Microsoft 365 vs. Google Workspace: Which productivity suite reigns supreme in 2023?

When it comes to the two most popular cloud productivity suites, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, one is not objectively better than the other. However, depending on your business’s requirements and goals, one of these platforms may be more suitable for your company. Let’s compare these two suites in a few key areas to give you a better idea of which aligns best with your needs.

Ease of use

Google Workspace, much like the Google brand as a whole, prides itself on simplicity and accessibility. Google’s apps are regarded as much more intuitive than Microsoft’s, and they are easier for new users to pick up and learn.

This simplicity could be seen as a liability for some businesses, however. For instance, Google’s suite of apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides) can be used through a web browser but can’t be installed on a computer as standalone programs, unlike their Microsoft counterparts (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Google Workspace apps let you mark some documents to be accessible offline, but it adds another step to the process.

Integrations

Thanks to the Microsoft Azure architecture, Microsoft 365 is far more customizable than Google Workspace. The vast and growing number of products available through Azure are designed to integrate seamlessly with Microsoft 365, enabling organizations to better unify and centralize their operations. However, if your business does not rely on custom software or other complex integrations, then the simpler Google ecosystem will likely be sufficient.

Security

Microsoft 365 is widely regarded as the most secure cloud platform, thanks to well-developed cybersecurity tools integrated directly into Azure and Windows. This makes it ideal for organizations with higher threat profiles and/or those that handle large volumes of sensitive information.

On the other hand, Google Workspace’s security features are more than adequate for the vast majority of businesses. But if cybersecurity is your top priority, then Microsoft is the better bet.

Price

Simply put, Google is cheaper and more cost-effective for small businesses. Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace offer multiple pricing tiers and charge per user, but Google will, in most cases, be lower in price. This is largely due to Microsoft’s higher complexity and customizability. For organizations that require Microsoft 365’s advanced features and tools, the difference in price is well worth it.

Mobility

Although Microsoft 365 apps can be used on a wide range of computing devices, they are primarily designed with Windows hardware in mind. In contrast, Google’s better usability and device-agnostic software ensures compatibility with most devices. This makes Google Workplace an ideal choice for workforces that don’t use Windows PCs and devices.

Office apps

This one mostly comes down to preference, but there are some key differences between Microsoft’s and Google’s productivity apps. Microsoft apps are generally more feature-rich and can accomplish complex tasks better than their Google counterparts. Google apps, on the other hand, are much better suited for collaboration and don’t have the “bloat” that some associate with Microsoft apps.

Which suite is best for you?

Let’s break it down by business characteristics.

Google Workplace is probably better suited for your organization if:

  • You value simplicity and smooth collaboration over advanced features
  • Your workforce is small and not highly technical
  • You don’t require complex software integrations or custom architecture
  • You manage your own IT and value ease of administration
  • Productivity on the go is a high priority for you

Microsoft 365 is probably better suited for your organization if:

  • You handle large amounts of sensitive/client information and security is a top priority
  • Your company utilizes custom software and complex integrations for its operations
  • Your workforce is more on the technical side and requires advanced features to operate productively
  • You have high data storage requirements (Microsoft 365 offers more cloud storage than Google)
  • You want a highly customizable pricing plan

Choosing a productivity suite is a significant decision for your business, so make sure to consult with an experienced IT services provider to determine which one is best for your needs and budget. Contact Interplay, and our experienced consultants will help you get the facts you need to make the right decision for your Seattle-area business.