Note: This article is designed to be educational. In full disclosure, ProdigyTeks is a Microsoft 365 Partner.
In the world of business productivity tools, there are two main players that businesses look to for the cloud software needed to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. These are Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace (formerly called G Suite).
Currently, Google edges out Microsoft, with 50.59% of the office productivity software market share as of October 2020. Microsoft has 41.59%.
Both companies have been competing by adding AI-powered features over the last few years to help with everything from cybersecurity to creating better documents through intuitive suggestions.
There’s also been a drive to add more apps to make each platform more inviting and eliminate the need for third-party applications to fill gaps.
Key Features of Both Productivity Platforms
Below, are the core elements that each platform has, along with their app for performing the task. We’ll note each as “G” for Google Workspace and “M” for Microsoft 365:
- Document creation – G: Docs, M: Word
- Spreadsheets – G: Sheets, M: Excel
- Presentations – G: Slides, M: PowerPoint
- Email – G: Gmail, M: Outlook & Exchange
- Calendar – G: Calendar, M: Outlook
- Cloud Storage – G: Drive, M: OneDrive & SharePoint
- Video Calls – G: Meet, M: Skype & Teams
- Team Chat – G: Chat & Currents, M: Teams
- Form Creation – G: Forms, M: Forms
- Shared Notes – G: Keep, M: OneNote
Some of the specialty applications that you’ll find in each platform are:
- Google Workspace: Sites, for building websites
- Microsoft 365: Lists, for creating cloud-based lists; SharePoint for creating an intranet and team sites
Comparing Google Workspace & Microsoft 365
Which platform is right for your Chicago area business? We’ll go through several comparisons below to help you decide.
Format & Approach (Cloud vs Hybrid)
Each company has had a different approach when it comes to introducing their tools.
Microsoft began with software that’s been synonymous with office productivity since the 1990’s. Selling a paid computer-based application suite that was then ported to a cloud environment as “the Cloud” became a thing.
Its main Office software is still a hybrid – it can be used both offline in a software on your computer and in the cloud. This makes many users feel they’re using something familiar rather than only being cloud-based.
Google has a different approach, making its software specifically for cloud use and browser accessibility. It offers many of its tools free – Docs, sheets, Gmail, etc. and then offers more tools and features with the paid versions.
While younger generations that may have been indoctrinated into the cloud may find this more familiar, users that remember when all software was housed on a computer, may feel they’re missing something by having their tools completely cloud based.
Plans & Pricing
Both platforms have tiered pricing for business plans that provide more tools, apps, and security configurationsas you go up in price. Pricing between the two is pretty competitive.
Google Workspace Business Plans:
- Business Starter: $6/user/month
- Business Standard: $12/user/month
- Business Plus: $18/user/month
Microsoft 365 Business Plans:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5/user/month
- Microsoft 365 Apps: $8.25/user/month
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/user/month
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium: $20/user/month
Storage Capacity Per User
There is a bit of a difference in the storage space that you receive through each of the applications. This can make a big difference in the potential price if a business has to purchase more cloud storage in addition to the monthly per user subscription price.
With Google Workspace’s lowest business plan for $6/user/month, each user receives 30GB of cloud storage. For Microsoft 365’s lowest tier at $5/user/month, each user gets 1TB of cloud storage.
But, if you’re looking at higher priced plans, M365 stays at 1TB per user, where Google Workspace’s storage space increases with each tier to between 2TB to 5TB per user.
Compatibility With Clients/Vendors, etc.
Many documents created in a productivity tool are shared with others outside your organization, such as customers and vendors. This means that you want to ensure you have a file format that can be opened easily by the other party.
Hands down, most people share documents outside their organization in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. If you don’t use a standard MS format when sending an attachment, there is a good chance the receiving party won’t be able to open it.
That being said, Google Workspace apps can convert their file formats to Microsoft formats and can open Excel, Word, etc. But this does mean a two-format workflow, rather than just staying in the same format for everything.
Google Workspace is great for sharing documents online with others. Since the tools were built for the cloud, online collaboration is easy. Microsoft does also offer an online version of their tools, which also allows online collaboration via browser. Documents can also be opened inside its Teams collaboration app.
Need Help Setting Up a Productive Workflow?
Whichever tools are best for your Chicago business, ProdigyTeks can assist you with set up, data migration, and custom configuration to match your needs.
Schedule a free phone consultation today! Call 312-600-8357 or reach us online.