Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) and Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) are the two most popular productivity suites amongst both enterprise and SMB (Small and Medium-Sized Business) customers. Both offer a variety of collaboration and team productivity enhancement tools to help businesses perform at their best.
However, with several features and benefits available, sometimes it is difficult for businesses to decide which productivity solution is best for them. To help you with that, we have come up with a detailed comparison of Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace features. We will be talking about the major features both platforms offer while comparing them with each other.
What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 is a productivity and collaboration tool that comes equipped with innovative Office apps and intelligent cloud services backed with world-class security.
It is designed for home, business, and enterprise users. In this article, we will be focusing on its business plans.
What is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite) offers cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools for modern-day businesses of all sizes.
From custom email solutions to familiar collaboration tools like Gmail, Chat, Meet, Docs, Sheet, Slides, Forms, and more – Google Workspace contains everything a modern business needs to improve productivity and collaborate in real-time.
Plans and pricing
Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace offer a variety of plans to help both individuals and business users pick a plan that works for them.
The plans for Microsoft 365 are divided into four categories as per different users’ needs – Personal and Family, Business, Enterprise, and Education.
In this article, we will be focusing on the Business Plans only for the sake of comparison. The Business Basic Plan starts from $6 per user/month and the Business Premium is priced at $22 per user/month. The major comparison features across plans include the web and mobile version availability of Office apps, storage, email and calendaring, desktop versions of Office apps, support and deployment, and more.
Google Workspace’s pricing is also considered for business users. Users can choose among the Business Starter, Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Plans. The Business Starter Plan starts from $6 per user/month. For Enterprise Plan, pricing is not listed on the website. Every plan includes Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Chat, Jamboard, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Sites, and Forms.
Microsoft 365 Vs Google Workspace – Features
Email: Outlook Vs Gmail
Email is an important part of communication and both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace offer reliable and secure email solutions – including dedicated email apps and storage options.
Microsoft 365’s email app is known as Outlook. The email hosting comes with a 50 GB mailbox (Plan: Business Basic) with the option to choose a custom domain name. The Outlook app contains email, calendar, contacts, tasks, insights, and a lot of other tools to help you work efficiently. It allows sharing attachments directly from OneDrive. You can also book conference rooms or track RSVPs for meetings straight from your Calendar. It has built-in intelligence with automatic bill payments and reminders.
The email app offered by Google – popularly known as Gmail is much more than a simple emailing solution. It allows users to chat, make voice or video calls, and collaborate in real-time. It further offers custom email – to help you set up a professional email for your company like priya@yourcompany or vegas@yourcompany. You can also create group email IDs like content@yourcompany. You can connect with your colleagues using tools like Google Meet or Chat or send calendar invites from within your Gmail account.
Gmail Vs Outlook at a glance
|Pricing (For Business Users)||Starting $6 per month||Starting $6 per month|
|Interface||The Outlook Interface can be accessed through the top bar known as Ribbon. It has multiple features and different ribbons for different views like Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, etc.||Gmail’s inbox is more streamlined – while it does not have as many features as compared to Outlook. Gmail uses Labels as a primary filter to help you organize your inbox.|
|Accessibility||Outlook has both web and desktop versions. It is primarily an email client.||Gmail is basically a webmail service. However, it can also be accessed on a desktop using third-party apps.|
|Storage||Outlook uses OneDrive for storage.
The Business Basic Plan comes with cloud storage of 1 TB.
|In Gmail, users can save files in Google Drive.
The Business Standard plan comes with 30 GB of cloud storage.
|Security||Users have the option to encrypt emails before sending them.||The emails are encrypted using TLS (if the receiving party supports TLS).
It further supports two-step verification.
|Organization||• Outlook allows users to organize their mail according to different categories like by project, by the client, by importance, etc.
• You can flag important emails and even color-categorize them.
• New messages on the same email thread appear as single entries in the inbox
|• Gmail allows users to mark emails as belonging to different labels and categories.
• Instead of flags, you can star mark messages as important and not important.
