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Office 365 vs Google Apps – why you should choose Office 365

By Will Stevens - March 1, 2016

It’s always tough choosing between two products that are, on the face of things, very similar. What if you go for one option and end up regretting it? It’s hard to pick a winner when products have features that seem so similar. At first glance, that certainly seems to be the case when it comes to Office 365 vs Google Apps. But if you look beyond the basics, Office 365 comes out a hands-down winner.


Well, there are plenty of reasons. But don’t just take our word for it. In this article we’ve gathered together independent reviews by experts from across the web to highlight why Office 365 should sit at the heart of your business.

You’re probably already using Microsoft Office products

What do you use when you want to write a report? How about when creating a presentation? What about when crunching vital numbers? The chances are the answers to these questions are “Microsoft Word”, “Microsoft PowerPoint” and “Microsoft Excel”.

The fact you’ve already been using these products means that switching providers would entail a whole lot more than just buying a new package. You might need to convert a huge number of documents to a new format, or use your existing Microsoft Office tools in tandem with your new tools. The first option is a lot of hassle, and the second option seems to defeat the point of switching platforms in the first place.

Writing for ZDNet on his decision to pick Office 365 over Google Apps David Gertwitz said: “Once moved to Office 365, life would remain essentially unchanged compared to the way we worked before migrating.”


Everyone else is probably using Microsoft Office products

When clients or customers get in touch what do they send you? The chances are if they’re sending documents then they’ll be Microsoft Office documents. Although there is some cross-compatibility between Office and other products, it’s far from perfect.

As CloudPro puts it in its comparison: “Google Docs struggles with big, complex documents. Trying to open a graphics-laden, 70-page document with hundreds of tracked changes brought our browser crashing to its knees, time and again.”

Again, this means that switching to another service might actually entail keeping Office products running so you can handle attachments sent to you by customers, clients and others. Rather than doing this, doesn’t it make sense just to go with Office 365 and ensure compatibility?

Office 365 is becoming the gold standard

Although Office is in the driving seat because of its strong history, that doesn’t mean you things will stay the same. Do you have to worry about another product such as Google Apps becoming the new go-to tool, making your purchase of Office 365 obsolete? If figures from Bitglass are anything to go by, the answer is no.

In 2015, Office 365 accounted for 25.2% of the cloud-based productivity and email suite market. That’s more than any rival, including Google. Microsoft Office was the gold standard for desktop productivity tools and it looks like Office 365 will be the gold standard for cloud-based productivity tools.

Office 365 products are just better

Although Google Apps offers a close approximation of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Microsoft wins when it comes to what the tools actually do. We’ve already seen one example of this – Google Docs struggles with complex documents – but there are plenty of others.

In its comparison, CIO.com quotes digital marketing specialist Martin Milanov as saying 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”.

When it comes to presentations, the Cloud Pro comparison says: “As with the word processing and spreadsheet tools, it’s the sheer sophistication of PowerPoint that gives it the edge over Google Slides.

But what about email? You might think that with its famed Gmail functionality, Google Apps scores a point here. But it doesn’t. Once more Office 365’s extra functionality wins out.
Cloud Pro again: “Outlook offers features Google cannot match. The option to take notes in meetings (using OneNote) and have them permanently associated with the event in your diary is a bonus, making it easy to check agreed action points, for example.

“Finding free time slots (and even meeting rooms) for meetings with colleagues is easier with Outlook than Google Calendar. Outlook also offers more options for setting ‘rules’ to automatically shuffle incoming messages to certain folders, for example.”

The tools that Office 365 provides give you everything you need.


‘Probably’ just isn’t good enough for business

Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. In business, that means that if you pay for a product that will “probably” do the job, you’ll discover it doesn’t do the job after all. The chances are that this discovery will come at the worst possible time.

InfoWorld says Google Apps “may not do what you need to do”. With that in mind, the question you have to ask yourself is “Am I willing to run the risk of Google Apps letting me down at a crucial moment”? If you want to be sure that you’ll be able to do what you need when you need to, then it makes sense to opt for Office 365.

Office 365 – better looking, easier to use

That’s according to Adrian Bridgwater of Computer Weekly who said: “If I had to choose, I would side with Microsoft and say that it is a better overall product with a better-engineered look and feel”.

Summing up

When it comes to productivity, Office 365 holds all the aces. But if you’d still like to know more about how it can help your business, you can check out this guide to Office 365 tips and tricks, or this guide to how Office 365 can save the day for small businesses. If you want to get a rundown of the features offered by Office 365 you can do that here.

Any questions?

If you’ve got a question about Office 365 and your business, let us know in a comment and we’ll do our best to answer.