Once upon a time, Microsoft Office ruled the business world. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, Microsoft’s office suite had left rivals such as Word Perfect Office and Lotus Smart Suite without any. Then, in 2006, Google launched Google Docs and Spreadsheets, a collaborative online word processing and spreadsheet duo that, combined with other business services, formed the Google Apps Suite, which was later renamed G Suite.

While Google’s productivity suite didn’t immediately make waves in the business world, its functionality and popularity have grown over time, with more than 5 million paying users now. At the same time, Microsoft has shifted its focus from traditional genuine Office software to Office 365, a subscription-based version that is more like a service, frequent updates and new features. Office 365 is what we’re focusing on in this story.

Choosing an office suite isn’t as simple as it used to be. We are here to help.

Comparison of G Suite to Office 365. What is the best productivity suite?

G Suite and Office 365 have a lot in common. Both are subscription-based, per-month charges to businesses, and different levels of fees depending on the functionality that customers need. Although G Suite is web-based, it also has the ability to work offline. And while Office 365 is based on installed desktop software, it also provides (less powerful) web-based versions of apps.

Both kits work on a range of devices. Because web-based, G Suite works in most browsers on any operating system, and Google also offers apps for Android and iOS. Microsoft offers Office client apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, which can run across browsers.

These suites also provide the same basic core applications. Each has word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, e-mail, calendar, and contact programs, as well as video conferencing, messaging, and note-taking software. Each has the cloud storage associated with it. However, these individual applications also have a big difference in management tools in a business environment. And both suites offer a large number of additional tools. Therefore, it can be difficult to decide which suite is better for your business.

That’s what this article does. We provide a detailed office suite for every aspect, from an application comparison to how each suite handles collaboration, how their applications are integrated, their prices and support, and so on. Our focus here is on how these kits work for the business, not for personal use.

Pricing: G Suite and Office 365 subscription comparison

“Follow the money” is the mantra of investigators everywhere, and it’s a good place to start when you start deciding which office suite is right for you. Individuals can use several online applications in both suites for free – including Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, as well as Microsoft Word Online, Excel Online, and PowerPoint Online–, but businesses should choose paid G Suite and Office 365 subscriptions for the necessary security and management features. Take a look at the chart below, first g Suite, and then Office 365 to compare plans and prices.

Enterprise’s G Suiite pricing options

There are three versions of Google Suite. Basic, Business, and Enterprise. Basic, $6 per user per month, including a full range of apps and 30GB of storage. (Nonprofits can use G Suite Basic for free, $12 per user per month, and the business plan includes all of these features, plus unlimited storage and archiving, enterprise search capabilities, additional management tools, and low-code applications.) The Enterprise Edition, which costs $25 per user per month, includes all the features of the Business Edition, plus more administrative controls.

Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise Pricing Options

Office 365 Enterprise Subscriptions are more complex, from the most basic version of Office 365 Business Essentials, $5 per user per month, to Office 365 E5, $35 per user per month, and is the most feature-rich version for the enterprise.

In addition, many Office applications and services are available on demand. Some companies prefer to pay for lower-level plans and then one or two of them as add-ons rather than higher-level comprehensive plans.

Comparison of G Suite and Office 365: Apps by App

Every business has different needs, and your business may value certain applications more than others. For some companies, word processing and e-mail may be the most important applications in the office suite, while others may need a powerful spreadsheet program, not anything else.

To help, we’ve compared each of the major types of applications in G Suite and Office 365 so you can lock in the applications that are most important to your business and let their strengths and weaknesses guide your overall decision.”
We will only include the following highlights.

Word processing: Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word

It’s quite straightforward to decide whether your business is using Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Which is more important to your users: easy-to-use collaboration, or the maximum scope of document creation and editing? When it comes to collaboration, Google Docs is even better. For a fully functional word processor, you’ll find that what you need is Word.

I’m talking about Word with great functionality, not a bunch of tools your business might never use. I’m talking about powerful features that make your workflow easier and more productive. If you’re creating a report, manual, resume, or almost any other type of document, Word provides an excellent set of preset templates so you can quickly start writing and know that your document will have a solid, useful design. For example, Word has nearly 50 different reporting templates, compared with five for Google Docs. Word also provides more chart types and styles that can be embedded in the document.