• Gmail supports thread view – all messages related to a conversation can be viewed as a single item.
|Customizability||In Outlook, you can change the appearance of the app using custom themes. However, it is not as versatile as Gmail.||Gmail offers loads of customizability and themes to make your inbox look attractive.|
Communication: Microsoft Teams Vs Google Chat
Video conferencing is an important part of modern team communication and collaboration, especially in the remote working era.
Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace offer dedicated video conferencing applications – Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, respectively. Microsoft Teams is a comprehensive video conferencing and collaboration tool that allows teams to stay connected on the go; share files and documents; chat, call, or simply share the video. It comes with a lot of features to help teams stay connected and innovate quickly. It comes as a part of the Microsoft 365 offering. However, it is also available as a standalone app (depending on the plan).
Google Meet, formerly known as Hangout Meet, is a video conferencing tool offered by Google – both as a standalone solution and as a part of Business Plans. With features supporting simple scheduling, sharing screens, broadcasting internal events, etc. – it helps you stay connected in a digitally scattered world. Unlike Teams, Google Meet is just for video calls and meetings.
Microsoft Teams Vs Google Meet at a glance
|Microsoft Teams||Google Meet|
|Pricing (Business Users)||$5 user/month
(Supports 24-hour conferences with up to 300 participants, 1 TB Chat attachments, 10 GB OneDrive storage per user)
(Supports up to 100 participants, 30 GB cloud storage, shared calendars, and team messaging).
|Usability||It is ideal for Microsoft 365 users or enterprises with large teams.||It is ideal for Google Workspace users and both small and medium sizes businesses.|
|Accessibility||You need the desktop version.
It also supports Mobile App.
|It can be used in a browser.
It also supports the mobile app.
|Features||• Customizable Backgrounds
• In-transit encryption
• 250+ app integrations
• Screen sharing
• Easy Guest Access
|• Audio and video preview screen
• Live captioning
• Customizable backgrounds
• Screen sharing
• Google Workspace Integrations
Storage: OneDrive Vs Google Drive
When we talk about cloud-based productivity suites like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, we cannot stress the importance of storage enough. Working on the cloud, you will need ample storage to save your data including files, documents, images, etc.
Microsoft 365 offers OneDrive as its cloud storage application. It allows users to store, share, and sync critical data and files. As it is based on the cloud, users get to enjoy the anywhere-anytime access along with strong data backup and protection measures in place. The Business Basic Plan offers 1 TB of cloud storage – which is quite generous when compared to Google Drive. (More on this later)
Google Drive is an extremely popular cloud storage solution – amongst both individual and business users. Just like OneDrive, it allows you to store, share, and collaborate on documents and access files via any device, tablet, or any other device. It is a cloud-native application and thus eliminates the need for local files and minimizes the risk of data loss. Talking about the entry-level storage available – the Business Starter Plan offers 30 GB of cloud storage per user.
OneDrive Vs Google Drive at a glance
|Price||OneDrive for Business (Plan 1) is priced at $5 dollars per month per user – and users get 1 TB of storage.||For $6 dollars per month per user, users get 30 GB of storage space.|
|Free Plan||Users get 5GB of free storage.||Users get 15GB of free storage.|
|File Sharing||Users can share files via links or send them directly to users’ email ID via OneDrive. More security and sharing features are available with the help of SharePoint servers.||Users can create shareable links or directly add users.|
|Features||• Document Scanning
• Online photo storage
• Personal Vault
• PC folder backup
• Real-time editing on Office documents
|• Allows to view any type of file and supports Microsoft Office files as well
• Team collaboration
• Built-in editor
• Converts PDFs to Docs
• Document scanning
Content Creation Apps
Microsoft 365 – the familiar Office Apps
Microsoft Word: Microsoft’s legacy document writing and editing app – Word, does not need any introduction. All Microsoft 365 plans come with Word – however, the desktop version is not included in the Microsoft 365 Business Basic. You will need to use the web version. Word is becoming better with every new update – explore new integrations and intelligent features to make writing fun. For more feature access, you should use the Desktop version.
