Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 are today’s most dominant office suites. They have incredible features and support most browsers, making them convenient for users worldwide. The good news is that you will never go wrong with either Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 if you seek an office suite for basic work.
However, we believe you want the best for your business, meaning you must go for the most suitable productivity and collaboration tool. For this reason, we will compare Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 to ensure you land the most ideal.
Although the two office suites share common features, there are instances where one overpowers the other. For example, Google Workspace is better for collaboration than Microsoft 365 because it is exclusively web-based, allowing users to work on a single document simultaneously. Therefore, it would be best to understand both office suites in detail before making a solid decision.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Google Workspace||Microsoft 365|
|What is it?||Cloud computing, productivity, and collaboration tool developed by Google||Productivity and collaboration tool developed by Microsoft for businesses, healthcare, schools, and government|
|Release Dates||February 10, 2006||July 10, 2017|
|Previous Version||Google Apps, G Suite||Microsoft Office|
|Plans||Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, and Enterprise.||Divided into Microsoft 365 small business plans and Microsoft 365 enterprise plans|
|Pricing||Business Starter: $6/month|
Business Standard: $12/month
Business Plus: $18/month
|Business Basic: $6/month|
Apps for business: $8.25/month
Business Standard: $12.5/month
Business Premium: $22/month
|Productive Apps||Gmail, Drive, Docs, Calendar, Work Insights, Currents, Vault, Chat, Meet, and Endpoint||Word, Excel, Chat, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams|
Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: What’s the Difference?
Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have so much in common. Both have significant applications such as word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and email, making them the most reliable productivity tools. However, the two suites include unique functions and features to outcompete one another.
Keep reading to find out their key differences and understand their pros and cons. That way, you will be able to decide on the most appropriate suite.
Pricing is a crucial aspect when you are deciding on the best office suite for your business. You can enjoy free applications from Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, including Google Docs, Gmail, Microsoft Word Online, and Excel Online. The free version will be an option for users with basic requirements, but if you want a productivity tool with better management and security features, consider the paid option.
Google Workspace Plans
Starting with Google Workspace, it’s the cheapest option in our comparison, especially if you are running a large business. It offers a 14-day free trial on any of Google Workspace’s plans. Its cheapest plan is the Business Starter offered at $6 per user monthly. The plan includes various features such as video conferencing, team messaging, drive file storage of 30GB per user, endpoint management, and group policy-based controls.
These features are crucial for managing and securing your business data effectively. If the Business Starter doesn’t fulfill your needs, you can opt for Google Workspace’s second business plan, the Business Standard. It costs $12 per user monthly, with 2TB of storage per user. With this option, you enjoy all the offers on Business Starter plus archiving, Google Workspace migration tool, and enterprise search capabilities.
The third option is the Business Plus plan at $18 per user per month, which includes all offers in the Business Standard plan and 5TB secure cloud storage. This plan has better management and security tools, such as advanced endpoint management 1st party data search on cloud search. You should consider the Business Plus plan if your business rotates around online meetings as it can hold up to 500 people on Meet for video and voice conferencing.
Enterprise is Google Workspace’s most valued plan. Unlike other Google Workspace plans that allow a maximum of 300 users, this option has no user limit. You will receive all the offers listed under the Business Standard plan, plus other significant management and security features. There is no limit to data storage, and it allows for the 1st and 3rd party data searches.
Microsoft 365 Plans
Shifting our attention to Microsoft 365, its plans aren’t defined as that of Google Workspace. However, they have incredible offers suitable for small businesses. Its cheapest plan, Microsoft 365 Business Basic, costs $6 per user monthly. It can hold up to 300 users with 1TB of cloud storage per user. Unfortunately, this plan doesn’t have a desktop version; you only get the web and mobile versions.
Secondly, You can buy the Microsoft 365 Apps for business at $8.25 per user monthly. It includes both desktop and mobile versions with essential management and security features. The drawbacks of this plan are the lack of exchange email hosting, custom domains, and shared calendars, which are features included in all other plans.
Microsoft 365 Business Standard is another monthly plan offered at $12.50 per user. It offers 1TB of cloud storage per user and includes all offers in Business Basic with additional security features on emails and reporting tools.
Finally, Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the most valued plan under their small business plans. It includes all the offers on other plans plus advanced security features like malware protection and cloud archive.
