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Google Workspace (G Suite) vs Microsoft 365 (Office 365) comparison

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In this article we will make a comparison of Google Workspace (formerly) G Suite vs Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365).

When it comes to choosing productivity software, opinions differ. With its Microsoft (Office) 365 line, the company has been offering a proven software package for daily office use for years, which also proves its good performance in the cloud in its online variant Microsoft 365.

For its part, with the file hosting service Drive and Google Docs, Google has established itself as a free alternative to the Microsoft product range aimed mainly at private users. Now, the new Google Workspace (G Suite) has been designed to meet the needs of business customers and establish itself as a serious competitor to Microsoft Office 365 in this segment. But can it hold its own against the market leader?

Google Workplace (G Suite) vs Microsoft (Office) 365

With the Workplace (G Suite) productivity software, Google targets the corporate segment and openly declares war on the current market leader, Microsoft, and the competitor’s product, Microsoft (Office) 365. In the following sections we will compare both products based on the following aspects:

  • Application offering
  • Cloud storage
  • File sharing
  • Collaboration
  • Email address
  • Security
  • Data protection
  • Availability
  • Assistance
  • Pricing Policy
  • Application offerings

Functions

If you look at the product portfolio of the two business application packages, you can see that the functional scope is largely the same. For each Microsoft Office 365 application, Google offers an alternative in Workplacce (G Suite):

Function Microsoft Office 365 Google Workplace (G Suite)
Word processing Microsoft Word Google Docs
Spreadsheets Microsoft Excel Google Sheets
Presentations Microsoft PowerPoint Google slides
Email Microsoft Outlook Gmail
Digital notes Microsoft One Note Google Keep
Web hosting Microsoft Sharepoint Google Sites
Videoconference Skype for Business Google Hangouts Meets
Instant messaging, group chat Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams Google Hangouts Chat
Workspace with chat Microsoft Teams
Social networks for companies Yammer Google+

However, one feature that makes the Microsoft product unique is the download option. All Microsoft 365 professional applications are also available as desktop versions and can be used on cloud as well as local devices (depending on the product plan selected) and used offline.

Google Workspace (G Suite) vs Microsoft 365 (Office 365) comparison
Google Workspace (G Suite) vs Microsoft 365 (Office 365) comparison

G Suite also offers offline functions for Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. However, not in the form of a desktop application, but as a web application tool. For this, you need to use Chrome as a browser and an extension for offline use.

Function Microsoft Office 365 Google Workplace (G Suite)
Office applications such as web applications Yes Yes
Offline use Yes Yes

Cloud storage and file sharing

Cloud solutions such as Google G Suite and Microsoft 365 are effective in the corporate context mainly due to the central storage of data on the Internet.

For Microsoft 365, Microsoft relies on the OneDrive file hosting service. G Suite users have access to the Google Drive cloud storage platform with a larger storage space. While Microsoft makes 1 terabyte (TB) of cloud storage available to all Microsoft Office 365 users, the amount of storage available in G Suite depends on the product version used and the number of user licenses assumed by the company.

If the G Suite Basic variant has a storage quota of 30 gigabytes, Google provides users of the Business and Enterprise versions with unlimited storage as long as at least 5 user licenses are purchased. With four or less licenses, the available storage volume is reduced to 1 TB per license.

Both Google and Microsoft offer the ability to synchronize cloud storage with a device, so files and folders stored online are also available offline if needed.

In file management, both cloud storage solutions score highly with a wide range of features. Versioning history and file sharing features, which allow users to share files with people inside or outside their organization, with a time limit if needed, are very practical features for day-to-day activity.

G Suite also offers a search function based on NLP (Natural Language Processing) in all applications.

Function Microsoft Office 365 Google Workplace (G Suite)
Storage space per user 1 TB 30 GB, 1 TB or unlimited depending on the version
Synchronization Yes Yes
Versioned Yes Yes
File sharing by link with expiration date Yes Yes
Search Yes Based on NLP

Collaboration tools

As collaboration platforms, Google G Suite and Microsoft 365 provide powerful tools to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, customers and business partners.

