Online business app solutions: Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google Docs

2011 was a good year for web-based Software as a Service suites. Although these are not new technologies, today more than ever people seem to be interested in using and using the cloud and cloud computing services to share documents. If Google announced in January 2011 that it would offer its users free data storage of files up to 1 GB for Google Docs, in June of the same year Microsoft released its “commercial software plus services” called Microsoft Office 3665 to the public.

Both services comprise a suite of web-accessible and deployable desktop apps, offering users mobility and instant access to their documents wherever they are, as long as they have a compatible device and an internet connection feature.

Such tools are mainly aimed at companies, but also at users who work in teams and for whom collaboration tools are an integral part of their work. In order to have optimal communication between users, such a communication tool must be compatible with all hardware and software components of all members. Therefore, it is important to know which devices (PC, smartphones, tablets, etc.) your colleagues use and which software products. The best approach would be for the entire team to use the same web-based software service and avoid working on multiple hardware and software platforms.

In terms of familiarity and broader compatibility, Microsoft Office 365 is the best solution, but if your team prefers easy online usage, Google Docs offers a cheaper alternative. In terms of user experience, Microsoft’s solution relies on locally installed copies of Office (instead of web apps), while Google moves all the action to browsers. So let’s see what these web-based office suites have to offer:

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• Microsoft Office 365 includes: Email, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Lync and Calendar. On the other hand, Google Docs offers users: email, word processor, drawing app, presentations, online spreadsheet

• Google Docs is priced free (including Gmail, Google Talk and other Google products), however for $5 per user per month ($50 per year) you can purchase Google Apps which includes Google Docs + Support + Extra Storage + SLA (Service Level Agreement). Microsoft comes with a more complicated license plan that includes various options such as: B. Plan E4: For $27 per month, you get a full Microsoft Office license + enterprise language features, etc.

• Docs Suite is easy to install and you can find all the information you need on the Google website. We can’t say the same about Office 365 as you need to install a browser plugin as well as Microsoft Lync.

• Docs is compatible with most major browsers, while Office 365 does not support Google Chrome.

• Both tools have an easy-to-use interface, but Office 365 offers a familiar touch: you work (as usual) with documents, but they are stored in Office 365 and not on your local computer.

• For spreadsheets, you can use Google right-click in the app and resize the rows to show and hide. Also, Google spreadsheets offer advanced features like: charting, image embedding, pivot tables, etc.

• On the other hand, when it comes to presentations/PowerPoint, Office 365 has a clear advantage: the web app offers the same experience and results as the desktop application

Google Docs has the advantage of being easy to install, inexpensive, and compatible with almost any device with a browser. Whether you work from your home PC with Linux installed or from your Android smartphone, the experience will be the same. However, Docs also has a number of limitations, such as: B.: faulty integration with local apps, poor compatibility with PowerPoint files, etc.

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While Microsoft Office 365 is more expensive, it offers a full set of advanced features and full compatibility with offline Office apps.

So I can’t really say that one tool is better than the other, but that both have a number of advantages and limitations and that you should first consider your team’s needs and requirements before making your choice.

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