But When it comes to real-time collaboration, Google Docs is better than Word. Collaboration is seamless and built into it from the start, and in Word it’s harder to use, less comprehensive, and feels attached, not an integral part of the program.
Word has always been the gold standard for off-site collaboration — editing and tagging documents for others to review — but Google Docs has come a long way and is now almost as good as Word. Word’s editing tools are slightly more controllable, but otherwise their levels are basically flat.

Spreadsheet: Google Forms and Microsoft Excel

Do your company’s users work primarily on spreadsheets, or do they often work with others? The answer to this question will determine whether Excel or Google Sheets are better for your business.

Excel is a clear winner for users who work mainly on their own. Like Word, its wide selection of templates provides a wealth of content. For example, there are more than 60 templates that provide more than 60 templates for different types of budgets. Whether it’s a business budget or a special-purpose budget, such as a marketing campaign budget, you’ll probably find one that fits your needs and can be easily edited. By contrast, Google Sheets has only three different budget templates.

Excel also offers many more chart types than Google Sheets — a total of 17 — including popular chart types such as bar, line, pie, bar, and area; And many chart types have multiple subtypes — for example, in a bar chart, you’ll find clustered bars, overlay bars, overlay bars, and subplots, each with two variations. Google Sheets has only seven major chart types. Creating charts with Excel is also simpler than in Google Sheets.

But in real-time collaboration, Google Sheets far outstrips Excel. As with Docs, collaboration is embedded directly in Sheets. Not only does it have more powerful tools, but they are naturally integrated and easy to access. The same is true for editing and commenting on spreadsheets.

Presentation: Google Slideshow and Microsoft PowerPoint

Like word processing and spreadsheet applications, Google Slides or PowerPoint is the best place for your business. Do you value collaboration or the power of the demo program? If collaboration is the king of your company, Google Slides is better. For every other reason, PowerPoint is.

For example, PowerPoint’s QuickStarter feature can quickly start a presentation. Choose the theme of your presentation, and QuickStarter will guide you through creating an outline, start slide, template, and theme. Google Slides doesn’t have the right features.

Similarly, like PowerPoint, it makes it easier to add graphics, transitions, animations, and multimedia. It also has more chart and table types. And it has an awkwardly rich feature in the presentation itself, such as Rehearse Timings, which times each slide as you rehearse, which means the time you spend on each slide. That way, you won’t get into trouble on any of the slides, and you can practice giving each slide the time you deserve. Google Slides doesn’t have that feature.

However, google Slides rules, when it comes to collaboration, are far more than the clumsy and clumsy features built into PowerPoint. Also, since Slides offers fewer features than Excel, it is slightly easier to create slides because it does not encase many features on the interface.

Email: Gmail and Microsoft Outlook

If you like simplicity, you’ll prefer Gmail to Outlook. Gmail has a cleaner, less cluttered interface than Outlook’s default interface, which strikes the best balance between ease of use and powerful features. However, Outlook has made some progress in ease of use, and you can open a new simplified ribbon.
Whether you’re creating, replying to, or managing emails, Gmail provides an intuitive interface and easy-to-use tools to get your work done quickly. Our favorites include an AI-driven option that prompts words and phrases as you type, a “tips” feature for forgetting messages, and a “sleep” button for delaying receiving messages.

However, when it comes to powerful features, Outlook rules. For example, Outlook’s Spotlight feature lets you see and reply to the most important messages first, while its Clean up feature does a good job of simplifying long threads of messages, so they’re easier to follow. And because contacts and calendar features are part of Outlook itself, they integrate well with e-mail. Gmail relies on separate Google contacts and calendar apps, which can make browsing more difficult.

If your users want every possible ringtone and whistle, Outlook can provide it. Gmail is a better choice if you want to get things done quickly.

