Comparing G Suite to Office 365

Which is better, G Suite or Office 365? When choosing a productivity software, there are conflicting views. With their Office line, Microsoft has been offering a proven software package for everyday office use for years in the form of Office 365.

With their file hosting services Drive and Google Docs, Google has initially established itself as a free alternative to the Microsoft product range. This is primarily aimed at private users. G Suite is meant to meet the demands of business customers and establish itself in this area as a serious competitor to Microsoft Office. But how does G Suite hold up in a direct comparison to the market leader?

Google and Microsoft cloud solutions compared

With the productivity software G Suite, Google is targeting the business segment – a declaration of war to market leader Microsoft and their competitor product Office 365. We compare G Suite to Office 365 on the basis of the following aspects:

  • App features
  • Cloud storage
  • File sharing
  • Collaboration
  • E-Mail
  • Security
  • Data protection
  • Availability
  • Support
  • Pricing

App Offers

If you look at the of the two business app packages’ product portfolios, you can see the scope of functions is largely the same. Basically, Google is offering a comparable alternative for every Office 365 app.

Function Microsoft Office 365 Google G Suite
Word processing Microsoft Word Google Docs
Spreadsheet calculation Microsoft Excel Google Sheets
Presentations Microsoft PowerPoint Google Slides
E-mail Microsoft Outlook Gmail
Digital notebook Microsoft One Note Google Keep
Web hosting Microsoft Sharepoint Google Sites
Video conferencing and instant messaging services Skype for Business Google Hangouts
Chat-based workspaces Microsoft Teams -
Social media for companies Yammer Google+

However, a unique feature of Microsoft’s product is the download option. All Office 365 business apps listed above are also available as desktop versions if required, and can be installed directly from the cloud on local devices (depending on the selected product plan) and, if possible, used offline.

Tip

G Suite also offers offline functions for Google Docs, Sheets and Slides - not in the form of a desktop app, but as a feature of the web application. The prerequisite for this is the use of the Chrome web browser, including an extension for offline operation.

Feature Office 365 G Suite
Office applications as web apps Yes Yes
Offline operation possible Yes Yes

Cloud storage & file sharing

Cloud solutions like Office 365 and Google G Suite points in the corporate context mainly through central data storage on the Internet.

Microsoft relies on the file hosting service OneDrive for Office 365. G Suite users have access to the Google Drive cloud storage platform with an extended storage quota.

In the G Suite basic version, the storage quota is 30 gigabytes. Google makes unlimited storage available to Business and Enterprise users of the product versions, provided that at least 5 user licenses are purchased. With four or fewer licenses, the available storage volume is reduced to 1 TB per license.

Both Microsoft and Google provide the ability to synchronize cloud storage with a device. Files and file folders stored online can also be made available offline if required.

When it comes to managing files stored online, both cloud storage solutions score highly with a wide range of functions. Practical features for day-to-day business include the versioning and sharing functions, which allow users to share files with people inside or outside their organization at the click of a mouse – with a time limit if required.

G Suite offers a search function based on NLP (Natural language processing) that covers all applications.

Feature Office 365 G Suite
Storage capacity per user license 1 TB Depending on version 30 GB, 1 TB or unlimited
Synchronization Yes Yes
Versioning Yes Yes
File sharing via link including expiration date Yes Yes
Search function Yes NLP supported

Collaboration tools

As collaboration platforms, Office 365 and G Suite provide powerful tools for communicating and collaborating with colleagues, customers and business partners.

Both solutions offer video telephony and instant messaging, as well as collaborative editing of text, spreadsheets and presentations in the cloud.

Google’s answer to Skype for Business is the video conferencing and instant messaging service Hangouts. G Suite doesn’t offer a chat-based workspace like Microsoft Teams that combines group management, file sharing and document sharing.

