For a long time, Microsoft Office was the gold standard for productivity tools and still maintains a healthy lead in the on-premise software segment. If you have a word processor or spreadsheet software “installed” on your system, there is a good chance that it is Microsoft office. Yet, as cloud solutions become ubiquitous, the workplace and the tools we use have changed dramatically. In that aspect, Google’s G Suite has emerged as a new and formidable leader. G Suite remains the market leader with a 64% share and is very much ahead of Microsoft’s cloud productivity tool, Office 365.
All companies, irrespective of the scale or industry, need these productivity tools and after weighing all available solutions, end up with two options: G Suite or Office 365. With a side-by-side comparison we can learn why these are the top two contenders, but also why G Suite is the majority's preferred solution.
The Core Difference
Before we get into individual pros and cons of each platform, one thing worth noting is that most of the differentiators are byproducts of the core difference, when the solutions were created. Microsoft Office has been around since the early nineties and has seen phenomenal success with a virtual monopoly. Its current cloud avatar, Office 365 is (more or less) a refined version of the same package that has been adapted to and optimized for cloud usage.
G Suite, on the other hand, is a child of cloud mobilization. It is built from scratch to work exclusively in the cloud environment and for that reason has a more natural feeling.
Both G Suite and Office 365 offer similar functionalities like word processing, spreadsheets, cloud storage, email clients, etc. through their different apps. Though there are some apps like Google’s Meet for video conference that Office 365 doesn’t have an alternative for, but for the most part, they offer the same functionality.
Again, Office 365 is a repackaged version of its desktop software which feels a lot more cluttered in the browser environment to users. On the other hand, G Suite was built from scratch with cloud usage in mind. This is why it has a clearer, simpler interface than Office 365 and thus is more user-friendly.
One advantage that Office 365 has is that it’s been around since the nineties and the majority of professionals learned the software and are accustomed to that user interface. Thus making onboarding fast and seamless. Yet, G Suite counters that advantage by having an intuitive interface that doesn’t take long to get used to.
This where Office 365 clearly has an upper hand. Take Microsoft Word as an example. It’s derived from its desktop versions which is built for heavy-duty documentation. It has a more robust feature set than Google Docs.
Although Office 365 wins this round, the problem is most people never use all those features which ultimately ends up being perceived as clutter. Google Docs takes a more pragmatic approach in this regard. It offers a simple app with basic features and if a user needs other advanced features, they can integrate requisite Add-ons.
More than anything, the cost is the single most important factor for small and mid-sized firms because well, who else likes to pay for word processors and spreadsheets? Also, given that each of these services works on a subscription basis, even small cost savings can make a huge difference in the long run. At $12/month per user, G Suite would save 20% on your monthly bills compared to Office 365’s $15/month per user (All prices for Business version).
All in all, no software or program is perfect and we all have our biases. Whether you started working with Microsoft or grew up in G Suite’s cloud, your business needs tools that best integrate with all your systems, that are easy to use and manage, and are the best cost for value.
If you are currently using on-premise tools and are looking to migrate to cloud solution, get in touch with us and we’ll see what is the best solution for you.
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