Collaboration: Google Hangouts chats and parties with the Microsoft team

As I’ve pointed out many times in this article, When it comes to document collaboration, Gmail is far better than Office 365 — it’s embedded directly into the interface, rather than feeling like an afterthought like Office 365. It’s all in front of you, invite people to collaborate, set permissions to collaborate, and chat with them while you’re doing work together. There’s a deeper learning curve for using collaboration in Office 365, and even if you learn how to collaborate, it’s not as seamless as G Suite.

However, working together on a single document is only part of it. When it comes to more complex, enterprise-wide collaboration capabilities, Office 365 contains more tools than anything G Suite offers. For example, Microsoft Teams combines features such as group chat, online conferencing, web and video conferencing, custom workspaces, and shared team libraries, more complex and useful than any Google feature. Teams has deep connections to the rest of the Office platform, providing easy integration with Outlook, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, and more.

Microsoft’s Skype for Business video conferencing platform also integrates Office 365, but is phasing out teams.

G Suite, on the other hand, offers Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat for video conferencing, a messaging and workflow integration platform that is tightly integrated with the rest of G Suite. These tools are useful and straightforward, although they are not as powerful as Office 365 products.
Office 365 and G Suite each offer their own social network-like places to interact with, as does Office 365’s Yammer and G Suite’s Currents. However, none of them are directly integrated with their respective office suites.

Storage and file sharing: Google Drive with Microsoft OneDrive for Business and SharePoint

In addition to the cheapest version of the G Suite — basic version, which provides only 30GB of storage per person, both suites come with plenty of storage space. Two more expensive G Suite options include unlimited storage. Office 365’s Small Business and Low-level Enterprise programs include 1TB of storage per user, while their E3 and E5 plans include unlimited storage.

There is little difference between G Suite and Office 365’s storage and shared document capabilities. Both Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive for Business have directly integrated their own office suites and both allow you to access files on any device. In G Suite, files are saved in the cloud by default, not the device itself, although you can also store them locally. In Office 365, they live on every device, and they also live in the cloud, and all files are synchronized together.

If you’re worried about offline access to the cloud-first G Suite, it provides a management tool that allows administrators to set whether users can access their documents and use Docs, Sheets, and Slides when their computers are not connected to the Internet. These tools allow administrators to install a policy on each PC that allows access, or let each user decide whether to allow offline access.

OneDrive has a nice feature called OneDrive Files on Demand that lets users decide which files to store on their personal devices and which files to stay on on the cloud, even though files and folders in the cloud can still be downloaded when they are on the device.

Almost all Office 365 business and enterprise plans include a free version of Microsoft’s SharePoint service, called SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online adds a lot of functionality to storage and sharing. It manages and organizes documents, workflows, and other shared information, often through a series of small Web sites.

SharePoint Online is delivered as a service and hosted by Microsoft, so businesses don’t need to buy and manage their own servers and infrastructure. However, they may need administrators to handle some SharePoint Online tasks, such as content management and portal design.

In addition, there is a paid version called SharePoint Server, which is provided under a separate license and is not part of Office 365. With SharePoint Server, your business can host and manage the physical and software infrastructure that SharePoint needs. This means performing tasks such as setting up servers, applying security patches and feature updates, and monitoring uptime, reliability, and security. With SharePoint Online, these tasks are handled by Microsoft.

Google doesn’t offer a service in G Suite that’s really comparable to SharePoint Online. Users of business plans and enterprise plans can use a feature called Team Drive, a Google Drive folder that can be accessed and managed by multiple people. They can serve as convenient repositories for team members to store and share documents, images, and other files, but team drives are not like the integrated in-site sites provided by SharePoint.

One last thing to note is that Google’s search tool finds documents in Google Drive is much better than Microsoft’s Search tool in OneDrive, and its cloud search capabilities extend Google’s search capabilities to all of the company’s content. That being said, it’s generally easier to browse OneDrive using File Explorer than to browse Google Drive on the web.

Other tools and other features for G Suite and Office 365

These two office suites offer more than just standard word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and email/calendar applications, each with additional features. Understanding these additional features can help you decide which suite is best for your business.