Corporate websites and other intranet applications can be implemented just as professionally with G Suites as with Office 365. Google uses an intuitive template system with limited scope for design with sites. Microsoft SharePoint, on the other hand, is less intuitive, but offers significantly more possibilities for the implementation of company-internal web applications.

With Yammer and Google+, both vendors offer cloud solutions that enable internal and cross-company social networks.

Feature Office 365 G Suite
Business suitable appointment and contact management Yes Yes
Joint editing of texts, tables and presentations Yes Yes
Video calls Yes Yes
Instant messaging Yes Yes
Group chats Yes Yes
Video conferencing Yes Yes
Internal company websites/Intranet Yes Yes
Social media for companies Yes Yes

E-mail

Both Office 365 and Google G Suite offer enterprise-class professional email features, including a calendar and address book.

Office 365 users manage their e-mail traffic either in the Outlook e-mail client program, or in Outlook on the web browser application – or the mobile device if required. In G Suite, e-mail management is offered through the app Gmail, which also forms the basis of the free e-mail product of the same name.

Unlike the free Google account, Gmail is available to G Suite users with an ad-free user interface and individual e-mail domain. With Office365, the individual e-mail domain is only supported for product plans that include the Exchange Online Email service. These include Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business Premium and all Enterprise plans.

Note

Other than with G Suite, your own domain is not included in the monthly usage fee for Office 365, but can be booked with any service provider for free.

Feature Office 365 G Suite
Ad free Yes Yes
Own e-mail domain included No Yes
Mobile app Yes Yes
Desktop mail client inclusive Depending on the plan No
E-mail alias Yes Yes
Groups/email distributors Yes Yes

Security & privacy

G Suite versus Office 365 – which product is more secure? Both products are designed for enterprise customers whose business processes are subject to strict compliance guidelines regarding eavesdropping security and data protection.

Both providers rely on solid encryption technologies for data storage in the data center, as well as for data transmission between client and server.

In addition, both Office 365 and G Suite have been designed to meet key industry standards and regulations for secure data processing.

  • Both platforms are certified according to international standards for information security, cloud security and cloud data protection (ISO/IEC 27001, ISO/IEC 27017, ISO 27018).
  • All Microsoft cloud services meet the Service Organization Controls Operational Security Standards (SOC 1, 2 and 3), which cover annual controls for data security, availability, integrity processing, and confidentiality. G Suite is also SOC 2 and 3 certified.
  • As participants in the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), both vendors have undergone an evaluation and approval process that qualifies their cloud products for use in U.S. government agencies.
  • To ensure secure processing of credit card transactions, both cloud platforms support the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
  • All cloud tools in the Microsoft product range are HIPAA compliant. The U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act provides strict rules for handling patient data. Google Cloud only partially meets the HIPAA requirements to date.

Both Microsoft and Google have privacy measures in place that provides companies with a GDPR compliant service.

Notes

Further information on compliance issues can be found on the Microsoft and Google support pages.

Feature Office 365 G Suite
Data encryption Yes Yes
ISO/IEC 27001 (Information security) Yes Yes
ISO/IEC 27017 (Cloud security) Yes Yes
ISO 27018 (Cloud privacy) Yes Yes
SOC 1 Yes No
SOC 2 Yes Yes
SOC 3 Yes Yes
FedRAMP Yes Yes
PCI DSS (Security standard for credit card transactions) Yes Yes
HIPAA Yes Not all applications

Availability and support

Like the Microsoft Cloud, Google G Suite guarantees 99.9 percent availability for users. The service teams on both platforms can be reached around the clock by telephone, e-mail or chat.

Feature Office 365 G Suite
Availability 99.9 % 99.9 %
24/7 support Yes Yes
Telephone Yes Yes
Chat/E-mail Yes Yes

Price

Google offers G Suite in three versions. The G Suite Basic and G Suite Business product packages are designed for startups and small businesses. With G Suite Enterprise, Google is targeting large enterprises.