Besides the small business plans, Microsoft 365 offers Enterprise plans with better sharing and collaboration features that can be used anywhere and on any device. The Enterprise plans include Microsoft 365 F3 at $8, Office 365 E1 at $10, Microsoft 365 Apps at $12, Office 365 E3 at $23, Microsoft 365 E3 at $36, Office 365 E5 at $38, Microsoft 365 E5 at $57 (all charges are per user/month).
Note that we have only mentioned the main Microsoft 365 plans; so, ensure you check all the available plans before deciding the most suitable for your business.
Undoubtedly, Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 provide the best word-processing options for small and large businesses. However, it’s a tough decision to make on whether to use Google Docs or Microsoft Word. If you are challenged to pick between the two-word processing programs, here is a solution to help you land the best.
The ideal word processing program will depend on your business needs. Google Docs will be ideal for collaboration because it has easy access to documents on the web and allows multiple people to work on a single file simultaneously, irrespective of their location. On the other hand, Microsoft Word has been praised for its many templates and outlines that help you create any document within the shortest time possible. It also has a huge storage, unlike Google Docs, which has a limit of 15GB storage. Therefore, Microsoft Word will be ideal if you work on big files and create different types of documents.
For better management, you need productive tools with reliable storage. Both suites provide enough storage space, especially on their expensive plans. Starting with Google Workspace, it provides unlimited storage if you buy the Enterprise plan. You also get 2TB and 5TB storage per person on Business Standard and Business Plus plans.
If you run a small business that would require minimal storage, you can opt for the Business Starter plan, which offers up to 30GB of cloud storage per user. So, looking at Google Workspace’s storage offers, it accommodates all types of businesses. Coming to Microsoft 365, you get 1TB of storage per user on its basic plans, while the more valuable plans, the E3 and E5, offer 5TB of cloud storage per user. Plans with unlimited storage options are not well-defined on Microsoft 365.
Arguably, Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 are equal regarding file sharing as they have a common storage pattern and allow users to access documents on any device. The main difference between the two suites is the mode of storage, which affects the access of files by different users.
Google Workspace’s files are entirely stored in the cloud, although you can save some files locally (on the device). On the other hand, Microsoft 365 stores the files on the devices and also in the cloud. However, you can decide on specific files that you wish to be stored as Cloud-only using the OneDrive Files feature.
Google Workspace gives the administrators of the files the power to decide who can access their files and documents, ensuring the safety of all your stored data. Microsoft 365 also includes the SharePoint Online feature that helps business administrators control multiple users’ files.
Both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have reliable security functions such as data encryption, data loss prevention, and built-in cloud spam and malware detection. However, it’s important to note the expensive plans on both suites have more advanced security features than basic plans. The good news is that all suites have automatic updates, meaning you get current security features based on your plan.
Looking at Google Workspace, it has phishing and spam protection for your email, two-factor verification, group-based policy controls, and endpoint management. You also get advanced security features such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), data loss prevention (DLP), and Secure/ Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) encryption.
Coming to Microsoft 365, it boasts over 1,000 security and privacy functions that help protect all your files. It also protects your email from spam and malware with other significant security features like identity and access management that help you control what users can and cannot access in all the folders.
Here is some good news for Windows users: you get Microsoft Defender Antivirus, Windows Information Protection and BitLocker, and Device Guard to protect your device against security threats. Other vital security features provided by Microsoft 365 include Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, Microsoft Security and Compliance Center, and eDiscovery and advanced audit.
The History of Google Workspace
The Google Workspace journey began at San Jose City College (SJCC) on February 10, 2006. It started small by hosting Gmail accounts with SJCC domain and a few admin management tools. But, to compete with other dominant office suites, it had to introduce more features to attract more customers. On August 28, 2006, Google Apps was introduced for users’ domains to help in business management and collaborations. On October 10, the same year, Google expanded Google Apps to include an edition for education to help in school administration.
The first version of Google Apps was free and didn’t include advanced features to cover all types of businesses. Therefore, Google introduced a paid version of Google Apps on February 22, 2007, at $50 per user yearly. This version had more storage of up to 10GB per user, an application programming interface (API) for business collaboration, 99.9 percent uptime for Gmail, and a 24/7 support team.