Office 365 goes far beyond the basic functionality of the suite, with many additional applications and smaller applications. The most important of these is Access, which can be used to build business applications that can be based on templates or start ingress entirely from scratch. It is designed for non-developers, although it does require some coding intelligence. Access is only available to Windows, office 365 E1 and Business Essentials users. Another PC-only program (except E1 and Business Essentials) that is included only in business plans is the desktop publishing software Publisher.

The OneNote Notepad app is a very useful but underutilized part of the Office suite. Last year, Microsoft stopped installing the OneNote desktop client as part of a standard Office installation, although it can still download it separately. However, from March 2020, desktop apps will again be included in Office 365 — a good thing because it provides much more powerful features than the web or universal Windows platform version of the app.

Office 365 also comes with Microsoft Forms, an app that lets you create surveys, quizzes, and polls, as well as Microsoft Planner, which, as the name suggests, helps teams create plans, share files, chat about your work, and track updates. It can work on its own or integrate with Microsoft Teams. Another application included in the Enterprise Office 365 program is Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow), which allows enterprises to automate repetitive tasks and integrate them into workflows — for example, when new items are added to SharePoint, alerts are sent automatically.

Other apps and services included in some Office 365 business and enterprise initiatives include: PowerApps, a low-code app development tool; MyAnalytics, a productivity analysis tool; Delve, a tool that lets users find and organize content in Office 365; Stream, an enterprise video service; Sway, a tool for creating web-based presentations; and Kaizala, A mobile job management application for front-line workers.

Finally, Microsoft offers additional tools that are not part of Office 365, but are integrated with Office 365, such as To Do, a to-do list app that works with Outlook and Microsoft Planner.

It’s a lot of extra stuff, which is both a good and a bad thing. The benefits are obvious — there are plenty of tools available for you. The downsides may be less obvious—- it’s confusing to know how they work (or not work) together.

G Suite has fewer extra tools, and most of them are less powerful than the extra tools of Office 365. Google Forms, which works alongside Sheet, is probably the most powerful and useful of these additional tools. As the name implies, it lets you create forms for a variety of purposes, such as order forms, work requests, leave requests, and active feedback.

Google Sites is another useful tool. It lets you create team and company websites for personal projects, events, and other similar purposes. There’s also a Google Keep notes app, which is simple, simple, not as complicated as Microsoft’s OneNote. AppMaker (G Suite Business and AppMaker in the Enterprise Program) provides a low-code app development environment.

If you want to create graphics, especially charts, you’ll love Google Drawings, which isn’t included in G Suite, but can work with G Suite (and it’s free). If you create a drawing with Drawings and embed it in Google Doc, and then make changes in the drawing file, the drawings in Google Docs will be updated.

With the exception of Microsoft’s Access and PowerApps and Google’s AppMaker, none of these extra features offer knock-on-the-brick features that allow those with limited programming experience to create truly useful applications. Therefore, they may not affect which suite is best for your business. For many companies, they are a must-have tool, not a must-have.

G Suite and Office 365: Security and management tools

Choosing a productivity suite with the best functionality is one thing, but it is often overlooked how difficult, or how easy, it is to manage the suite and protect your data. Even the best user-facing features can’t make up for the lack of security and management tools. So, you’re going to want to compare G Suite to Office 365.

Both suites are managed through a Web interface, and in both cases, the interface has some unsatisfactory aspects, with some confusion in options and layout. However, Microsoft’s 365 Central Administration Center’s Essentials view is better than anything in G Suite because it makes it easy for you to accomplish the most common tasks, including editing new and existing users, changing licenses, paying bills, and installing Office on your device. And it has an Add User Wizard that helps you set up email, licenses, roles, contact information, and more in one place.

In addition to the interface, Office 365 provides better account security, superior mobile management, and more administrative control. However, G Suite supports critical management functions and is not required to comply with the enterprise. And both suites protect your data with enterprise-class security and provide a central security center to manage user rights and protection.

G Suite and Office 365: Services and Support

In an ideal world, there would be no problem with the office suite and no one needed technical support. But we don’t live in that ideal world. So you’ll want to know what kind of support and updates G Suite and Office 365 offer.