Microsoft Excel: In a data-driven world, crunching numbers is an important part of everyday life. Microsoft Excel allows you to store, share, and organize data. Use modern formulas to perform calculations and present data in a compelling format. Again, it is available with all Microsoft 365 Plans – with the desktop version not available in the Business Basic plan.
Microsoft PowerPoint: With PowerPoint, you and your team can create powerful and well-designed slides. Even if you have no designing experience, you can use built-in features and design suggestions offered in PowerPoint to create impactful slides. It now also supports 3D objects and animations. You can convert handwritten notes into text using the application.
Google Workspace: Content creation on-the-go
Google Docs: Docs can be used directly from a browser and users do not need to install any software for using it. It allows real-time editing, and every change is automatically saved. The Doc files are saved in Google Drive. The built-in chats feature allows users to communicate while editing. You can also import Microsoft Word files to make them instantly editable. However, some of the formats might change.
Google Sheet: For data organization and management, Google Workspace offers Google Sheet – a smart and collaborative spreadsheet. Just like Excel, it also allows users to use formulas for calculations. It further supports trends and customizable visualizations.
Google Slides: For creating presentations, Google Workspace offers Slides. It allows you to work on a single presentation with real-time collaboration so that your client or your team can work on a presentation together. You can control who gets permission to edit, view, or add comments. When it comes to Word and data processing applications available in Microsoft 365 – users have the option to work offline by using the desktop versions of each of the apps we discussed above. Moreover, the desktop versions have more features compared to the browser versions.
Mobile Apps – Microsoft 365 Vs Google Workspace
Both the productivity suite solutions offer mobile apps (iOS and Android) for added functionality and productivity.
You can also find separate apps for Microsoft 365 applications like Microsoft Word, Teams, OneDrive, Excel, etc. One of the attractive options is the availability of a single app – Office Mobile. It helps users to view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files from a single application without needing to switch. (If you want to read more on it, click here)
Google too offers mobile versions of Gmail, Drive, and Meet. However, the mobile apps of both the productivity suites are limited in terms of feature support as compared to their full-fledged web and desktop versions.
Advanced Features in Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace
Apart from the common features – there are a few advanced features that both these productivity suites offer – that you must be aware of before making a purchase.
Microsoft 365 Advanced Features
- Real-time co-authoring: This feature allows you to co-author documents in real time along with your teammates or your clients.
- Sharing Links: With this feature, instead of attaching files to emails, you can insert a link and manage permissions like editing and viewing. This makes document sharing quite easy.
- Power Map in Excel: This feature can help you turn data into a map with powerful and interactive data visualization.
- Convert to PDF: This feature allows you to save documents to PDF version easily without any formatting issues.
- Work Offline: Microsoft 365 helps you work offline and sync changes when connected to the internet. There is also the version control feature to help you pick the right version of any document.
- Planner: With Microsoft Planner, you and your team can plan workflows and organize collaboration – assign and share tasks.
- Smart Mail Clutter: This feature uses mailbox rules to automatically organize mail – so that high-importance ones are visible first and other emails are moved to the Clutter folder.
Suggested Reading: 8 exciting features to be aware of in Microsoft 365
Google Workspace Advanced Features
- Confidential Mode: It is a security feature that allows Gmail users the right to control who can copy, download, print, or forward emails and attachments. Users can also add an expiration date to their emails for added security.
- Document Versioning: Document versioning in Google Workspace apps helps you track changes in a document – who made these changes – when those edits were made. You can roll back to a preferred version of the document and even name them separately.
- File sharing through Drive: Gmail users can directly insert files from Drive (up to 10 GB). The automated synchronization of all Workspace-created files to Drive is another added advantage.
- Offline Mode: Google Workspace allows users to work offline i.e., without an active internet connection. All changes to the file are synced as soon as you connect to the internet.
- Pageless Docs: This format helps you remove the boundaries of the page you are working on. This allows you to share the page across any device or screen – making it easier to work with wide tables.
- Smarter Meeting Notes: This feature automatically imports any relevant information from a Calendar Meeting invite.