Both solutions offer video telephony and instant messaging, as well as shared text editing, spreadsheets and presentations.

Google’s answer to Skype for Business is the Hangouts video conferencing and instant messaging service. Hangouts Meet offers video telephony functions and with Hangouts Chat you can send direct messages and have group conversations. However, compared to Microsoft Teams, which combines group management with shared file sharing and document processing, G Suite does not offer a comparable package.

Google Workspace (G Suite) vs Microsoft 365 (Office 365) comparison
Google Workspace (G Suite) vs Microsoft 365 (Office 365) comparison

With both G Suite and Microsoft 365, internal corporate pages and other intranet applications can be implemented with the same professionalism. With Sites, Google relies on an intuitive system of templates that gives a limited margin of creativity, while Microsoft SharePoint is less intuitive but offers many more options for implementing internal web applications.

With Yammer and Google+, both providers offer internal social networking solutions in the cloud.

Function Microsoft Office 365 Google Workplace (G Suite)
Professional appointment and contact management Yes Yes
Shared editing of texts, tables and presentations Yes Yes
Videotelephony Yes Yes
Instant messaging Yes Yes
Chat for groups Yes Yes
Videoconference Yes Yes
Internal corporate pages / intranet Yes Yes
Internal social networks Yes Yes

Both office suites in the cloud offer professional-level email capabilities that also include a calendar and address book. Microsoft 365 users manage their e-mail traffic in the Outlook client program or in the Outlook on the Web application, even on mobile devices. In G Suite this is done in the web application Gmail, which also supports the free mail product from Google.

Unlike the free Google account, the G Suite client email account is displayed with an advertising-free interface and with a customizable domain. In Microsoft 365, the professional e-mail domain is only supported in plans that contain the Exchange Online mail service: Microsoft 365 Basic Enterprise, Microsoft 365 Premium Applications and all Enterprise plans.

You should also note that in Microsoft 365, unlike in G Suite, the personalized domain is not included in the monthly fee, although it can be hired separately from any service provider.

Function Microsoft Office 365 Google Workplace (G Suite)
Whithout ads Yes Yes
Custom domain included No Yes
Mobile app Yes Yes
Desktop client included According to the plan No
Custom name Yes Yes
Distribution lists Yes Yes

Security and data protection

Which product is more secure, G Suite or Microsoft 365? In principle, both suppliers target professional customers whose business processes are subject to strict compliance guidelines with regard to security against eavesdropping and data protection.

Both providers rely on guaranteed encryption technologies for data storage in their data centers as well as for data transmission between client and server. In addition, both Google G Suite and Microsoft 365 have been designed to comply with major industry standards and regulations for secure data processing:

Both platforms are certified according to international standards for information security, cloud security and cloud data protection (ISO/IEC 27001, ISO/IEC 27017, ISO 27018).
All Microsoft cloud services comply with Service Organization Controls Standards for operational security (SOC 1, 2 and 3), which provide for annual checks on data security, availability, processing integrity and confidentiality. G Suite is also certified according to SOC 2 and 3.

As participants in the U.S. Federal Risk Management and Authorization Program (FedRAMP), both vendors have gone through an evaluation and approval process that qualifies their cloud products for use by U.S. government agencies.
To ensure security in processing credit card transactions, both platforms support the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
All of the cloud tools in Microsoft’s product range are HIPAA compliant. The U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act defines strict rules for handling patient data. The Google cloud is only partially compliant with HIPAA requirements.
Both Google and Microsoft implement privacy measures that allow enterprises to use cloud applications in compliance with RGPD.

Availability and Support

Like the Microsoft cloud, the Google G Suite also guarantees its users 99.9% availability. Customer services are available on both platforms by phone, email or chat at any time of the day.

Function Microsoft Office 365 Google Workplace (G Suite)
Availability 99.9% 99.9%
Attention 24/7 Yes Yes
Telephone Yes Yes
Chat / Email Yes Yes

Price

Google offers G Suite in three variants. The G Suite Basic and Business packages are aimed at startups and small businesses, while the G Suite Enterprise is designed more for large corporations.

