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Google for Work vs. Microsoft Office 365: A comparison of cloud tools


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I use MS Office 2010 Home and Business (Paid) w/6 seats across two licenses, others here use Libre Office (Free), Open Office (Free), and now the two biggest contenders is Google's Google For Work and Microsoft's Office 365. Both paid for SAAS (Software AS A Service), and about the same money. I like the idea of having my own data and my own programs bought and paid for and local. Lord knows I have nothing to hide, and any hacker that chose to do a long term brute force can get to any computer they target. I did not like the slow speeds of uploads and downloads just five years ago in 2010 when I thought 5mbps Cable Internet was fast and now the cheap seats are 15 mbps, and for ten bucks a month more I am getting 30 mbps Broadband. There is faster and cheaper where the local communities have their own municipal network whether third party administered or by the town at a profit, some of them are already more then 1GB speeds. So today my biggest objection to cloud backups images and storage were their tediously slow speeds.


As I said I use Office but the more I look at Office 365 subscriptions the more I am ready to move over when my old 2010 versions go out of support in five years. I might even go earlier. Why?


I just called Microsoft Sales and calcified a few things with the guy from India who was very well informed technically and spoke more understandable English than some Americans I have spoken to on the phone.


Now instead of paying big bucks up front for MS Software, with SAAS, we never have our product go out of date or out of support usually ten years for MS products, and we pay 100 bucks a year for a personal family subscription, or I can try it which I will, for $6.99 for a month and then if I like it I can buy the one year.


I remained to be impressed until I went to the webpage here: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/productID.286395000?tduid=3d84025358d909b40d669d06449b9a34


I saw some confusing licensing. It turns out that the one fee covers all six of my machines and both phones! With not only full Office, but 1 TB of storage for each and 60 minutes of free Skype calls every month which renews every month? It seems that the license covers up to five computers, and five tablets or phones. That is ten seats and if our kids still lived at home each sign in gets a TB of One Drive storage which I am getting to like and use more and more. Microsoft has taken the pain and expense out of Office ownership and online storage and overseas costs for calls up to 30 minutes a month.


Now for all the folks that are thinking Duh? RV we knew that. OK I did not until the below article came in today.


I just found out that Google For Work costs about the same as Getting MS Office 365. And they offer some of their own perks as you will see in the article. But anyone using Google search and any of their products like Earth/Voice/Gmail/Picasa agree to let Google spy on all communications using their servers and services. Some think that is a fair trade. However I can still opt out of MS even getting feedback from any failures or freezes of Windows etc. Today (that could change tomorrow) I trust MS or Apple far more than Google.


Many don't see a problem and that is what makes a horse race. One size fits all, of that one size. However if you read the comments at the bottom of the article you will see that many others were confused too by the article. Thus my explaining above.


So from a less biased individual writer than me, here is an




"CIOs and IT managers have many choices when it comes to cloud-based productivity tools for email, documents, calendar, and file-sharing. The first two options that come to mind for most, however, are Google Apps for Work and Office 365.


The former packs all the familiarities of the Google Apps suite, including Gmail, Hangouts, Drive and Calendar, while the latter comes with the longer legacy of tried-and-true Microsoft Office apps, such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. The two options have unique strengths and weaknesses, and each is best-suited for specific types of businesses and users.


Google for Work vs. Microsoft Office 365: Price, simplicity and storage


Both services start at $5 per month. Microsoft requires a full-year commitment, which costs at least $60 per year, while Google's suite is available on a month-to-month basis. Google also offers a yearly discounted plan for $50 a year, plus tax.


Every Office 365 user gets at least 1TB of cloud storage, while Google's entry-level plan provides considerably less space: 300MB of online storage per user. However, Google provides unlimited storage for accounts with at least five users on its $10 per month or $120 per year (plus tax) plans.


Google also gets high marks for simplicity, because it offers two relatively straightforward plans.


Microsoft makes things a bit more confusing with six total packages -- three for small and medium-size businesses and three for large enterprises -- that range in price from $5 to $20 per month, with a yearly commitment.


Pricing is an important determining factor, but equally important for CIOs are the feature sets, security safeguards and user experiences of both platforms. The ideal cloud-based platform is secure, stable and simple for employees to learn and use. Cost is just one of the many concerns IT managers must consider when investing in cloud-based productivity platforms."


The rest of the article contains:

A direct feature by feature comparison chart between Google For Work and Office 365.

Where Google for Work falls short

Google for Work vs. Microsoft Office 365: One size does NOT fit all

Regardless of platform, it's about preparation


The whole article with the charts and pros and cons of each is here: http://www.infoworld.com/article/2902179/cloud-computing/google-for-work-vs-microsoft-office-365-a-comparison-of-cloud-tools.html?phint=newt%3Dinfoworld_tech_google&phint=idg_eid%3D6aa01e18b29f7b6f9149f611f8eac228#tk.IFWNLE_ifw_goog_2015-04-09


Update: MS Offie 365 can be purchased for one month at a time for $6.99 based on a conversation an hour ago with MS Sales Store by phone. And paid up front the cost is only $99.99 a year.


I have three Windows 8.1 tablets, two Windows 7 desktops, one 8.1 Windows desktop, and two smart phones, one a Windows Verizon LTE Phone, and my SH who clings to her Android 3G phone on Straight Talk but who agreed to upgrade to another Nokia Lumia 822 LTE phone like mine, directly on Verizon prepaid with auto refill getting unlimited calls long distance and texts, as well as 1 GB of data. We both use very little data per month as I had leftover data when Verizon only gave us 512GB with the $45.00 prepaid plan. So when we go to Office 365 it will cover all our devices, with ITB each OneDrive storage.