Work in Meet: With this, you can directly present your content (doc, slides, or sheets) on a call without having to switch windows. It also offers live captioning in Meet.
Administration and Security: Microsoft 365 Vs Google Workplace
Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace can be managed from a web interface.
Administrators can create multiple user groups, assign policies, configure security options, check notifications, view events, etc.
Google Workspace assigns Super Admin and Delegated Admin roles. By default, when a user signs up for a new account, he will be assigned the Super Admin role. As a super admin, you can assign new roles and delegate responsibilities.
Microsoft offers an Admin center from where you can manage various Microsoft 365 applications. You can manage aspects like Users, Groups, Roles, Support, Billing, Resources, Health, etc. through the admin center.
Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace take the security of their clients seriously. Several security features are available to help users safeguard their accounts and prevent data loss or theft. Both solutions support multi-factor authorization. With higher subscription plans, you get advanced security features.
Google Workspace offers security features like:
Advanced Protection Program – offered to the most vulnerable users such as celebrities, journalists, and business leaders.
Vault: It is an e-discovery and information governance tool. With this, admins can hold information and even delete any potentially harmful information.
Data Loss Prevention: It allows admins to create and apply rules to control the content that users can share outside the organization.
Secure LDAP: It provides a simple and secure way to connect LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) -based applications and services to Cloud Identity or Google Workspace. More on this, here.
Other security features include group-based policy controls, endpoint management, cloud identity premium, context-aware access, security centre, S/MIME (Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) encryption, assured controls, and access transparency.
Microsoft 365 offers the following security features:
Microsoft Intune: Intune helps administrators manage access to data from endpoint devices. It is available on higher subscription plans.
Advanced Threat Protection: It allows administrators to configure filters that can identify and detect malicious links and attachments. It was recently rebranded as Microsoft 365 Defender.
Exchange Online Protection: This feature protects Microsoft 365 users from spam and malware attacks.
Other security features include security and privacy controls, custom permissions, password policies, and more.
Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace have dedicated 24/7 phone and email support.
Admins and users can find several how-to articles and technical documentation around popular help topics. You can also take help from certified Google Workspace and Microsoft specialists.
Conclusion: Microsoft 365 Vs Google Workspace: Which is better?
If you must decide, you can think in terms of these points:
- Price: While the entry-level business plans offered by both the solutions are somewhat similar, there is a wide gap in storage space. In Google Workspace Business Starter, you only get 30 GB of cloud storage for $6 user/month as opposed to Microsoft 365 Business Basic which offers 1 TB of cloud storage for the same price. However, the higher subscription plans in Google Workspace have generous storage options if you want to explore.
- Storage (both file and email): Do you have a large and growing team? Does your team work remotely? Remote teams need more online storage for easier collaboration with the onsite teams.
- Scalability: If you are a startup or small business, you might want to go with entry-level plans. For growing teams and enterprises, Microsoft 365 seems like a better fit with added security and collaboration tools.
- IT resources: For small businesses with a limited IT workforce, Google Workspace might come in handy with fewer admin management complexities. While Microsoft 365 Starter and Business level plans are easier to manage, the same cannot be said for the Enterprise level plans. You might need a dedicated IT team to manage the security front.
- Free Trial: The Microsoft 365 plans come for a free trial of one month – quite generous as compared to Google Workspace’s free trial of 14 days.
- Desktop Applications: The strongest argument in favor of Microsoft 365 is the availability of desktop apps for word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation. It is quite useful for organizations that work on MS Office Files and wants to send, receive, and edit files offline too.
A point in favor of Google Workspace here is that you can edit both Google Docs and MS Office documents with Google Workspace. Microsoft 365 only supports MS Office documents.
- Exclusive Apps: Microsoft 365 offers applications like Sway and Stream. These apps or their equivalent are not available in Google Workspace.
If you want help in deciding which solution will be right for your business, you can get in touch with our experts at email@example.com
Hope this article will help you make an informed decision.
Priya an ambivert by nature, believes in giving shape to her ideas through her write ups. She is an intellectual person who loves exploring and researching about new things. In her free times she loves reading novels along with some soft music.