Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace: Which productivity suite is best for your business?

Both Microsoft and Google want to be your one-stop store for enterprise productivity software program. Their respective subscription choices, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, tick all of the top-level packing containers on your firm’s communications and productivity guidelines. Each suite contains the next options:

  • Business electronic mail and shared calendaring providers hooked up to customized domains
  • Online storage, with shared area for collaboration and a big allotment of private space for storing for every person account
  • Productivity apps for creating and collaborating on paperwork, spreadsheets, and shows
  • Corporate communication instruments, together with messaging, on-line conferences, and video conferencing
  • A administration interface, with superior options resembling compliance and archiving for enterprise prospects in addition to security measures together with two-factor authentication

Both of those providers are underpinned by a sturdy, extremely dependable cloud infrastructure with information facilities worldwide. 

The two corporations dominate the market for enterprise productivity software program, with a handful of a lot smaller opponents, together with Zoho Workplace, far behind.

Despite the superficial parity in options, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace take distinctly totally different approaches when it comes to cloud structure and app design. For many, the selection comes all the way down to which of these approaches matches best with your put in base of {hardware}.

Microsoft’s strategy builds on its blockbuster Office franchise (the title change from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 was efficient earlier this 12 months). and the accompanying desktop apps, which at the moment are accessible in Click-to-Run packages that replace robotically. The back-end providers, together with Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Teams, provide a simple migration path for organizations prepared to maneuver their on-premises servers to the cloud. Employees can entry these providers utilizing acquainted desktop apps like Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerLevel, or they will use web-based alternate options.

By distinction, Google’s strategy is cloud-native and browser-centric. The web-based providers are equivalent to the private instruments your workers are already conversant in, together with Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Sheets. When used with Google’s Chrome browser, these apps assist offline storage of electronic mail and paperwork

Both providers embrace web-based administration consoles which might be designed for mid-sized enterprise and bigger. Those administration instruments could be intimidating in smaller companies that don’t have a full-time IT division. For these eventualities, working with a reseller who’s been licensed as a Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace specialist is often the best choice.

Note that this information covers Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise plans, in addition to Microsoft 365 choices that embrace these plans. This information doesn’t cowl Microsoft 365 Home and Personal choices, which lack assist for customized domains and are managed by people fairly than organizations.

Packages and costs

For a placing demonstration of the distinction between Google’s world and Microsoft’s, look no additional than the lineup of plans accessible for buy.

Google, true to its keep-it-simple roots, has 4 Google Workspace plans (a rise of 1 from the GSuite days): Business Starter ($6 per person monthly), Business Standard ($12 per person monthly), Business Plus ($18 per person monthly), and Enterprise (beforehand $25 per person monthly, however now listed as “name for pricing”).

Microsoft 365, in contrast, is accessible in a dizzying array of permutations: three plans aimed toward small companies (Business Basic, Business Standard, and Business Premium), plus the Microsoft 365 Apps bundle that features solely the desktop apps and cloud storage; a handful of Office 365 Enterprise plans that haven’t been rebranded; and three Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans for bigger organizations transitioning away from per-machine licensing and on-premises servers. There are separate Microsoft 365 plans for instructional establishments, U.S. authorities businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Monthly per-user costs for Microsoft 365 plans vary from $5 to $57 per person monthly (the costliest bundle additionally contains licenses for Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and Enterprise Mobility + Security E3). And if none of these plans go well with your wants, you’ll be able to combine and match particular person providers to create a customized plan.

It’s troublesome to make head-to-head comparisons between the 2 providers, though there are some similarities. Most Microsoft 365 plans value greater than their Google Workspace counterparts due to the inclusion of Office desktop apps, a characteristic that provides about $8 a month to the per-user subscription charge. The $12-a-month Google Workspace Business plan, for instance, matches a lot of the cloud- and browser-based options of Microsoft 365 Business Premium, which prices $20 a month and contains the complete assortment of Office desktop apps.

All G Suite plans embrace:

  • Gmail for Business
  • Meet (video and voice conferencing)
  • Chat (safe messaging)
  • Shared calendars
  • Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Keep (shared notes)
  • Forms (survey builder)
  • Sites (web site builder)
  • Currents (the substitute for Google+ for Google Workspace)
  • At least 30GB of cloud file storage (Google Drive)
  • Security and administrative controls

Google Workspace Business Premium and Enterprise plans considerably improve cloud storage (no less than 5 TB per person) and add eDiscovery and electronic mail choices in addition to the flexibility to restrict person entry by geographic areas, amongst different options.