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I did a major study on Google Apps versus Office 365 when we decided to drop in-house exchange server. We chose Office 365 because the Apps are better. We have a few of the workstations on Office 2007 but the web-based Office Word, Excel, and Powerpoint do a fine job. This is the per-user business packages.


In my house we use Office 365 Home because I have four PCs and the $100 a year is way cheaper than four copies of Office Pro (necessary for ACCESS and Outlook) even staged over a few years.

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I happen to like the Office applications a lot.


However, for web based Free apps choosing between Office Web (free) and Google Apps (free) there is - in MY OPINION - only one choice. Google.


I've been using both - side by side - for almost a year now. Really, since the Office Web apps have been out...however long that is. And sad to say, the MS apps just can not cut it compared to Google. IN THAT AREA ONLY.


For use locally the MS apps rule. This is just to round out the comments....it is not Office 365.

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Mark that would be my decision for any workplace. But not for home until now. Sheesh! A ten seat full MS Office license for 5 Computers and five other devices for 99 bucks a year? Mark, can you work offline with 365? That's the only part I'm not clear about at this point. I'm obviously slow to upgrade software as fast as hardware here.

I haven't tried any free office suites from anyone since trying the second or third iteration of Libre Office several years ago just to see what they had going at the time. Still weren't ready for my prime time.This review opened my eyes to Office 365 as a viable alternative to buying Office outright for local and mobile use just like deploying a three seat license for Office 2010. I have two three seat licenses for Office 2010 Home and Business, so it has Outlook. I installed it on my tablets as well as my desktops.

What is new here to me is that it really makes sense to go with SAAS rather than buying it every few years but missing several good improvements for the versions I skipped. I used Office 2003 Pro until we got Office 2010. I have Word on my Windows phone as well as access to all my stuff in OneDrive from all my devices.

In the article they state that:

"Wiora says there are at least four problems with Google for Work that can add up to a major burden for businesses. He cites "shared calendar issues, an inability to transfer Excel formulas directly into Google Spreadsheets, compatibility issues and vertical-specific decisions like Google's past refusal to sign a HIPAA BAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Business Associate] agreement for the healthcare industry."

In Wiora's his experience, Google's suite keeps up with Office 365 about 90 percent of the time. It's that other 10 percent that "makes Google for Work a poor substitute for medium and large enterprises that expect to simply pick up in Google where they leave off with Microsoft."

BetterCloud, a company that provides security and management services for Google Apps and Office 365, also uses both Google and Microsoft's offers, according to Tim Burke, BetterCloud's IT director."


Google for Work vs. Microsoft Office 365: One size does NOT fit all

Many others familiar with Office 365 and Google for Work take a much less neutral stance than Wiora and Burke; both companies have dedicated users and evangelists.

Martin Milanov, a digital marketing specialist at Fair Point, a corporate travel management firm based in Germany, writes that he "will scream to the ends of hell if they take away my Excel and make me use the, let's face it, subpar Excel wannabe that is Google Sheets."


Kristin Bassett, corporate marketing manager at AppNeta, an application performance management provider, says her company recently switched from Microsoft to Google to get all employees on the same email system. The firm chose to migrate its entire staff to Google for Work because it preferred Gmail to Outlook and considered email its highest-priority tool."

So even the folks that work with managing Google Apps and Office 365 have to use both. Some are like you Jack, preferring the Google For Work to Office 365?


I just realized that my Windows phones already have office installed and can be set to interact with a main LAN with 365 but I will leave that learning curve for later in the year with WP10. I am, as many, eagerly waiting for the addition of keyboard Bluetooth profiles to WP10 as promised. Also the ability to connect a Logitech full size kb and mouse wireless set via the USB with a micro to female full size USB adapter. MY goodness I could do both four years ago with a Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet.


I think MS is on the right track. I am waiting for the train at the next stop on the track.

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Thanks for clearing that up for me Mark! Some of that does not come across as well from MS. Since I already have Office and it should be good until 2030, I may pass. But I am intrigued by some of the features. Similar to the way they seduced me into becoming as fan of online storage with OneDrive.

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Derek, just to be clear....I don't use any of the Google for Work apps. I use their free Drive apps. Docs Sheets, etc. Docs and Sheets really work well. I also use MS Word Online and Excel Online. Not so good....although they DO have more features than the Google apps. The issue in use is that they do not sych with devices well....it can take me HOURS before my tablet will show what I did on the laptop. And the phone? Well. forget about that. As compared...Google Drive updates almost instantly. Pretty much as fast as the network/Internet will do it. Also, it can take me sometimes MINUTES to get onto my Word document with Microsoft. It is NEVER very fast. They must have something up with their servers for the web-based "free" stuff. I've pretty much given up on it.

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Jack thanks,

I was confused about your experience, gotcha now. For comparison I just went to my Windows phone, opened Office then word and it actually opens almost as fast as I can tap on it. Must be a heckuva difference!


I'm happy with Office on the phones already. Win Phone 10 is supposed to include profiles to finally be able to connect to and use Bluetooth keyboards. They connect fine for music etc. to Bluetooth speakers, just not keyboards. Not through the USB port either. So to me, Office is wasted if I can't use a keyboard.


But Office works great on WP8.1. I can't wait to see what they come up with in WP10.

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