Do you think that Google is the market leader of cloud computing and Microsoft is a sleeping giant who can´t wake up and transform his business for today requirements of customers?
We will show you that this is not true and we should have a second look.
So, lets examine the Microsoft and Google competition in the cloud!
Company brief introduction
Everybody thinks that Google is only a web search engine. But Google also offers many other services like Google Apps which are office automation tools oriented to small and mid-large business.
Google Apps is (as you can read in another article on our website) a web based office suite containing common office applications like text editor, spreadsheet, tool for presentation, powerful email with large storage, calendar and many extensions in Google apps marketplace.
Microsoft is mainly known for its operation system Windows and office suite simply called Microsoft Office. Yes, you are right - Microsoft took their applications and transferred them into the cloud, but not all of them. And this is the main difference compared to Google. Google Apps are offered as web based office tools and there is no possibility to install them on your computer. At the time of writing this article, there is also no possibility to use Google Apps offline.
We have chosen a few essential categories in which we compared the edition for small or mid-size business of Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365.
Ok, let´s look at it!
- Look and feel
- Browser and language support
- Technical support
Both companies are publishing price lists on their websites, so it´s easy to compare it. Google offers two payment options: either $5 per user/month or $50 per user/year. The second one is logically favourable, because in that case you pay 4.17 USD per month. All services are the same, no matter which option is chosen.
Contrary to Google, Microsoft Office 365 offers just one option - $6 per user/month. Key features are almost the same like at Google Apps.
In this section we would go for: Google Apps
Look and Feel
Microsoft Office 365 is more friendly for those users who are accustomed with classic desktop Microsoft products. It is very straight forward for them to continue in Office 365. Let´s imagine our classic and familiar Microsoft Office in web browser. This easy the migration is!
Google Apps are a bit different, but their user interface is simple, straightforward and also very easy to understand. There is no big problem to start using them, also because their menus and user interface are simpler that those of Office 365.
Our advice: Don´t forget that you are still using web browser. It´s very easy to close current window and after that you will be surprised, where is all your unsaved work. In this respect, Google Apps are better because they warn you before closing any window with unsaved work and they also don’t allow you to edit documents if you lose internet connectivity, even temporarily.
In this section we would go for: Both
Browser and Language support
Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 run across all major browsers except Opera browser where is not possible to use its full functionality. What does it mean? Some functions do not work or behave in a non-standard way. For example in Office 365 it is not possible to print your document written in Word (really, I´m not kidding).
With Google Apps it´s impossible to use copy and paste standard function in some cases. Despite these particular problems, basic functionality is maintained and it´s possible to work with the application.
One more example - if you use Google Chrome web browser and many windows are opened, expect crash or freezing browser, no matter whether you are using Office 365 or Google Apps.
Interface of Google Apps is available in 25 languages including Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese or Indonesian. Microsoft Office 365 supports 21 languages including all western European languages as well as Chinese or Romanian.
In this section we would go for: Both
Everything works fine, but sooner or later a problem occurs. Is somebody ready to solve it?
Both applications are trying to move their support mainly to Internet discussion forums. As you know, office suite offered by Google is targeted primarily on small business and therefore it is assumed that it does not require “great” support. Google offers just two telephone numbers for the whole world. The first one is for the U.S. and the second one is for the rest of the world. Everything else is solved by discussion forums, Help Center, etc...
Microsoft offers technical support via telephone for seven languages and for another thirteen languages with a translator. Clearly Microsoft has a good infrastructure to support its customers, both corporate and individual, and it is using it also in this new area.
Both solutions offer the possibility is to use the services of an authorized dealer - but that could be more expensive and the quality can differ.
In this section we would go for: Microsoft Office 365
Eventually, your choice will depend on your habits and personal preferences. Both companies are trying to make the user interface as simple as it gets and it works very well. Both tools are powerful and useful. Sharing and allocating rights for colleagues is more straightforward with Google Apps than with Office 365. You don´t have to find any hidden icons, everything is clearly visible and ready to use.
A strong advantage of Google Apps is also the operating system Android which is a very rapidly growing among the smartphones and offers very strong interconnection with every Google application. The future of collaboration is in the right use of mobile devices and their potential to have your own office practically everywhere you want. From our point of view, Google is the leader of “online office tools” and Microsoft is catching up. We don´t understand why Microsoft supports only the new operating system for mobile devices - Windows Phone 7 and ommitted the older versions like Windows 6.5, etc...
Strategy of Google is much more efficient and that's about it. At least in our view.