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Office 365 vs. Google Apps

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Sanja Pasic
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As the world is becoming increasingly digital, so is the common workplace, and along with it a wide variety of products and services designed to address the ever progressing trend. So what does this mean for businesses and workers of the modern world who are steadily choosing to work online? A range of online business software tools to choose from and work with in the virtual office.

One of the most commonly performed tasks among businesses and their employees alike is data compilation. Naturally IT companies have come out with a number of online document writing tools to suit. The most recent to come out is Microsoft’s Office 365 and not too long before it Google’s Google Apps service. Both are online/web based office suites performing a similar function – to allow its users online collaboration when performing document writing and data compilation. Lets see how the two compare.
Ever wonder what the real differences are between online offices? This article looks at two most common ones – Office 365 and Google Apps.

How do they Compare?

In effectively comparing Office 365 to Google Apps, we are going to focus on a few key areas. What the main features of the apps are, its functions, ease of usability, any added features and bonuses and the overall advantage one data compilation tool has versus the other. With that said, lets first have a look at what Office 365 has to offer to businesses.

According to Microsoft “Office 365 provides virtually anywhere access to familiar Office tools, plus enterprise-grade email, conferencing, and more IT services”. Given this, it’s essentially an online office designed for all your business needs. It’s subscription based and you can either use it independently or add a host of users whichever suits your needs the best. Plans are customised for your personal business needs and range from the basic home premium package to the advanced enterprise plan.

So what else is included and how does it compare to Google Apps? Like the aforementioned, it hosts a number of apps and features which allow shared collaboration. One of them being hosted services. Akin to Google Apps, Office 365 can be oriented to access various cloud server platforms such as Sharepoint and Skydrive among others. As far as office applications go, it offers pretty much the same apps you would find in the original Microsoft office suite – Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, PowerPoint and the all too famous Word.

The Differences

They both host the main data compilation tools and each suite’s version is nearly identical to the other (except for the name) and they essentially perform the same function. For instance, instead of Outlook, Google Apps has Gmail, where Office 365 hosts Excel, Google offers sheets its “powerful spreadsheet editor”. Where Office 365 offers Publisher, PowerPoint and OneNote, Google Apps offers its form and drawing apps. So what are the differences you might ask? The truth is in regards to data compilation given the above there are little. It essentially comes down to ease of usability and preference.

Which comes out on Top?

Given its simpler form and interface, Google Apps is the more straightforward of the two as it doesn’t offer as advanced a range of tools as Office 365, yet manages to deliver the same outcomes. For example, Microsoft offers syncing to your desktop Publisher and Powerpoint apps whereas Google Apps doesn’t offer the same advantage. Regardless, it offers a not so advanced tool for essentially performing the same function (i.e its form and drawing apps and access to various plugins such as SlideShare etc.). I guess you could say Office 365 is fancier in this sense and does have that added convenience if you already have Publisher and PowerPoint installed on your desktop and would prefer to work off of that interface as full desktop versions offer the most features and the most power.

In regards to pricing, due to the increased extensiveness of it’s features, Office 365 is the more expensive version of the two costing from $5 per user per month up to $15 per user per month for small to mid size business plans. Google Apps on the other hand, costs around $10 per user per month maximum for it’s business plans. Overall, both office cloud productivity suites offer similar features and functions, with slight variances in the extensiveness of their apps and pricing. Nonetheless, both will enable you to get the job done when it comes to your office business needs and whichever suite you choose to go with won’t leave you at a disadvantage.

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About Sanja Pasic

Sanja Pasic
Having grown up in Canada and lived and traveled abroad, Sanja has experienced various international markets which have given her a distinctive insight into the global atmosphere. This knowledge has enabled her to produce effective online marketing campaigns in the business world and excel in her current work environment. She enjoys travelling and experiencing new cultures and people and has a keen interest in international issues and the world we live in. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Development from the University of Waterloo (Canada) and a post-graduate diploma in Human Resources Management from Conestoga College.