Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: A Comparison Guide (2022)

Posted by Andy Serwatuk, Head of Solutions Architecture

Jun 02, 2022

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When it comes to cloud-based productivity tools in the workplace, you generally have two choices: Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). While you’ve likely used one or the other — maybe even both! — you may be wondering which one is right for your business. 

Below, we’ll walk through both platforms, compare their pricing and explore some of the top features so you can consider which solution would best fit your business’s needs. 

Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: Which Is Best?

As more of the workforce turns to a “work-from-anywhere” approach, employees are spending their days in home offices and other remote locations. This change indicates that organizations may require a more versatile approach to easily connect and collaborate across teams.

The cloud provides the easiest way to accomplish this by giving workers the ability to log in to their email, documents, spreadsheets and more with a single sign-on — no matter where they work. 

Both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 deliver cloud-based collaboration and productivity solutions to fill this need — however, they weren’t created equally. Google Workspace was designed specifically for the cloud, while Microsoft 365 was based on the company’s legacy solution, Microsoft Office.

Read more: Whirlpool Goes Google to Foster Innovation Among Global Employees

Google Workspace Features Comparison

While Google Workspace’s packages — with the exception of Google Workspace Essentials — come with all advertised features, each of Microsoft’s packages have varying numbers of applications, features and tools. Teamwork, communication, email and calendar are some of the features that vary within these packages. 

Business Email and Shared Calendaring Services

Gmail vs. Outlook 

According to Lifewire, “In early 2018, Outlook.com had a reported 400 million active users,” compared to Gmail, which is the most popular email provider with over 1.8 billion active users

The primary difference between these two email clients is the user interface. This is where employees learn how to interact with and manage their inbox, including reading, responding to, and organizing messages. While Gmail and Outlook are both relatively intuitive to use, Gmail notably allows users to customize the look and feel of their inbox, whereas Outlook has a more traditional aesthetic that can be harder for some users to familiarize themselves with.

Gmail

Google Calendar vs. Microsoft Outlook Calendar

Calendar apps are essential for helping teams stay organized and productive, which ultimately comes down to five key criteria: accessibility, sharing, display, scheduling and participation.

Google Calendar is the centralized place to organize your day. You can access it online or offline, via desktop or mobile apps, to track meetings, reminders, tasks, video and phone calls, and more. While it gives individuals the power to personalize this space through different views, Google Calendar is ultimately designed to make collaboration happen faster and easier. 

Microsoft Outlook comes with a number of features that can also help you organize your workday, events, and more. It primarily operates on desktop, and it offers more calendar views (display modes), but there are more limitations when it comes to sharing calendars, especially if you’re working with people who use different email clients.

While both of these options are strong applications for scheduling and organization, Google Calendar has the edge, especially for those who want access from anywhere, and in collaboration with others. For what it’s worth, Google Calendar also allows users to overlap with other calendars, including Microsoft Outlook, so that you get the best of both worlds.

Cloud-Based Productivity and Collaboration

Google Docs vs. Word

Google Docs is a word processor that allows you to work in real-time with your coworkers, make comments for future consideration and more. 

Word is also a word processor that allows you to collaborate with your colleagues, create documents and share your work with others. 

Both of these platforms allow you to create a wide variety of documents, including: 

  • A newsletter.
  • An outline for client deliverables. 
  • A project proposal.
  • Sales agreements. 
  • And more!

While these two platforms share similarities, Google Docs is often the best choice for organizations that want to foster collaboration among their teams. With a sleek and easy-to-use format, Google Docs allows your team to simultaneously work on documents together, creating the most effective collaboration process possible. 

Google Docs

Google Sheets vs. Excel 

Google Sheets and Excel are both simplified ways to compile your data, review it and make agile, data-driven business decisions

With both Google Sheets and Excel, you can create: 

  • Budgets. 
  • Data analysis statements. 
  • Invoices. 
  • Project tracking reports. 
  • And more! 

Again, these two platforms have similar functionalities — however, there are some defining differences. For example, Excel was created to be a static, desktop-based tool, while Google Sheets was specifically designed to be a cloud-based, user-friendly experience. 

Google Slides vs. PowerPoint

Present your information in an interesting and visual way with Google Slides. This presentation builder is built with your time in mind, so it has several features to help you create visually appealing presentations quickly. 

PowerPoint also provides you with the ability to create and share information in a visual way. Built-in artificial intelligence tools also help you create appealing designs to organize your presentation in a way that captivates your audience. 

Like the other Google Workspace tools, Google Slides was initially designed with cloud computing and collaboration in mind.

Read more: City of Rochester Hills Goes Google to Save Servers, Dollars and Cents

Communications Tools

Google Meet vs. Microsoft Teams

Google Meet and Microsoft Teams both provide video conferencing for team collaboration. The key differences between these applications are their interfaces and ease of use. 

Ease of Use

In today’s multigenerational workforce, intuitive tools allow people with different levels of experience to work together more effectively. Naturally, ease of use is key during the decision-making process. 

