Google’s G Suite and Microsoft 365 are popular packages of cloud-based software, but many users have previously been faced with an ‘either/or’ choice. Recently, however, Google¬† announced that it is enabling support for some of Microsoft’s most used applications. This article considers some implications of the move.

As we’ve reported in previous blogs, businesses can choose to buy their software outright, or they can subscribe to a cloud-based package that gives them 24/7 internet access to the latest versions of their chosen software. This principle is explained in our article describing the differences between Microsoft Office and Office 365.

Microsoft notes that a subscription to Office 365 provides the following:

  • The latest Office apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • The ability to install on PCs, Macs, tablets and phones
  • 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage
  • Feature updates and upgrades not available anywhere else

Through Office 365, MS Access and Publisher are also available, but for the PC only. The package also includes collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams and other useful apps such as Skype. The exact features will depend on the level of the subscription taken out.

However, Office 365 is not the only game in town. Google has been a strong proponent of cloud-based software ever since it launched Google Apps in 2006. Its initial package of tools has developed over the years and, today, Google’s G Suite offers a broad selection that rivals Office 365.

Key features of G Suite include:

  • Google+ for communication (messaging, video and VoIP)
  • Gmail
  • Calendar
  • Hangouts
  • Google Drive (cloud storage)
  • Collaborative tools including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Sites
  • Jamboard (interactive whiteboard)
  • App Maker (for developing apps)

However, one barrier that Google has always faced has been the supremacy of MS Office when it comes to the popularity of software such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. MS products have established the standard file formats for many activities such as word processing and viewing data in spreadsheets, so challenging the company’s position would be a massive task, even for a company as large and well-financed as Google.

G Suite and Microsoft

Google’s solution, announced recently, has been to enable compatibility between its own products and the most popular Microsoft file formats. G Suite and Microsoft can now work with all of the following:

  • Word: doc, dot, and docx
  • Excel: xlsx, xls, xlt, and xlsm
  • PowerPoint: pptx, pps, pot, and ppt

A limited version of G Suite is available free for private use, but – like Office 365 – the business version requires a subscription. The competing suites are similarly priced.

For more information on whats new in G Suite please click here.

Choosing the right cloud software package

Making the right decision depends on a wide range of factors, which will vary from business to business. A company’s size (especially the number of its sites and users), its activities and the software it most often uses will all affect the cost-effectiveness of any choice. Before committing to a particular package, it, therefore, makes good sense to analyse your needs, work patterns and infrastructure.

If you’re considering making the move to a cloud-based software subscription, and if you’d like some expert but friendly advice, please contact our support team. We’ll be glad to help.

Call us today on 0800 368 7730.

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