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Google Apps vs Microsoft Office Online

Since the onset of cloud computing, we have seen major technology companies such as Google and Microsoft led the development in the use of browser based applications that are mainly geared towards business use. There seems to be a general awareness that the company that provides a better applications will predominantly dominate the business application usage market. These cloud based applications are faster, easier and cheaper to access via any device or platform. A person is no longer restricted to using these applications on their PCs as they can already access them from any mobile device. However there is a heavy dependence on staying connected to the internet in order to use these applications which seams to be the only drawback.

It is safe to say that Google was the first in this field along with their premier introduction of Google Applications on April 2012. Microsoft office soon followed with its own launching but still a year behind the 8 balls, largely because of its existing application based user market. Earlier in 2014, Microsoft Office announced its release of these applications via office.com which is now meant to be Microsoft Office’s new application based portal wherein new office based users will undoubtedly be hurdled towards.

Both systems seems to offer similar enterprise level applications, however, the user experience is rather different. Now, let’s take a look at the course enterprise level applications that are available on both systems:

Application Type Microsoft Google
Communication Skype Gchat
Email Outlook express Gmail
Text Editing / Document creation Word Online Google Docs
Spreadsheet Excel Online Google Spreadsheets
Calendar Calendar Online Google Calendar
Presentation PowerPoint Online Google Presentation
Drawing N/A Google Drawing
Storage OneDrive (Synced to your hard drive) Google Drive (Synced to your hard drive)
Add On N/A Huge array of applications available to be added on.


Both companies seems to cover the basic array of business grade applications so it will all come down to how simple these applications are to use for an average user. People who are more used to using office based applications will tend to prefer Microsoft Online because of its ease of use, whereas the applications deployed by Google Apps sometimes seem a lot harder to use and can frustrate a user even on a chrome based browser - which these applications are optimized for. Google Apps can often not style text or make them look as intended especially when printing physically or creating a PDF document. This can be extremely frustrating especially when an important deadline is at hand. Simple tasks such as creating ‘Table of Content’, assigning header tags or just creating a text break can often seem like a mission when working with Google based applications. Microsoft office on the other hand, operates quite seamlessly, and produces an output that is 99% close to their desktop based application.

In conclusion, though Google have always been ahead of the curb in terms of innovation and offer a solution that can be integrated with thousands of other applications by third party vendors. Their basic array of applications seem to be lacking a basic usability standard that businesses might find un-profesional. It is for this simple reason that Microsoft will tend to be ahead of business application use in the PC Industry at the moment.

We implore people to explore both online applications to see which one they would prefer using. Both systems are free to use up to a certain limit of data.