- Your work involves heavy, hardcore number crunching because Excel is a real savior
Office 365 is primarily designed for entrepreneurs who are aiming at expanding and want to have everything under their belt. The largest corporations who are aiming at the service-based industry have mostly benefited from the Office 365 productivity suite.
Did we miss something? Or maybe, you feel you could add on to the existing information. Either way, Why don’t you drop us a comment right here?