Google Vs Office 365: What Do You Prefer?

Which business productivity tool do you prefer? 

Is it the age-old wisdom and IT expertise of Microsoft or Google’s innovative skills and ability to provide service?  It is vital for you to seek appropriate answers to these questions, as it will empower you to make the right choice for your company's cloud service provider.  In this regard, it becomes imminent for you to compare key features provided by Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Work. On the one hand, Microsoft has been the proven provider of office solutions for several years and continues to be with the comprehensive business productivity suite of Office 365 for the cloud.  On the other hand, Google follows a simple and minimalistic approach with the Google Apps for Work suite, which includes Google Drive, Hangouts and Google Docs. 

I will be the first to admit that it is difficult to choose between the similar types of cloud services offered by both to improve business efficiency. But let's take a closer look at the features offered by Office 365 and Google Apps for Work and the reasons for selecting one of them for your business. 

Productivity and Overhead 

Would you not rather have your cloud requirements fulfilled with a single package of apps than having to get different apps and try to integrate them?  

Office 365 offers a complete productivity solution and your business will not need other third-party apps or solutions along with it. It keeps evolving and offers flexibility to address any requirements that may come up in future.  

Yet, Google Apps for Work still have some gaps to be filled and it becomes necessary for businesses to purchase third-party apps to access the required additional functionalities. For example, Google Hangouts depends on third party apps to enable simple desktop sharing. 

This leads to an increased overhead, with more cloud solution expenses as well as infrastructure challenges. Also, there is the additional need to deal with multiple vendors offering different solutions, which is not the case with Office 365. 

Plans on Offer 

Scope to Save Initial Costs  

Google Apps for Work only provides two straightforward plans for use by any business, namely a Google Apps for Work plan and an unlimited Google Apps for Work Plus plan. Due to the lack of options, it becomes difficult for companies to initially save costs and then upgrade to a higher plan. If your needs cannot be fulfilled by the simple plan, you have no choice but to opt for the unlimited one from the start. 

Microsoft resolves this issue of a limited choice of plans for businesses by offering specific plans for specific requirements. Plans such as Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium are suitable for either small- or medium-sized businesses.  

The other four plans of Microsoft, namely Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Enterprise E3 and Office 365 Enterprise E4, cater to the needs of large enterprises.  

Such detailed bifurcation of plans with varied costs per plan makes it easier for your business to initially save costs and gradually upgrade to a higher plan with increased costs and features. 

Flexible Pricing and Commitment 

Google Apps for Work offers more flexibility as their plans can be purchased on a monthly or yearly basis.  

Microsoft mostly seeks annual commitments from businesses, but now also offers plans for purchase on a monthly basis (for Business plans only and not for Enterprise plans).  

The cheapest plans for both Microsoft and Google cost $5 per month, whereas the most expensive one by Google is offered at $10 per month and Microsoft’s most expensive one costs $15 per month.  

The overall pricing and apps comparison for Office 365 and Google for Work is indicated below:  


Productivity Apps

Email, Calendar and Messaging Apps

Office 365

£3.70-£9.40 per user (monthly)

£37.20-£193.20 per user (annually)

PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Word and Sites

Outlook, Skype for Business and Yammer

Google Apps for Work

£3.30-£6.60 per user (monthly)

£33-£79 per user plus tax (annually)

Docs, Forms, Slides, Sheets and Sites

Gmail, Calendar and Hangouts


The detailed pricing breakdown for the various Office 365 plans

Annual Pricing

Monthly Pricing

Plan Type

Office 365 Business Essentials

£37.20 per user

£3.70 per user


Office 365 Business

£84.00 per user

£8.50 per user


Office 365 Business Premium

£93.60 per user

£9.40 per user


Office 365 Enterprise E1

£60.00 per user

Not Offered


Office 365 ProPlus

£121.20 per user

Not Offered


Office 365 Enterprise E3

£176.40 per user

Not Offered


Office 365 Enterprise E4

£193.20 per user

Not Offered




For a long time now, your personal or business needs to create presentations, charts, formula-based spreadsheets, formatted text documents, email appointments and so on have been easily fulfilled by apps such as PowerPoint, Excel, Word and Outlook.  

Microsoft is known for delivering these apps and making our lives much easier. Now, it also offers compatible solutions even on the cloud.  

Office 365 is compatible with most software and apps that are in demand by businesses, thereby making it easy to import as well as export data from other applications. It ensures seamless synchronisation and continuity across desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. 

Google Apps for Work only offers compatibility with a few Google-powered applications. For synchronisation across devices, you will have to install the Google Chrome browser on every device you use. Furthermore, the issues encountered while transferring Excel formulas to Google spreadsheets have been reported on multiple times. 

If your company existed before Google Apps for Work came into the picture, then there is a great likelihood that your employees and systems will be well acquainted with apps like Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook.  

Now, if you plan to move to Google Apps for Work, your company may have to spend some time and do some effort to train your staff to effectively use Google Apps if you want to get these Microsoft apps compatible with Google Apps.  

This is due to your employees’ slightly less familiarity with the relatively new Google Apps in comparison to the traditional Microsoft Office apps.  

It is therefore much easier for you to shift from desktop Microsoft apps to cloud solutions on offer by Office 365 than to switch to Google Apps for Work. However, the user-friendly Google Apps don't generally take much time to get acquainted with.  

Cloud Storage 

Google Apps for Work offers 30GB of storage space for file syncing and sharing with its simple plan. For its unlimited plan, it offers unlimited storage if at least five users use it. If less than five users use it, the unlimited plan provides 1TB of storage space.  

With Office 365, every user gets 1TB of storage space across all plans, which is a pretty good value for money, especially for low-cost plans. 

Audio and Video Conferencing 

Does your company have offices or clients in different cities or countries?  

If yes, what do you think is the ideal way to ensure smooth and quick operations across geographical boundaries?  

Video conferencing and online video meetings are the best way to do it.  

Skype for Business offered by Office 365 offers unlimited video conferencing options with up to 250 users. You can share your computer screen, share documents and get the required tasks done quickly via such video-enabled online meetings. 

It is also possible to have video meetings with clients and other employees using Google Hangouts, as part of Google Apps. However, these can only be done with a maximum of 15 users and there are certain restrictions on the number of such online meetings. 

So which one do you use? What has been your best experience so far? Please leave your comments below and thanks for reading!