Receive our Newsletter for Top Tips
on Getting the Most Out of Your IT

Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365: Which is Best for Your Business?


Gone are the days when your choice of office suite was limited to one software option. While Microsoft is the powerhouse incumbent that’s well established in organisational environments, Google offers a simple alternative for many businesses.

Choosing which is better for your business will depend on a few factors, so we’ve done the comparison to help you make the best choice based on your needs.

So, the battle is on! Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365 – which is best for your business?

Pricing and scalability

One of the key considerations when choosing between Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365 for your business will no doubt be pricing. Both suites have subscription-based plans with pricing models that scale up to support you as your business grows.

Pricing model comparison

Both productivity suites offer a number of pricing models, with Business Starter, Business Standard and Business Plus (or Business Premium, in the case of Microsoft) being the comparable ones.

Business Starter at a glance:

FactorMicrosoft 365Google Workspace
Base PriceAUD $8.20 per user/monthAUD $8.40 per user/month
Maximum users300300
Custom emailYesYes
Video meetings300 participants100 participants
Cloud storage1TB per user30GB per user
Content creation appsWord

 

Excel

PowerPoint

Outlook

OneDrive

Teams

Exchange

SharePoint

Docs

 

Sheets

Slides

Gmail

Drive

Meet, Chat

Calendar

Currents, Sites, Jamboard

Forms

Keep

Desktop applicationsYesThrough offline mode, syncing to your computer, and downloading to PC (app dependant)
Browser applicationsYesYes
IntranetYes – SharePointYes – Currents
Email application includedYes – OutlookYes – Gmail
SupportStandardStandard
SecurityFully featuredFully featured
Trial version30 days14 days
More pricing detailsMicrosoft 365 plansGoogle Workspace plans

At a glance, Microsoft’s basic paid plan is slightly cheaper, provides more cloud storage (via OneDrive) per user, and allows more participants in video calls (via Teams). Google Workspaces provides a higher number of apps (however many are web only). Both offer month to month subscriptions, while Microsoft 365 also offers an annual commitment (which can also be paid monthly).

Microsoft 365 also provides an additional enterprise pricing model designed to support large businesses and those that want the ability to scale up as they grow. They offer three of these advanced enterprise plans, with many additional options and features designed specifically for medium and large sized businesses.

Collaboration and productivity

For most businesses, collaboration is key and therefore a core requirement in any office suite. Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace offer a range of built-in collaboration and productivity tools within their products. Microsoft is much newer to the game, having invested significantly in recent years in Microsoft Teams as well as its improved modern SharePoint offering, both of which have completely changed how many users utilise Microsoft’s apps.

Google Workspaces was the first to push collaboration as key to its core offerings, with its word processing, spreadsheet and presentation apps able to be shared and worked on simultaneously. Microsoft has swiftly caught up with its 365 “co-authoring” offering, providing the same level of functionality through its web versions of each comparable product, which can be shared manually or accessed via OneDrive or Teams.

Usability of apps

For many users, Microsoft is the platform you know very well because it’s core apps have been used by business and home users for decades. The introduction of Microsoft 365 brought with it Teams and web-based versions of it’s core apps, such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint, that can be viewed and easily edited online in the browser.

For many businesses, Microsoft 365 continues to be the go-to, based on familiarity and prevalence. When comparing Google Workspaces vs Microsoft 365 side by side, Google’s office-style apps can seem a little too simplistic; many are less fully-featured, foregoing advanced functionality in favour of simplicity in design.  This can be confusing and frustrating if you’ve been using Microsoft’s core apps for a long time.

Since its launch in 2006, Google has always focused on providing a web-based offering, but does provide a desktop-like environment through syncing Google Drive to your computer for access to files and content, as well as being able to work on them offline. However, this doesn’t make them true “desktop” applications.

Word processing and spreadsheets

In business, word processing and spreadsheets are often the core applications utilised. When comparing Microsoft Word and Excel to Google Docs and Google Sheets, you notice the marked difference in features. Word and Excel win hands down in advanced formatting, layout and functions, as well as the sheer number of templates and chart types available. However, if your needs are simpler, Google Docs and Sheets are straightforward, and good for entry level and general users.

Microsoft Excel charts
Google Sheets charts

Email

Email is a critical business tool, and this is another example of where Google Workspace favours simplicity in its interface and features with its Gmail application. Microsoft 365’s Outlook, by comparison, is a powerhouse of an application, and even offers a large range of third party add-ons, including:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) apps such as Salesforce
  • Project and task management apps such as Asana, Trello and MeisterTask
  • Proofreading and organisation apps such as Grammarly and Evernote
  • Payment apps such as PayPal
  • Collaboration and communication apps such as Dropbox and Zoom

Not to mention fun apps like Giphy and Emojis.

This isn’t to say that you can’t get add-ons for Gmail; they are added as extensions to Google Chrome, and offer many similar apps and features.

Summary

So, who’s the winner in the Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365 showdown? With so many features available in both, it can be hard to work out which office suite will be best for your business. To summarise our comparison:

  • Pricing is similar, although Microsoft 365’s Business Starter plan is slightly cheaper.
  • Collaboration is simpler and built-in to Google Workspaces core business tools (Docs, Sheets and Slides) although Microsoft 365 has caught up with its OneDrive and Teams apps, with significant ongoing investment and development in these features.
  • Usability is a comparison of familiarity and what features you’re looking for – Microsoft 365 wins hands down in providing more advanced features and add-ons directly into its apps.
  • Email is again a comparison of simplicity over features – for basic, functional email that’s intuitive to use, Google’s Gmail is the clear winner. For more sophisticated features and add-ons, it’s hard to surpass Microsoft’s Outlook.

For some small businesses and startups, Google Workspace will appeal based on its simplicity and the collaborative nature of its apps.

For businesses both large and small that want to leverage the power of Microsoft 365 for its more fully-featured apps and dedicated desktop versions of those apps, Google Workspace will have less appeal.

For many businesses, Microsoft 365 is a familiar and highly usable workplace tool that Microsoft has invested significantly in (and will continue to do so) so it can remain a powerhouse in productivity suites. Microsoft 365 in particular allows you to integrate with many tools you already have, and has dedicated plans for enterprise level organisations, as well as those that want the ability to scale up as they grow.

Want to know more about Microsoft 365 for your business?

SouthEast IT are Melbourne’s experts in Microsoft 365 migration and support. Call us today to find out more about the Microsoft 365 suite and how it can boost your business productivity.  We’re always here to help