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Microsoft 365 vs. Google Workspace - Which is right for your organization?

In a competition to be your organization's one-stop shop for business productivity software, Microsoft and Google each want your business. Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are their subscription solutions that tick all of the top-level boxes on your company's communications and productivity checklist. Each suite includes the following features:

  • Business email and shared calendaring services attached to custom domains

  • Online storage, with shared space for collaboration and a large allotment of personal storage space for each user account

  • Productivity apps for creating and collaborating on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations

  • Corporate communication tools, including messaging, online meetings, and video conferencing

  • A management interface, with advanced features such as compliance and archiving for enterprise customers as well as security features including two-factor authenticatio

While there are quite a few similarities between Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, their individual applications and management tools are distinctively different from each other. Each suite includes applications for each of these suites includes applications for word processing, spreadsheet calculation, presentation, email, instant messaging, video conferencing, calendar, web hosting, note-taking, etc.

We've compiled some of the main features and functions into a chart below to compare.

Features / Functions

Microsoft 365

Google Workplace

Plans and Pricing

Microsoft 365 Business Basic – $5/user/month


Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $12.50/user/month


Microsoft 365 Business Premium – $20/user/month


Microsoft 365 Apps for Business – $8.25/user/month


Enterprise Plans

Microsoft 365 E3 – $32/user/month (annual commitment)


Microsoft 365 E5 – $57/user/month (annual commitment)


Microsoft 365 F3 – $8/user/month (annual commitment)

Business Starter – $6/user/month


Business Standard – $12/user/month

Business Plus – $18/user/month

Google Workspace Enterprise Plans – Custom pricing

Cloud Storage

1TB of OneDrive storage


50GB email storage

Business Starter – 30GB per user


Business Standard – 2TB per user

Business Plus – 5TB per user

Business Apps

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Teams, Outlook, Exchange, SharePoint

Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Sites, Google Drive, Calendar, Meet, Gmail, Chat

Collaboration and Communication

Supports simultaneous multiuser editing


Supports online meetings and video calls for up to 300 people

Allows you to connect with your team from your desktop or on-the-go with Microsoft Teams

Allows you to access team chats, meetings, files and apps and collaborate from one place

Supports live multiuser editing


Google Meet supports up to 250 participants (depending on the plan) video and voice conferencing

Advanced chat rooms, including threaded rooms and guest access

Plans and Pricing

Data encryption Microsoft cloud security technology Data loss prevention Multi-factor authentication Built-in spam, malware and unusual activity detection 99.9% financially backed uptime guarantee Round-the-clock phone and online support

Data encryption


Google cloud security protection

Data loss prevention

Two-step verification

Built-in spam, phishing and unusual activity detection

99.9% application availability guarantee

Standard Support (paid upgrade to Enhanced Support)

What's included in Google Workspace?

  • Gmail for Business

  • Meet (video and voice conferencing)

  • Chat (secure messaging)

  • Shared calendars

  • Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

  • Keep (shared notes)

  • Forms (survey builder)

  • Sites (website builder)

  • Currents (the replacement for Google+ for Google Workspace)

  • At least 30GB of cloud file storage (Google Drive)

  • Security and administrative controls

What's included in Microsoft 365?

  • Desktop versions and /or cloud versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher

  • Exchange Online email hosting with a maximum inbox size of 50 or 100GB

  • Web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook

  • A minimum of 1TB of OneDrive for Business file storage per user

  • SharePoint Online team sites

  • HD video conferencing

  • Online meetings (Skype Meeting Broadcast or Microsoft Teams live events)

  • Secure messaging and collaboration (Microsoft Teams)

  • Security and administrative controls


Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace provide their users with powerful efficient solutions. Both include unique features that aim to help with productivity and keep users happy. While they share a lot of similarities here is a breakdown of the key services in each platform:


Email

Exchange Online optimized for use with the Outlook desktop client is Microsoft's email option. Google alternatively has Gmail which is optimized for use in the Chrome web browser and on mobile apps. The 2 share features that both include just about everything a corporate email administrator would want including anti-malware protection, spam filtering, and group aliases.

Google Workspace Business starter accounts have a maximum inbox size of 30 GB, but that limitation disappears once plans are upgraded beyond the starter account. Conversely Microsoft 365 caps its mailbox sizes at either 50 GB or 100 GB depending on the plan unless a business is on an enterprise plan with archiving turned on which is unlimited.


Productivity Apps

Google's productivity apps work exclusively in a browser or in one of its mobile apps. In contrast Microsoft provides office desktop applications as well as increasingly full-featured web versions for its most popular plans.


Microsoft's availability of desktop apps is a crucial feature for some organizations. When fidelity with office document formats is crucial, these desktop apps become of extra importance. While it's easy enough to import and export Google Docs and Sheets, Office document features aren't guaranteed to survive round trips between the two environments.


Cloud Storage

Microsoft features OneDrive for business which shares the same sync engine as its consumer counterpart and has matured into a reliable service. OneDrive is well integrated with both Microsoft 465 and Windows and also works well on Macs and mobile devices. Every OneDrive for Business users get 1TB of personal cloud file storage; and the limit is removed for Enterprise accounts with at least 5 users.


Google Drive storage allocations are shared with Gmail . On Business standard accounts that total is 30 GB and increases to 1TB on upgraded and accounts and unlimited for Google Workspace Business and Enterprise plans with at please 5 users.


Communication and Collaboration

Both Google Workspace and Office 365 offer an assortment of communication and collaboration tools. They both allow for simultaneous editing of documents in the web browser and Office has the ability to collaborate using desktop apps as well. Both Google (with Meet) and Microsoft (with Teams) provide collaboration and meeting tools that function well for organizations.


Differences of Note between Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace

  • Microsoft 365 provides both desktop and web versions. While Google only provides web based versions, Microsoft allows users to use web versions but also have browser based versions installed on their device. This gives Microsoft users the ability to easily use their applications without internet access. While Google does not provide desktop versions of their Workspace applications they do have a web-app features that provides certain offline functions for docs, sheets and slides

  • Microsoft provides 1 TB of cloud storage to all of its users while Google Workspace have varying storage capacity depending on the version purchased.

  • When it comes to security Microsoft and Google both provide secure workspaces. While Google includes two-factor authentication, Microsoft takes it a step further with multi-factor authentication. Google allows users to add-on a plethora of third-party apps that can also pose security risk.

MapleTronics proudly partners with Microsoft and is able to assist in the selection of the right plan for your organization as well as getting your Microsoft 365 services started and maintained. Contact us today for more information.