Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace
Reading time: 5 minutes
Not that many years ago, apart from a few outliers, Microsoft’s Office suite was the go-to tool for office productivity. Its Word, Excel and Powerpoint applications made it the perfect tool for pretty much everything most offices needed to do. Each individual user had their own version of the software on their own computer and files were stored on a central server or on the user’s own hard drive.
Today, however, everything is happening in the cloud, Microsoft is no longer the only option, and those businesses looking to create or change their productivity tools have a choice to make: Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace?
It’s not an easy choice to make, and to indicate just how tight the competition is, as of November 2022, Microsoft 365 had 48.08% of the global market, compared to 46.44% for Google Workspace. More recent statistics suggest that Google may since have edged ahead.
At first glance, the two seem so similar that the choice is almost going to come down to personal preference. Both allow you to do essentially the same things, and both offer the highest standards of security, but there are a few crucial differences. Understanding these will help you make the best choice for your business and your situation.
This month, we’re taking a look at the ‘Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365’ debate to help those trying to decide between them what the main differences are, and which might be the best choice for their own business.
What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 is essentially the old Office suite relocated to the cloud, although crucially it is still based on a desktop client. That means you can use it offline as well, so that if you lose your internet connection for any reason, you can carry on working. Using the online apps means you don’t get the same level of functionality that you do on your desktop, but does allow for live collaboration. It contains much the same tools as Office – Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook – together with other management and analytics tools.
Benefits of Microsoft 365
- No internet connection needed – an entirely web-based system like Google Workspace undoubtedly has its benefits, but as we’ve already mentioned, having the ability to work offline can be a real bonus.
- Greater functionality – it’s perhaps understandable given that the Office suite is the tool all others try to follow, but if you want your apps to deal with greater and more complicated data, Microsoft 365 for business will usually be your best bet.
- Excel – if complex spreadsheets are an essential tool in the way you handle and process your data, and this is especially going to be the case for financial professionals, then nothing matches the original.
What is Google Workspace?
In many ways, Google has simply taken Microsoft’s Office applications, renamed them – Docs for Word, Sheets for Excel and Slides for PowerPoint – and made them a bit easier to use. That, combined with the fact that Google Workspace plans are more cost-effective for small businesses than Microsoft, means that the more straightforward you want to keep things, the more you’ll be better off with Google Workspace.
Benefits of Google Workspace
- Ease of use – as we’ve mentioned, Google’s apps are easier to use than Microsoft’s. So if you’re only doing relatively straightforward things with it, it makes sense to keep things simpler for your users. It also means less training for you to organise.
- Greater collaboration – collaborate with your colleagues on documents and presentations in real time, whether you’re all in the same office or in different countries or even on different continents.
- Better for remote working – if you’ve taken on remote working in a big way, then the entirely web-based operation of Google Workspace means you can work anywhere, anytime (as long as you have an internet connection).
As a very generalised summary, Microsoft 365 is probably better for bigger and more complex businesses working predominantly in the office, while Google Workspace suits smaller, more dispersed operations better.
Between those two extremes, however, there are a lot of grey areas, so you need to think carefully about how you do things – and, just as importantly, how you want to do things. Your budget is also going to be a factor, so you need to assess exactly what you’re getting for your money.
If things change down the line, changing your plan is an easy option, while migrating to another provider altogether is also more than possible.
As your local experts in all matters to do with commercial IT support, Pickl has the experience and expertise to help you make these decisions. We provide a comprehensive IT consultancy service that can guide you through the necessary processes to find the right solution for you and your business.
Get in touch with us now to find out more. Our teams work with businesses operating in London, Reading, Guildford and the surrounding areas.