Table 1: G Suite plans at a look

Plan Price per person/month At a look
Google Workspace Business Starter $6 Aimed at very small companies, this plan contains Gmail with a customized area together with the web-based Google productivity apps. Cloud storage is restricted to 30GB per person, shared throughout Drive and Gmail. Video conferences are restricted to 100 contributors. Billing is month-to-month, and you may add and take away licenses at any time.
Google Workspace Business Standard $12 This plan provides enhanced safety and administration controls. Personal space for storing is 2TB per person; voice and video conferences can have as much as 150 contributors and recordings could be saved to Google Drive. Team Drives enable teams of workers to share paperwork.
Google Workspace Business Premium $18 This plan archiving and eDiscovery options to electronic mail and will increase private space for storing to 5TB per person. The restrict on contributors in conferences goes as much as 250. Team Drives enable teams of workers to share paperwork.
Google Workspace Enterprise $25 For the numerous per-user value improve, you get enhanced security measures resembling S/MIME encryption and assist for hardware-based safety keys in addition to limitless private storage. In addition, organizations can lock down shared information and scan electronic mail and pictures to detect leaks of confidential or delicate information. This tier additionally contains AppSheet, which permits customers to construct apps with out code.

All Microsoft 365 plans embrace both a set of cloud-based options or the best to obtain and set up Office desktop apps on as much as 15 gadgets per person (5 Windows PCs or Macs, 5 tablets, and 5 smartphones), or each.

The assortment of desktop apps contains Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerLevel, and OneNote (Access and Publisher can be found on Windows PCs solely), in addition to 1TB or extra of storage per person in OneDrive for Business and entry to the web-based variations of Word, Excel, PowerLevel, and OneNote.

Cloud-based providers embrace the next:

  • Exchange Online electronic mail internet hosting with a most inbox measurement of fifty or 100GB
  • Web-based variations of Word, Excel, PowerLevel, and Outlook
  • A minimal of 1TB of OneDrive for Business file storage per person
  • SharePoint Online crew websites
  • HD video conferencing
  • Online conferences (Skype Meeting Broadcast or Microsoft Teams reside occasions)
  • Secure messaging and collaboration (Microsoft Teams)
  • Security and administrative controls

Business plans embrace an appointment-scheduling app, Microsoft Bookings, and MileIQ expense-tracking software program. (Two enterprise utilities beforehand accessible in enterprise plans, Outlook Customer Manager and Microsoft Invoicing, had been retired in early 2020.)

Enterprise plans embrace team-based process administration software program (Microsoft Planner), superior analytics (MyAnalytics and Power BI Pro), course of administration instruments (Power Apps and Power Automate), extra collaboration software program (Yammer), and superior options resembling eDiscovery, electronic mail retention insurance policies, Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection, and free deployment assist on purchases of 150 seats or extra.

Confusingly, Microsoft nonetheless sells its Office 365 Enterprise plans, which don’t embrace Windows 10 licenses or superior administration instruments. The desk under contains these Office-only plans.

Table 2: Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans at a look

Plan Price per person/month (1) At a look
Microsoft 365 Business Basic $5 If you’re trying for a substitute for G Suite Basic, you’ve discovered it. You get enterprise electronic mail, 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage, and internet variations of Word, Excel, PowerLevel, and Outlook, with out desktop apps. SharePoint and Microsoft Teams assist are included.
Microsoft 365 Apps $8.25 This plan is for smaller organizations that use Microsoft Office however don’t want Microsoft’s enterprise electronic mail. It contains the complete Click-to-Run assortment of desktop applications plus a minimal of 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage per person, but it surely doesn’t embrace SharePoint or Microsoft Teams assist.
Microsoft 365 Business Standard $12.50 Consider this a mixture of the 2 earlier Business plans, with all of the cloud options, plus the most recent Office desktop applications. This version additionally contains small-biz instruments like Outlook Customer Manager and Microsoft Invoicing. All three Business plans are restricted to 300 customers per group.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium $20 This plan contains all of the desktop apps and cloud providers within the Business Standard plan, with the addition of Microsoft Intune administration and deployment instruments and Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection sor safety and data entry management.
Office 365 E1 $10 The entry-level Enterprise plan presents all of the frequent cloud providers, with a 50GB mailbox and 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage per person. It contains cellular and internet apps however doesn’t embrace desktop apps.
Office 365 E3 $20 This plan contains the whole lot from the E1 providing, with the addition of Office desktop applications. Maximum mailbox measurement will increase to 100GB per person, and OneDrive storage is limitless. Administrators additionally get eDiscovery options.
Office 365 Enterprise E5 $35 At the highest of the road, this plan contains all E3 options and provides superior security measures resembling eDiscovery, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, and Office 365 Cloud App Security. It additionally helps unified communications plans that combine with standard telephone programs.