Google Workplace (G Suite) version Price per user and month Features
Basic  $6 Office suite with 30 GB of storage
Business 12$ –  $18 Optimized Office suite with unlimited storage space and archiving option
Enterprise Contact sales Premium Office Suite with Extended Feature Palette

Microsoft offers companies a range of products that is different from the rest, which is made up of 7 plans with different functions:

Microsoft Office 365 version Price per user and month (in annual subscription) Price per user and month (in monthly subscription) Features
Microsoft 365 Business Basic $6 $5 Web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint plus cloud services (Teams, Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint)
Microsoft 365 Business Standard $15 $12.50 All Office applications as web and desktop version plus Business tools
Microsoft 365 Business Premium $20 Business Standard plus Advanced threat protection and PC/mobile device management
Microsoft 365 Apps $10 $8.25 All Office applications as web and desktop version plus OneDrive
Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 $32 All Office applications, Email and Calendar, Social and Intranet, Files and Content, Work Management, Device and App Management, Security Management apps plus partial Meetings and Voice, Advanced Analytics, Identity and Access Management, Information Protection apps
Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 $57 All Office applications, Email and Calendar, Social and Intranet, Files and Content, Work Management, Device and App Management, Security Management, Meetings and Voice, Advanced Analytics, Identity and Access Management, Information Protection, Advanced Compliance apps
Microsoft 365 Enterprise F3 $10 All Social and Intranet, Files and Content, Device and App Management, Security Management apps plus partial Office applications, Email and Calendar, Work Management,  Meetings and Voice, Identity and Access Management, Information Protection apps

Google Workplace (G Suite) vs Microsoft (Office) 365: All  features

In the most important aspects, Google’s G Suite has established itself as a worthy rival for the current market leader. Microsoft Cloud offers a feature that its opponent does not have, because only those users who prefer to work with a desktop application rather than a web application are better served in Microsoft 365. Let’s see it below.

Features Microsoft 365 Google G Suite
Application offer
Word processing Microsoft Word Google Docs
Calculation tables Microsoft Excel Google Sheets
Presentations Microsoft PowerPoint Google slides
Email Microsoft Outlook Gmail
Digital notepad Microsoft One Note Google Keep
Web hosting Microsoft Sharepoint Google Sites
Videoconference Skype for Business Google Hangouts
Instant messaging Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business Google Hangouts
Workspace with chat Microsoft Teams
Social networks for companies Yammer Google+
Office applications as a web app Yes Yes
Offline use Yes Yes
Cloud storage and file sharing
Space per license 1 TB Depending on the version 30 GB, 1 TB or unlimited
Synchronization Yes Yes
Versioned Yes Yes
File sharing by link with expiration date Yes Yes
Search Yes Based on NLP
Collaboration
Professional appointment and contact management Yes Yes
Shared editing of texts, tables and presentations Yes Yes
Videotelephony Yes Yes
Instant messaging Yes Yes
Chats for groups Yes Yes
Videoconference Yes Yes
Internal corporate sites / intranet Yes Yes
Internal social networks Yes Yes
Email
Whithout ads Yes Yes
Own domain included No Yes
Mobile app Yes Yes
Desktop client included According to the plan No
Personalized mail Yes Yes
Distribution lists Yes Yes
Security and data protection
Data encryption Yes Yes
ISO / IEC 27001 (information security) Yes Yes
ISO / IEC 27017 (cloud security) Yes Yes
ISO 27018 (data protection in the cloud) Yes Yes
SOC 1 Yes No
SOC 2 Yes Yes
SOC 3 Yes Yes
FedRAMP Yes Yes
PCI DSS (security standard for credit card transactions) Yes Yes
HIPAA BAA Yes Not all applications
Assistance and availability Microsoft 365 G Suite
High availability 99.9% 99.9%
24/7 assistance Yes Yes
Telephone assistance Yes Yes
Chat / email support Yes Yes

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