Microsoft 365 VS Google Workspace
Deciding on the right office suite for your business can be challenging. There are ultimately two key players to choose between – Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.
From the early 2000s, Microsoft dominated the world of productivity, until 2006 when Google came along and launched their suite of products. Since then Microsoft and Google have been the biggest rivals in the productivity space.
To help you decide which of these two office suite giants is best suited to your business, we put Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace side-by-side to see how they compare. Whilst on the surface they seem to be very similar in terms of functionality, once you scratch the surface there are some very different features that could sway your decision.
At a glance…
|Microsoft 365||Google Workspace|
|Deployment||Cloud and hybrid||Cloud|
|Offline access||Yes||Limited to certain applications|
|Real time collaboration||Yes||Yes|
|Desktop application access||Most plans||No|
|Online application access||Yes||Yes|
|Storage||From 50GB email and 1TB of drive storage per user||From 30GB combined email and drive storage per user|
At a glance, the two products look similar, don’t they? But let’s take a deeper dive into the key differences between the solutions.
Microsoft 365 was launched in 2011 to help “bring together” Microsoft’s existing productivity tools such as Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook into an “always up-to-date cloud service”. Recently, Microsoft announced new licence changes, making Microsoft 365 the new Office 365, which now has over 200 million monthly active users world-wide.
Migrating to Microsoft 365 takes your business into the cloud. And when moving into the cloud you want to ensure you have enough space to store all your businesses data. All Microsoft 365 business plans come with 1TB of OneDrive storage and 50GB of email storage per user, with the ability to buy more if needed.
Alongside their cloud storage, Microsoft offers hybrid solutions.
Microsoft 365 is an application powerhouse with some of the leading productivity tools to help your business achieve fearless growth.
- Word: Take your writing to the next level with the ability to collaborate with anyone from anywhere in real-time.
- Excel: Gain control of your data. You can view and edit a spreadsheet in real-time from any location, providing you with a better picture of your data.
- PowerPoint: Bring your A-game to your next presentation with PowerPoint. Have the ability to co-author with other presenters to present with confidence.
- SharePoint: Simply share and manage your organisation’s content in one place for seamless collaboration.
- OneDrive: Take your files with you. OneDrive allows you to save your files in the cloud so you can share and collaborate with employees from any device.
- Outlook: Have a centralised application with a unified view of your email, calendar, contacts, and files. Keeping you more organised than ever before.
- Teams: Teams allows you to chat, meet, call, and collaborate in a centralised and secure system. On any device. No matter where you are.
- Yammer: Improve and enhance employee engagement on a professional social media platform. Start keeping your employees informed, aligned, and moving forward.
Microsoft invests over $1 billion into their products’ security every year. Security is at the forefront of Microsoft’s mind, to ensure that your business is secure when using their products.
Some of the security features you can take advantage of are:
- Advanced Threat Protection (ATP): Guard your employees from any attack designed to compromise your business information. ATP will provide you with; attachment scanning, AI analysis to identify and remove threatening messages and automatic link scanning on any emails to ensure it’s not part of a phishing attack.
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP): DLP will automatically identify any sensitive information (for example credit card details, security numbers and passport number) to prevent sharing this information with anyone outside your organisation.
- Multi Factor Authentication (MFA): Enabling MFA requires employees to provide multiple forms of certification to prove their identity when signing into their account. MFA means your employees accounts are 9% less likely to be compromised.
- Microsoft 365 security centre: The security centre enables you to monitor and manage all identities, data, devices, apps and infrastructure all in one place.
- Intune: Manage your devices and applications with ease with an integrated endpoint management platform. With Intune you can automate deployment, provisioning, policy management, app delivery and updates.
- Secure Score: Microsoft’s Secure Score allows you to improve your businesses security posture through intelligent insights and guidance. Read our Beginners Guide to Microsoft’s Secure Score here.
When creating the Microsoft 365 solutions, Microsoft created subscriptions that would be suitable for everyone. In this they considered the cost when creating pricing to ensure they were affordable. Meaning you’ll get more bang for your buck.
|Plan||Cost per user per month|
|Microsoft 365 Business Basic||£3.80|
|Microsoft 365 Business Standard||£9.40|
|Microsoft 365 Business Premium||£15.10|
|Microsoft 365 F3||£7.50|
|Microsoft 365 E3||£28.10|
|Microsoft 365 E5||£48.10|
Google Workspace has now passed 2 billion users, but only 5 million of those are reaping the benefits of the paid platform.
Googles cloud storage starts off much lower on their Starter plan at 30GB but dramatically jumps up to unlimited on the Enterprise plan – as does Microsoft 365 with their enterprise plans). So, it depends on the sort of storage your business needs.
The applications Google have included in Google Workspace are very similar to the ones Microsoft include in their subscriptions.
Google Workspace allows you to connect with other employees with ease. Within the solution you’ll have access to:
- Gmail: Gmail is a secure and smart inbox, allowing you to do more with your inbox.
- Calendar: Better manage your time and plan with the calendar function
- Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts is a platform that allows you to seamlessly video call and message with other employees. Find out how Google Hangouts compares to Microsoft Teams.
- Google Drive: Store all of your Google Docs, Sheets and Slides all in one place that allows you to easily share them with your wider team.
Google Workspace prides itself on allowing businesses to create whatever you need to get the job done. You’ll have access to three key solutions to help you be productive:
- Docs: Google Docs is a cloud-native word processing application that allows you to collaborate with other employees in real time.
- Sheets: This is Googles version of Microsoft Excel and allows you to manage and organise all your data in an online spreadsheet.
- Slides: Google Slides enables you to create slide decks in the cloud.
Security is at the heart of any decision when looking into new software. And Google have the basics in place across all pricing plans with two-step verification, Group-based policy controls, Advanced and Protection Programme and Endpoint management. All of this will provide you with the basic security features you need to start keeping your business secure – but many businesses want something more than that. And the higher Google Workspace plan you’re on, the more security features you’ll have access to – for example Vault and Data Loss Protection.
Google has created four clear pricing plans to make it easy for businesses to select the one right for them. Whilst there is a clear difference between the plans the key difference is the amount of storage you have and the features you have access to.
|Plans||Cost per user per month|
|Enterprise||No standard pricing|
What’s the right office solution for me?
For us there’s a clear winner. And that’s Microsoft 365 – thanks to its security capabilities and variety of plans to suite any business of any size.
Cloud storage: This is the bread and butter of a cloud productivity suite. You need to have enough storage in order for your data to be securely saved. Microsoft offers a generous amount of storage with the ability to add more if and when needed, but Google allows you to go that extra mile and will allow you to have unlimited storage if needed.
Security: No one gets security like Microsoft does. With their huge yearly investment into security, its safe to say they’re in the best position to keep you secure. Whilst Google has fantastic security tools available, some of which are very similar to the ones in Microsoft 365, Microsoft storms ahead with their comprehensive security solutions.
Price: Microsoft have created a variety of pricing plans to help suite every business. Whilst Google have created four strong pricing plans, Microsoft wins us over with their vast range of plans suited for everyone.
Office applications: In terms of features, applications and tools, there’s not much in it. From the surface they come with variations of the same tools, but within the tools the functionality is quite different. Did you know, if you’re using Google Workspace you need basic office applications, such as Excel and Word, in order to collaborate with third-parties – meaning you could be paying twice if you go for Google over Microsoft.