G Suite provides 24/7 technical support by phone, email, and chat, but only for G Suite administrators. There is also a searchable admin help center and a blog that covers the posting of G Suite updates. Also useful is G Suite administrators helping the community, including forums and YouTube videos, to help administrators with common tasks. Non-administrators need access to Google’s general help area, which includes many Google products, including YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Photos, in addition to The Various Components of G Suite. There is also a G Suite Learning Center for user training.

In addition, Microsoft provides Office 365 administrators with 24/7 technical support to help Office 365 administrators by phone, email, and chat. The Office 365 Admin Help Center includes help for small businesses and businesses, and office 365 training centers provide comprehensive video training for administrators, IT experts, and Office 365 users. There are also a considerable number of forums devoted to Office 365. The Office Help and Training Area has a variety of help, as low as the application level, including consumer and administrator troubleshooting. As for updates, Microsoft typically releases Office 365 updates once or more times a month, and publishes information about each update online.

Can Office 365 and G Suite work with other enterprise software?

As you’ve seen throughout the article, Office 365 and G Suite have their advantages and disadvantages, so you might want to use both products — for example, Office 365 for document creation and G Suite for collaboration.

In theory, this is possible. But in fact, it’s a bad idea. This is partly because G Suite documents are not saved as local documents and have their own file format. Instead, they exist on Google’s servers. You can save them in a variety of file formats, including Office 365.docx, .xlsx, and .pptx, and you can also import files from these and other formats. There’s even a way to edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files in the original format on Google’s servers. But I’ve found that in translations between Office 365 and G Suite, formats and layouts are often lost, embedded video doesn’t work, not all reviews are displayed, resolved reviews don’t appear, comments you’re in Google don’t get back to Office, and so on.

In addition, if you transfer files back and forth between two suites, workflow can be a nightmare. The idea behind online editing is to have a single location where everyone can collaborate on the latest version of each file, but if you use both G Suite and Office 365, different versions of the files may be stored on Google Drive, OneDrive for Business, or both.

But what about content creation, collaboration, and storage with one suite, while another suite is used for communication such as email, shared calendars, group chat, and video conferencing? Again, it’s ok in theory, but I don’t think it makes any sense. Because complex workflows make everything more difficult, and you lose integration in each suite. Another problem is that when there are no obvious benefits, businesses must pay, manage, and maintain two office suites instead of one.

As for integration with other enterprise software such as Salesforce, Shopify, HubSpot, and other, both suites have a lot of tools to do. If any particular enterprise software is particularly important to your business, you’d better test integration with G Suite and Office 365 before deciding to use G Suite and Office 365.

Who should use G Suite?

About all this, what kind of company should use G Suite? It’s simple. If document collaboration is your company’s DNA, or if you want to incorporate it into it, G Suite is your best choice. In fact, the time collaboration features far exceed anything Office 365 can offer. They are an integral part of the kit’s design and are simple to use, with little time to get started and run.

G Suite is also a good choice if your company doesn’t need all the complex features of office 365 individual applications. Every single application in G Suite is easier to use than Office 365, especially if Gmail is more direct than Outlook. And if your users search for documents a lot, Google Drive’s search features are more than Office 365 can offer.

Who should use Office 365

If powerful and complex features are more important to you than the best way to collaborate, Office 365 is your best choice. Every app is superior to its G Suite equivalent. And you can’t collaborate in real time in Office 365. It’s just a bit of a hassle, not as direct as G Suite. And Office 365’s tagging is exemplary, so it’s a good choice when people need to review each other’s work.

There are other reasons why businesses use Office 365. While G Suite’s team drivers are useful for sharing documents and materials, they cannot be compared to the fully collaborative environment provided by SharePoint. If you want to manage your mail server instead of using managed email, you’ll also want to use Office 365. Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, provides a great way for teams to share their work with each other.

Which one should I choose?

If you are confused about which office kit to use, please contact us for advice.

Hanlin Wang

About Hanlin Wang

Hanlin Wang leads the Editorial and Content Management at Rays Technology. With years of experience in cloud industry, Hanlin knows the industry trends and have unique insights in cloud adoption and work transformation.