G Suite vs. Office 365

G Suite (previously called Google Apps for Work) and Office 365 offer similar set of productivity tools.
Which one should you choose for your business? Read on to find out.


1. Pricing

G Suite has straightforward pricing with two plans: $5/user/month and $10/user/month.

First plan offers the following:

  • Business email addresses (name@company.com)
  • Video and voice calls
  • Integrated online calendars
  • 30GB of online storage for file syncing and sharing
  • Online text documents, spreadsheets and slides
  • Easy to create project sites
  • Security and admin controls
  • 24/7 phone and email support

Second plan offers unlimited storage with vault:

  • Unlimited Storage (or 1TB per user if fewer than 5 users)
  • Advanced admin controls for Drive
  • Audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing
  • Google Vault for eDiscovery covering emails, chats, docs and files
  • Easily search and export to different formats
  • Archive all emails sent by your company
  • Set message retention policies
  • Place and enforce litigation holds on inboxes

Office 365 has complex pricing plans:

  • Office 365 Business Essentials – $5.00 user/mont
  • Office 365 Business – $8.25 user/month
  • Office 365 Business Premium – $12.50 user/month
  • Office 365 ProPlus – $12.00 user/month
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1 – $8.00 user/month
  • Office365 Enterprise E3 –  $20.00 user/month
  • Office365 Enterprise E5 –  $35.00 user/month

Without going to the detailed offerings of each plan, we’ll focus on the comparable plans from Office 365 and G Suite:

  • G Suite ($5 per user per month) and Office 365 ‘Business Essentials’ ($5 per user per month)
  • G Suite Unlimited ($10 per user per month) and Office 365 ‘Enterprise E3’ ($20 per user per month)

Office 365 Business Essentials will cost $5 uer/month if you go for annual subscription, where as the monthly subscription will cost $6 user/month. Essentially you’ll save $1 user/month with G suite. The Office 365 ‘Enterprise E3’ wil cost $10 higher per month in comparison to G Suite Unlimited and Microsoft will also require annual commitment.

 2. Email

Gmail is powerful, fast and the search functionality is pretty quick, which helps in finding relevant emails. The starter plan by Microsoft has a dedicated 50GB inbox in addition to 1TB storage; and Google’s starter plan gives 30 GB total space that includes both files and emails. Microsoft’s unlimited email storage can be availed with $20 per user per month  pricing (Enterprise E3), which is 2 times than that of Google.

3. Applications

Most of the Office 365 plans offer desktop versions on their product along with cloud based apps. You’ll be able to install the full versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook etc. on your lapptop/desktop and work offline.

It is also known that Microsoft applications are more advanced and offer better features in comparison to Google apps. For example advanced number crunching and usage of statistical library can be done on Excel, there are better animation on Powerpoint and adding ‘Smart Art’ is a breeze in Word.

Apps in G Suite are quite easy to use in comparison to Microsoft apps and here are some of the advanced functionality offered by Google as part of the latest update:

  • Machine intelligence in Google Calendar to quickly find a time when invitees are free
  • Natural Language Processing in Google Sheets to
  • Machine intelligence in Google Docs to automatically recommend related topics to learn more and insert images
  • Dynamic layout suggestions in Google Slides
  • Better file management and granular content ownership with a focus on team in Google Drive

4. Collaboration

Both Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 make this sort of online collaboration straightforward using their online apps. Additionally, you can now use Microsoft’s desktop apps to work on documents in real time with other team members.

5. Video Call

Both Google Apps and Office 365 offer video conferencing solutions via Hangouts and Skype respectively. It has been experienced that Hangout provides better experience than Skype – call drops and crashes are less.

The maximum number of participants allowed in Hangout is 50, where as Skype 250 as upperlimit. The high end conferencing and telephony services come with the top tier pricing plans of Office 365.

6. Advanced Features

There are many advanced features offered by G Suite and Office 365. Here are some of the common features offered by both of the solutions:

  • Intranet building functionality
  • E-discovery tools
  • Advanced reporting
  • Email archiving
  • Legal holds on inboxes

Top tier plans offered by Microsoft have the following features:

  • Advanced virus protection
  • Rights management
  • Cloud based phone call hosting services

7. Mobile App

Both G Suite and Office 365 offer mobile apps (iOS and Android), which helps to manage and edit your files on the go. The apps offered by Google and Microsoft have good user experience, let you quickly access information and share with colleagues.

8. Support

Both Google Apps and Office 365 offer 24/7 phone support in English and depending on the country, language support can change. While email support is available for both products; Google provides additional support via live chat. You can also access forums to seek clarification, give feedback and request additional functionality.

9. File Storage

The Business Essentials plan offered by Office 365 gives you 1TB storage where as Google’s starter plan gives 30GB. Note that Google also counts email storage as part of the 30 GB quota.

But, if you go for the G Suite Unlimited, from the storage point of view Google offers better solutions in comparison to all the Microsoft plans. This will be really helpful if your company works with large multimedia files.

Bottom Line

If you are a small business (1-50 people) then go with G Suite.

Reasons to choose G Suite:

  • File storage: G Suite’s unlimited plan provides better value in terms of data storage than most of the Office 365 plans
  • Scalability: There is no upper limit on the number of users you can add (the cheaper Office ‘Business’ plans have maximum limit of 300 users)
  • Collaboration: Google apps were built with a strong focus on collaboaration
  • Advanced features: eDiscovery, site building tools, email archiving and legal holds on inboxes (apart from other advanced features) are offered with lower cost
  • Usability: G Suite user interface is clean and the apps load faster
  • Multi device: If your business uses various operating systems and devices, then Google is a better choice
  • Integration: There are a vast number of third party web apps which provide seamless integration with Google Apps and enhance its functionality