(1) Monthly costs proven on this desk require an annual dedication; month-to-month costs are larger.

How they examine

Both Microsoft 365 and G Suite have impressively lengthy characteristic lists. In truth, the largest variations between the 2 providers usually are not whether or not a selected characteristic exists however the way it’s applied, and invariably that comes all the way down to the distinction in type between the 2 providers.


Microsoft has Exchange Online, optimized for use with the Outlook desktop consumer. Google has Gmail, optimized for use within the Chrome internet browser and on cellular apps. Aside from these basic architectural variations, the characteristic set contains nearly the whole lot a company electronic mail administrator would need, together with anti-malware safety, spam filtering, and group aliases.

Google Workspace Business Starter accounts have a most inbox measurement of 30GB (or much less, as a result of that area is shared by the person’s Drive storage). That limitation goes away with the Google Workspace Business Standard, Business Premium, and Enterprise plans. Office 365 mailbox sizes are capped at both 50GB or 100GB, relying on the plan. For Enterprise accounts with archiving turned on, archive mailbox storage is limitless. (For greater than you possibly can ever presumably need to find out about different Exchange Online limits, see this assist article.) 

Productivity apps

Google’s flagship productivity apps are designed to work solely in a browser or in considered one of its cellular apps. By distinction, the most well-liked Microsoft 365 plans embrace the most recent launch of the Office desktop purposes (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerLevel, and OneNote) on Windows PCs and Macs, along with more and more full-featured internet variations of these core apps.

Availability of these Office desktop apps is the killer characteristic for some organizations. That’s very true when constancy with Office doc codecs is essential. It’s simple sufficient to import and export Google Docs and Sheets, however Office doc options aren’t assured to outlive spherical journeys between the 2 environments.

In organizations the place these codecs usually are not an enormous deal and the place a youthful workforce has grown up with Gmail and Google Docs, the browser-based interface is likely to be thought of a plus.

Cloud storage

OneDrive for Business, as soon as a clunky spinoff from SharePoint, now shares the identical sync engine as its shopper counterpart and has matured right into a dependable service that’s properly built-in with each Microsoft 365 and Windows, though it additionally works properly on Macs and on cellular gadgets. By default, each OneDrive for Business person will get 1TB of private cloud file storage; that restrict is eliminated on Enterprise accounts with no less than 5 customers. For all account varieties, the group will get 1TB (plus 10GB per person) of SharePoint storage.

As famous earlier, Google Drive storage allocations are shared with Gmail. On Basic accounts, that complete is 30GB. The restrict will increase to 1TB on upgraded accounts and is limitless for G Suite Business and Enterprise plans with no less than 5 customers. Administrators can management offline entry utilizing system insurance policies and may dictate whether or not customers can sync Drive information to computer systems or cellular gadgets.

Communication and collaboration

Regardless of whether or not you utilize Google Workspace or Office 365, you’ve got an assortment of communication and collaboration instruments from which to decide on.

Both providers enable simultaneous enhancing of paperwork within the internet browser, so that folks can work as a crew on shared tasks; for information saved on OneDrive, you’ll be able to collaborate utilizing the Office desktop apps, as properly.

Google has renamed its Google Hangouts apps to Meet (for on-line conferences, video conferencing, and voice calls) and Chat (which handles easy textual content chats). Microsoft 365 accomplishes the identical targets with the Microsoft Teams app, which replaces Skype for Business and the traditional Lync.

For extra particulars:

For detailed characteristic comparisons, see these pages:

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