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A Comparison Of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps

A Comparison Of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps

Erika Desmond

By Erika Desmond on Sep 12, 2014

<div> <p><strong><a href="/assets/uploads/2014/09/Office-365-vs.-Google-Apps.jpg"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-17786" src="/assets/uploads/2014/09/Office-365-vs.-Google-Apps.jpg" alt="Office 365 vs. Google Apps" width="782" height="348" /></a></strong></p> <p><a href="http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/what-is-office-365-for-business-FX102997580.aspx">Microsoft Office 365</a> and <a href="http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/">Google Apps</a> are the two dominant players in the cloud-based application arena currently. But how do the two compare when stacked up next to each other? The above chart shows a comparison of similar features that each platform has to offer. If you can’t tell based on their product offerings above, <a href="http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/google-in-the-enterprise/10-comparisons-between-google-apps-and-office-365/">both companies offer great products and neither has a resounding lead over the other</a>. Where one Google application may have a slight upper-hand, Microsoft will have another application that is marginally superior.</p> <p><strong><strong> </strong></strong></p> <p>That being said, either will probably work for your company. Ask around and talk to customers, suppliers, partners, etc. to see how Microsoft or Google works for them. However, we want offer a guide that provides a comparison of some of the subtle distinctions between Office 365 and Google Apps.</p> <p><strong><strong> </strong></strong></p> <h3><strong>Pricing Plans</strong></h3> <p>Google Apps offers an extremely simple <a href="http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/pricing.html">pricing plan</a> for two customer categories. You can subscribe to their service for $5/month that includes the following:</p> <ul><li>Business email addresses (name@yourcompany.com)</li> <li>Video and voice calls</li> <li>Integrated online calendars</li> <li>30GB of online storage for file syncing and sharing</li> <li>Online text documents, spreadsheets and slides</li> <li>Easy to create project sites</li> <li>Security and admin controls</li> <li>24/7 phone and email support</li> </ul><p>However, for businesses that are trying to get the most out of Google Apps, the tech giant offers a second-tier plan with UNLIMITED storage, <a href="/blog/google-drive-for-work">as announced earlier this year</a>. This service costs only $10/month, which is a steal if you store a large amount of data online. Not only do you receive unlimited data storage, but premium Google Apps accounts include advanced admin controls for Drive, audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing, Google Vault for eDiscovery covering emails, chats, docs and files, and other additional benefits as well.</p> <p>Microsoft Office 365 offers essentially two tiers also, with <a href="http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/compare-office-365-for-business-plans-FX102918419.aspx">the lowest one costing $5/month and the premium account at $12.50</a>. While Microsoft only offers 1TB of data storage per user, they do have the benefit of offering the Office suite that so many businesses rely on. Speaking of the Office suite, that brings me to maybe the largest difference between the two services.</p> <h3><strong>Desktop Apps</strong></h3> <p>Microsoft provides desktop apps of their Office suite (Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc) to subscribers of the Office 365 premium, where Google Apps just offers the browser-based applications. Google's Docs, Sheets, and Slides do offer an offline mode in Chrome, but it just isn't the same as having a desktop app. For most users, desktop apps have been used essentially since the dawn of computing. While browser-based applications will probably continue to gain market share, many of you may prefer to stick with what you are used to: Microsoft Office on your desktop.</p> <p><strong><strong> </strong></strong></p> <h3><strong>Excel vs. Sheets</strong></h3> <p>Lastly, the Microsoft Excel vs. Google Sheets battle is just getting started. Just as most of us are used to having Microsoft’s desktop applications, nearly all of us use Excel as a primary database. Many people have gone through years of training to become masters of Excel, and while some of that knowledge is transferable over to Sheets, not all of it is. Detailed formulas may not carry over well from Excel, leaving you to redo some work if you make the switch away from Microsoft. And not that this is a major deal for everyday spreadsheet users, but <a href="https://support.google.com/docs/answer/37603?hl=en">Google Sheets limits users to 400,000 cells</a> (roughly 256 columns) per sheet, while Microsoft Excel has an upper bound of 17 billion. Not a number you will likely reach anytime soon.</p> <p><strong><br /></strong>Having gone through a couple key differences between Microsoft and Google’s product offerings, the choice is ultimately left up to you and your propensity to change.  For those who are willing to take risks and venture into the land of the unknown, Google may be a better opportunity. However, if you don’t want to mess up a good thing and stick with what you and your employees already know, Microsoft provides a extremely comparable substitute.</p></div>

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