Like other Google tools, Google Meet is built into Google Workspace. This can help your team automate ongoing meetings, avoid fatigue from other meeting platforms with its tools, and keep communication between team members secure. 

In the Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365 debate, Google Workspace is often easier to use and more intuitive than Microsoft 365, because Google focuses on functionality and real-time collaboration above all else through a clean, yet effective interface. 

Google Meet

Google vs. Microsoft Cloud Storage

Both platforms feature a cloud storage solution — Google Workspace has Google Drive and Microsoft has OneDrive. 

Google Drive vs. OneDrive

Google Drive is cloud storage for all of your documents, notes, photos and more. 

Everything your team needs can be accessed at any time, promoting remote, hybrid, and asynchronous work schedules. Plus, you can customize the access on each individual document, providing availability to the documents that everyone needs while limiting access to more sensitive information.  

OneDrive is also a cloud storage service that holds all of your important documents, photos and other work-related files. According to Microsoft, this platform is “Designed for business—access, share, and collaborate on all your files from anywhere.” 

Both platforms promote collaboration, can be synced across devices and include built-in security. However, users often find Google Drive more familiar, due to their experience with other, similarly designed Google products. 

Google vs. Microsoft Security

Built with cloud security in mind, Google Workspace has customizable protection that meets many compliance requirements for global organizations. Additionally, they have transparency, analytics and other tools that give you the ability to always know what’s happening with your data. 

Microsoft’s security has built-in password requirement tools, including “more than 1,000 security and privacy controls,” and features additional security options as package add-ons. 

This distinction comes down to the creation of the security framework. Google’s security structures were put in place with the cloud in mind, while Microsoft’s was originally created to be a static experience. With cloud-based security, Google users can feel confident that they are always utilizing updated cloud security best practices. 

Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365 Pricing

Google Workspace Pricing Tiers

google workspace pricing tiers

Business Starter

The Business Starter package starts at $6 USD per user, per month. Each of the Google Workspace plans — with the exception of Google Workspace Essentials — come with all of the features and applications. 

With this package, your team can also have: 

  • 100 participant video meetings.
  • 30 GB cloud storage per user.
  • Security and management controls.
  • Standard support.
  • And more! 

Business Standard

The Business Standard package starts at $12 USD per user, per month and also has all of the Google Workspace features. With this package, your team can also have: 

  • 150 participant video meetings plus recording capabilities. 
  • 2 TB cloud storage per user.
  • Security and management controls.
  • Standard support. 
  • And more! 

Business Plus

The Business Plus package starts at $18 USD per user, per month and also has all of the Google Workspace features. With this package, your team can also have: 

  • 500 participant video meetings plus recording and attendance tracking.
  • 5 TB cloud storage per user.
  • Enhanced security and management controls, including Vault and advanced endpoint management. 
  • Standard support. 
  • And more! 

Enterprise Packages

If none of these packages feel like they’d be the right fit for your business, don’t worry. Google Workspace also has enterprise packages for large organizations that still want these incredible benefits. 

Google Workspace enterprise packages have the ability to come with even more improved features, including: 

  • Increased storage. 
  • Advanced security, management, and compliance controls, including Vault, DLP, data regions, and enterprise endpoint management. 
  • Enhanced support. 

Microsoft 365 Plans & Pricing

Microsoft 365 Business Basic (formerly Office 365 Business Essentials)

Microsoft 365 Business Basic starts at $6 USD per user, per month with an annual contract. If your organization wants to pay on a monthly basis, this package begins at $7.20 per user, per month. 

Microsoft 365 Business Standard (formerly Office 365 Business Premium)

Microsoft 365 Business Standard starts at $12.50 per user, per month with an annual contract. If your organization wants to pay on a monthly basis, this package begins at $15 USD per user, per month.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium (formerly Microsoft 365 Business) 

Microsoft 365 Business Premium starts at $22 per user, per month with an annual contract.

Benefits of Google Workspace for Business

While Google Workspace and Microsoft are both top contending platforms for business teams, the ease of use, security and other cloud-based features that come with Google Workspace typically make it the top choice for organizations. Google Workspace can provide endless benefits for your team, including improved collaboration, refined processes and increased productivity. 

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Andy Serwatuk, Head of Solutions Architecture

Andy started his foray into technology at the ripe age of five tearing apart the home computer to figure out how it all worked. The next natural step was trekking down the library to borrow books on programming. (There was no World Wide Web back then). After all the schooling was done, that led to a long 10 years of working in IT in every job there was: helpdesk, datacenter admin, backup specialist, disaster recovery tech and finally... Google Administrator. I was with the first enterprise to switch to Google back in 2009. I moved around between a few organizations, all using Google. Helping them get "more for their money" and transforming the way they used the platform. This ultimately led me to Onix. I believed in Google so much, this was my opportunity to help organizations understand just how beneficial it could be.

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