With so many productivity suites on the market, making sure that your product suits your business has become a little more complicated than just looking at which has the better reviews. Die-hard fans of both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 will be happy to fill you in on why their chosen platform is the best overall, but if you don’t have the same business type or size, it’s risky to just opt for one or the other without research.
Productivity suites help save you money. Picking the right programme means that you can have one main application with your word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programmes without having to pay individual subscription or flat fees for all of them. Productivity suites also come with different templates for their bundled programmes, and different capabilities depending on which suite you choose. Online and cloud-based productivity suites allow you to work remotely and securely without needing to download the programmes, while computer-based productivity suites can outfit your entire office by downloading the programmes you need directly onto your computer systems.
Two of the most popular productivity suites are Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. While both are good programmes, there are key differences that can impact productivity for your organisation.
Here’s our investigation into the differences, and the benefits, of each programme.
- Available for Windows and Mac.
- Cloud-based features with the option to install on up to 5 devices per user.
- Includes: email (Outlook), Word (word processing), Excel (spreadsheet), Powerpoint (presentation) and OneNote (notetaking). Further programmes such as Access and Publisher are only available on Windows PC.
- Cloud-based services include:
- email hosting up to 100GB.
- access to web-based programmes.
- shared team sites.
- high quality video conferencing capability.
- online meetings and team meetings.
- administrative controls and high security.
- secure messaging and collaboration efforts.
- Business and Enterprise pricing include 1TB+ of storage per user.
- Business includes appointment-scheduling and expense apps.
- Enterprise pricing include task management software, analytics, process management, and collaboration tools.
Depending on the business plan chosen, Office 365 offers prices for as little as €4.05 per month (Business Basic) and up to €33.04 per month.
Each price tier unlocks different allowances. For €4.05 (Business Basic), you have access to:
- The Microsoft 365 platform.
- Web-based Office applications.
- 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage.
- 50GB of email storage.
- Access to Sharepoint Online.
- Access to Microsoft Teams.
- Access to Yammer Enterprise.
For a startup or a business on a budget, this offering is definitely one to consider, however the ramifications are that it’s only serviceable as a basic business package. Once your business starts growing, you may have to look into upgrading your package to include management software and protection.
For €33.04 per month, each business has access to:
- 100GB of mail storage per user.
- Unlimited OneDrive storage per user.
- Mobile Office apps.
- Web office apps.
- Desktop apps.
- Security features such as eDiscover and Microsoft Defender.
- Communication capabilities.
Why should you pick Microsoft 365?
Besides pricing, there is a crucial difference between the Google Workspace Suite and the Microsoft 365 Suite, and that is the availability of desktop apps.
Microsoft 365 includes desktop apps, whereas Google uses its own versions of productivity apps that are available only in browser or mobile format. As Microsoft Office document formats are the industry standard, if your document features are crucial to your business, Office 365 offers a clear advantage that Google Workspace cannot meet, and that’s maintaining the appearance of the document is critical.
While Google’s documents can be exported into Microsoft’s formats, some features could become distorted or might not export properly.
You should also consider what you’re going to be using your productivity suite for. If your main aim is powerful applications with wide-ranging capabilities and collaboration tools, you might want to consider using Microsoft 365, whose apps not only have the benefit of experience, but are also considered the industry standard in a lot of circles. The Microsoft apps are excellent if your business needs include meticulous, focused reviewing and mark-up.
The newly-renamed Google Workspace is no slouch for productivity, however, and for some businesses would be worth more than Microsoft 365.
With Google Workspace, you get access to:
- Gmail for business.
- Video and voice conferencing.
- Secure messaging.
- Shared calendar and notes.
- Website builder.
- Survey builder.
- A minimum of 30GB of cloud storage.
- Administrative and security measures.
- Collaborative tools such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides to create word documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
Google Workspace offers four business plans to choose from, starting from the Business Starter at €5.20 to the Business Plus at €15.60, with the option to pay even more money for the Enterprise model for unlimited storage and protection, as well as the opportunity to livestream.
The cheapest Google Workspace plan, the Business Starter, gives you:
- Access to a custom domain.
- Access to the web-based Google productivity apps.
- 30GB of cloud storage per user across Drive and Gmail.
- Video meeting capacity of up to 100 participants.
It’s worth noting that Google currently does not have desktop versions of their web-based apps, and everything is saved directly to Google’s servers.
For the more expensive Google Workspace Business Premium, in addition to the above, you get:
- Archiving privileges.
- eDiscovery email features.
- Personal storage space up to 5TB per user.
- Access to a team drive for document sharing.
There are also further features available for those who want to pay for significantly more security, including the ability to lockdown share files and scan email and images to discover leaks.
Why should you pick Google Workspace?
If you’re a business whose entire business model is collaboration and getting things done fast, then Google Workspace is a clear winner. The entire productivity suite is built around the idea of collaboration, and its live collaboration capabilities are far superior than what Microsoft 365 can offer, with the additional benefit of being incredibly easy to set up and use. Google Workspace is also far more beneficial for businesses who run on their people, since using each individual programme is far easier, and requires less set up.
What’s the best programme for me?
Ultimately, it comes down to pricing, personal taste, and the structure of your business. Regardless of which programme you pick, both offer excellent collaborative capabilities, a good lineup of products, good security and storage capabilities, and a number of ways in which your team can manage their workload.
If you want the extra sophistication offered by Microsoft products and you don’t mind paying a little extra, or you’re looking for desktop applications in addition to web, your only choice is Microsoft 365.
If, however, your office has gone remote and you need to work with your team as though you’re all still in the office, Google Workspace is unmatched, while also offering up a stable lineup of applications that are very popular with users.
No matter which productivity suite you pick, both are capable of streamlining your business and making sure you’re right on track.