On June 25, 2007, Google added other essential features, such as mail migration designed for IMAP server users and shared address books to improve Google App’s services. Google also increased Gmail attachment size at this stage, enabling users to send large files effectively. Later, Google made advances in security features, primarily for Google Apps Premier Edition. It included the ability for users to configure their spam and virus filtering, retrieve lost messages, and offered all-email access for account administrators.
Google has introduced significant productivity features and functions to keep their service in the market, including Google Apps Sync on June 9, 2009, Google Apps Marketplace on March 9, 2010, Google Vault on March 28, 2012, Google Drive on April 24, 2012, Google Apps Referral Program on March 10, 2014, and more. On September 29, 2016, Google Apps was rebranded to G Suite. The new name served until October 6, 2020, when Google announced the productive tool would be rebranded to Google Workspace.
Google has been strict about who can access the free edition of its office suite over the years. On April 26, 2011, Google announced that the free edition would no longer be available for organizations with over 10 users. On June 14, 2021, Google stated that users of the G Suite legacy free edition must upgrade their accounts to a paid tier, or risk suspension of their accounts. In 2022, Google was considerate to users who wanted to create accounts for personal use. It announced that users could use G Suite legacy free edition provided their account was entirely for non-business purposes.
How Microsoft 365 Competes
Microsoft 365 provides multiple plans suitable for small and large businesses. It was introduced in July 2017 as an enterprise subscription product, and later consumer plans were launched. Under these plans, Microsoft provided its users with various options, including Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Microsoft 365 doesn’t focus only on businesses; it also includes education, healthcare, and government plans. That way, it has expanded its market.
Besides Microsoft’s incredible plans, it has the best software and services, unlike other office suites. You can use desktop applications, mobile and web applications, online services, and apps, or enterprise servers and services. Therefore, Microsoft 365 is geared towards improving productivity while considering the needs of all kinds of businesses.
Pros and Cons: Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365
|Real-time collaboration in documents||Minimal storage of 30GB storage per user for the Business Starter plan|
|Easy access to data using any device||No desktop tool|
|Great package plans for all businesses||Limited participants on Google Meet|
|Advanced data encryption||Gmails labels are quite complicated|
|Allow users to save files offline|
|Unlimited storage is offered on the Enterprise plan|
|24/7 phone and email support|
|Numerous pricing options that accommodate different types of users||Difficult to pick the best plan for your business since a single plan has many sub-versions|
|Always-up-to-date cloud services||Most of its plans had standard storage of 1TB per user|
|Incorporates desktop, mobile, and web versions||Limited use of functionality|
|Great storage of 1TB per user on its cheaper plans||Not all plans include an installable version|
|24/7 phone and email support||Costly upgrades for systems that don’t support Microsoft 365|
|A lot of templates and outline on Microsoft Word|
Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: 6 Must-Know Facts
- Google Workspace was introduced on February 10, 2006, and was initially called Google Apps and was later rebranded to G Suite before its current name.
- Microsoft 365 was released on July 10, 2017, and was introduced as an enterprise subscription product.
- Google Workspace has four plans: Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, and Enterprise, while Microsoft 365 has two main plans, for business and enterprise, but includes many sub-versions with different offers.
- Google Workspace is web-based, while Microsoft 365 has both desktop and web versions.
- Google Workspace offers a 14-day free trial, while Microsoft 365 gives users a 1-month free trial.
- Google Workspace has a free version, the G Suite legacy free edition, While Microsoft 365 offers Office 365 Education for students and educators freely.
Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: Which One is Better?
Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace share standard features for business productivity, collaboration, and cloud-based services that will fulfill your business needs. You also get complete control of all features as an administrator, ensuring your data is accessed by only people you permit. So, you will identify the best office suite depending on your business needs.
Google Workspace will be ideal if you have a lot of files and documents that should be shared among multiple people and require real-time collaboration on a single document. On the other hand, Microsoft 365 is the most suitable office suite if you work on big files, especially on word processing, and require huge storage, advanced productivity features, and security for your business.
You should also consider Microsoft 365 if you run a small business because it has many pricing options. We recommend Microsoft 365 over Google Workspace for small businesses because it has better cloud storage of 1TB per user and provides both desktop and web versions on its cheapest plan.