Office 365 vs Google Apps: Which is best?

Office 365 vs Google Apps: Which is best?

Developed by two of the biggest names in the technology sector, Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Business are arguably the go-to hosted office suites for modern workplaces.

Both cloud computing solutions are affordable, scalable and designed to cater for all the professional needs of today’s fast-paced businesses, so choosing between the two is not an easy task. Below, we’ve listed the key pros and cons of each application (aside from cost) to help you decide which package will have the most positive impact on your company’s efficiency and productivity.

Functionality and usability

Let’s work through all of the important factors for business users.

Generally, each application’s user interface is simple, intuitive and relatively uncluttered, though Microsoft’s offering is more polished and refined (probably due to the fact Gates and his team have worked their way through decades of re-releases and have had plenty of time to tweak and test their product).

The functionality and versatility of the word processing package is the deal-clincher for many businesses when it comes to choosing their office suite. Long-term Microsoft advocates often have an issue with migrating to other office suites because some don’t offer the ability to work with Microsoft’s standard file formats. Fear not – Google Docs does give you the option to save or export your work as a .doc, although compatibility is far from perfect. Features, however, are much more limited in Google Apps, so the suite may be too much of a departure overall for those who are familiar with Word.

In terms of email, Microsoft’s Exchange Online and Google’s Gmail platforms are largely similar. Microsoft offers 50GB of email storage on its unlimited plan, while Google’s entry-level package, Apps for Business, offers just 30GB.

A final point to consider – Google Apps is entirely browser-based, which makes working difficult for those without a fast, reliable internet connection, although it is possible to use Docs, Sheets and Slides in offline mode within your Google Chrome browser if you make a few select changes to the admin console.

Conversely, Microsoft Office 365 can be purchased with local copies of the major software packages, which makes working offline a whole lot easier.


Office 365 will undoubtedly appeal to companies that want to keep their private data under wraps, as Microsoft clearly states that it will never scan or sell classified information on to third party companies. Gmail, on the other hand, operates a privacy policy that’s slightly less clear-cut, confirming that your information may be used for advertising purposes.


Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps are designed to be easy on the wallet and both offer good value for money. It’s difficult to compare the two like for like, as each package offers varying user limits, storage limits and functionality, but the key is to ensure that the platform is able to do what you need it to do before you commit to a subscription.

If you’re still unsure as to which hosted office suite will best suit your needs, get in touch with one of our consultants to discuss your requirements and identify the features that are most crucial to your business.

Published On: August 18, 2014/By /Categories: Google, Microsoft News/
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