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The cloud productivity battle heats up.

In 2007, Google launched its business productivity suite under the Google Apps Premier Edition brand. Later renamed Google Apps for Work and rebranded as G Suite in late 2016, Google has become the bitter and enduring competitor for Microsoft Office 365, trying to woo customers to the cloud for email, documents, online chat, and video conferencing.

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Office 365 and G Suite seem to offer pretty much the same productivity features and collaboration tools—at first glance. But when you look beneath the surface, it’s easier to see the differences.

Here is an overview.

Cheat sheet: A side by side comparison of G Suite and Office 365 features and tools


Comparison cheat sheet

Features and applications

G Suite

Office 365

 Document and content management

Content management 

Google Sites

Sites (SharePoint)


Document editing


Google Docs

Sheets

Slides

 

Office Online

Office for Desktop


Document sharing


Hangouts

Google Groups

Google Sites – Files (powered by Google Drive)

Google Drive

Google+


Skype for Business

Outlook Groups

SharePoint Document Libraries (powered by OneDrive for Business)

OneDrive for Business

Yammer


Document storage

and sync


Google Groups

Google Sites – Files (powered by Google Drive)

Google Drive


Outlook Groups

SharePoint Document Libraries (powered by OneDrive for Business)

OneDrive for Business

 Team collaboration and productivity


Tasks


Gmail Tasks

Google Keep


Outlook Tasks

Planner


Notes


 

 


 

OneNote

Outlook Groups (powered by OneNote)

Microsoft Teams (powered by OneNote)

 Communication


Groups and communities


Google Groups

Google+

 


Outlook Groups

Yammer

Microsoft Teams


Discussions and announcements


Google Groups

Google+

Google Sites


Outlook Groups

Yammer

Sites (SharePoint)


Real-time messaging (private, group, universal)


Hangouts

 


Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams (internal only as of now)


Screen sharing


Hangouts

 


Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams (powered by Skype)


Video calls


Hangouts

 


Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams (powered by Skype)


Voice calls


Hangouts

 


Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams (powered by Skype)

 Mobility – native apps


Android and iOS devices


Google Docs

Google Sheets

Gmail, Calendar, Keep

Google Drive

Google Slides

Hangouts

Google+

 

 

 

 

 

 


Word

Excel

Outlook

OneDrive for Business

PowerPoint

Skype for Business

Yammer

OneNote

Office 365 Admin

Outlook Groups

SharePoint

Office Delve for Office 365

Microsoft Teams


And there is more.

In its effort to make Office 365 a true enterprise platform, Microsoft recently has added several further productivity apps (either in public or private preview) to the platform such as PowerBI, Power Apps, Connectors, Sway, Gigjam, and others.

Plans and pricing


G Suite makes the choice simple. In essence, there are only two pricing options: G Suite Basic (previously Google Apps for Work) for $5 per user/month, and G Suite Business (formerly known as Google Apps Unlimited), which is offered for $10 per user/month and includes all services entailed in G Suite Basic plus unlimited cloud storage as well as e-discovery for emails, chats, and files.

When it comes to pricing for Office 365, things look a bit more complex. To accommodate different business needs for both small business and large enterprises, Microsoft offers several plans including various features and capabilities. For an in-depth understanding of Office 365 pricing, click here.

Document productivity under the microscope: How do G Suite and Office 365 help work smarter with documents?


We admit it. At Templafy, we deeply care about how to simplify the creation of professional business documents and streamline how we work with files. Naturally, we couldn’t help but have a peek at how the platforms’ biggest selling points – document productivity tools – perform.

Take a look below as we compare some of the most popular and widely used applications between Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 and G Suite head-to-head.

Word processing: Microsoft Office Word vs. Google Docs


When it comes to document creation and processing, Microsoft Word undoubtedly is the most popular productivity tool worldwide. It is the industry-standard word processing tool used on most computers around the globe - almost everyone knows how it works, and a whopping number of people work with it on a daily basis.

The application offers hundreds of templates to choose from and even more built-in editing tools to help generate professional documents for personal and business-related use (while Word for Desktop includes editing and markup tools for sharing and editing among teams, Office 365 versions of the program allow for web-based editing and sharing in real-time).

In contrast, G Suite and its Google Docs might rather be for an acquired taste – especially if you’re used to the look and feel of Microsoft Office. Just like Word, Google Docs has a wide range of document templates for all occasions. Even though they can be a little tricky to navigate in the beginning, they pretty much stand up to Word once you’ve played around and familiarized yourself with the menus. Google Docs can be used cross-platform, sync automatically, and are easily shareable.

Spreadsheets: Microsoft Office Excel vs. Google Sheets


Much like Microsoft Word for word processing, Excel is the true front-runner and go-to spreadsheet app for anyone serious about crunching numbers. The application can do thousands of different things (you probably haven’t even touched a lot of its possibilities), and the easy-to-navigate toolbar allows you to quickly access the features you want, turning it into an indispensable tool for budgeting, financial forecasting, and data entry.

Even though Google aims to make inroads with Sheets, which is included in G Suite, the program clearly is much simpler than Excel. Google Sheets key advantage lies in the ability to collaborate. Most people use Excel to manage simple lists of data, utilizing only 1-5% of Excel's true potential such as formulas, filtering, tables, macros, etc. When you are required to share simple numbers with 10 different people in a group, the collaboration feature of Google Sheets far outweighs the back and forth of e-mailing Excel files between people.

Slideshows: Microsoft Office PowerPoint vs. Google Slides


When it comes to slideshows, the options available for creating presentations online are fairly similar, and the choice between PowerPoint and Google Slides might, at first glance, be a mere matter of personal preference and habit.

Taking a closer look, however, Microsoft PowerPoint is far more capable than Google Slides. You can draw up a presentation from scratch, choose from hundreds of templates, and easily customize slide effects (let alone the fact that you can create an entire, presentation-ready slideshow from a tablet). It also has a neat trick to do things in a big way – you can link up your slideshow when it’s in presentation mode with a stylus (or simply your finger).

Google Slides is still a way off PowerPoint regarding what it can do. Although providing templates and basic features with which you can create a presentation to a decent standard, the application offers little else to show off your slideshow and give it a polished look. The biggest reason to go with Google Slides is collaboration. The ability to easily share and simultaneously edit slideshows is the platform's biggest selling point along with easy sharing on the web.

Office 365 and G Suite are aiming at boosting workplace productivity and collaboration in the cloud. Which are your favorite productivity tools? Tell us what you think about the platforms and share your personal experiences in the comments below.

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