G suite versions Price per user per month Functional scope
Basic $5 Office suite with 30 GB of storage space
Business $10 Optimized office suite with unlimited storage and archiving capabilities
Enterprise $25 Premium office suite with extended range of functions

Microsoft offers entrepreneurs a wider product range. A total of 7 product plans with different functional ranges are available for business use.

Office 365 versions Price per user per months (with a yearly subscription) Price per user per month (monthly subscription) Functional scope
Office 365 Business Essentials $5.00 $6.00 All Office applications as web versions as well as Exchange, OneDrive, Sharepoint, and Teams, etc.
Office 365 Business $8.25 $8.25 All Office applications as web and desktop versions as well as OneDrive
Office 365 Business Premium $12.50 $12.50 All Office applications as web and desktop version as well as Exchange, OneDrive, Sharepoint, Teams
Office 365 ProPlus $12.00 - All Office applications as web and desktop versions as well as OneDrive
Office 365 Enterprise E1 $8.00 - All Office applications as web version, as well as Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Yammer and Stream
Office 365 Enterprise E3 $20.00 - All Office applications as web and desktop versions as well as Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Yammer and Stream / Tools for security and compliance
Office 365 Enterprise E5 $35.00 - All Office applications as web and desktop versions as well as Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Yammer and Stream / Tools for security and compliance / Enhanced security, analysis and voice functions.
Tip

Further information on the product plans for small and medium sized companies can be found in our Office 365 article focusing on SMEs. In addition, we offer a detailed overview of product plans for large companies and non-profit organizations in our overview of costs for Office 365 license models.

Overview comparison of G Suite and Office 365

Google G Suite is a worthy competitor on the market leader in all relevant areas. Online, the Microsoft cloud service hardly offers a feature that is not available with Google. Only users who prefer to work with a desktop application rather than a web browser are better off with Office 365.

Functions Microsoft Office 365 Google G Suite
App features    
Word processing Microsoft Word Google Docs
Spreadsheet calculation Microsoft Excel Google Sheets
Presentations Microsoft PowerPoint Google Slides
E-mail Microsoft Outlook Gmail
Digital notepad Microsoft One Note Google Keep
Web hosting Microsoft Sharepoint Google Sites
Video conferencing Skype for Business Google Hangouts
Instant messaging service Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business Google Hangouts
Chat-based workspace Microsoft Teams -
Social Media for companies Yammer Google+
Office applications as web apps Yes Yes
Offline operation possible Yes Yes
Cloud storage & file sharing    
Storage capacity per user license 1 TB Depending on the plan 30 GB, 1 TB or unlimited
Synchronization Yes Yes
Versioning Yes  
File sharing via link including expiration date Yes Yes
Search function Yes NLP supported
Collaboration    
Business suitable appointment and contact management Yes Yes
Joint editing of texts, tables and presentations Yes Yes
Video calling Yes Yes
Instant messaging Yes Yes
Group chats Yes Yes
Video conferencing Yes Yes
Internal company websites/Intranet Yes Yes
Social Media for companies Yes Yes
E-mail    
Ad free Yes Yes
Includes your own e-mail domain No Yes
Mobile app Yes Yes
Desktop mail client included Depends on plan No
E-mail aliases Yes Yes
Groups/E-mail distributors Yes Yes
Security & data security    
Data encryption Yes Yes
ISO /IEC 27001 (Information security) Yes Yes
ISO /IEC 27017 (cloud security) Yes Yes
ISO 27018 (cloud privacy) Yes Yes
SOC 1 Yes No
SOC 2 Yes Yes
SOC 3 Yes Yes
FedRAMP Yes Yes
PCI DSS (security standard for credit card transactions) Yes Yes
HIPAA BAA Yes Not all applications
Support & availability Office 365 G Suite
High availability 99.9 % 99.9 %
24/7 support Yes Yes
Telephone Yes Yes
Chat/E-mail Yes Yes
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