Google Docs vs Office 365


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Google Docs
Google Docs is a free, Web-based office suite, and data storage service. Documents, spreadsheets, presentations can be created with Google Docs, imported through the web interface, or sent via email. Documents can be saved to a user's local computer in a variety of formats. Google Docs serves as a collaborative tool for editing amongst in real time. If you are looking for self-hosted open-source Google Docs alternative, pay attention to ONLYOFFICE.
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Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 is commercial software plus services offering a set of products from Microsoft. Office 365 includes the Microsoft Office suite of desktop applications and hosted versions of Microsoft's Server products (including Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync Server), delivered and accessed over the Internet, in effect, the next version of Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Office 365 free alternatives are Zoho, Google Apps.
Comparing Google Docs vs Office 365 is like comparing apples to oranges. Because your business is unique and nobody except you can decide, which is better for your company. But we can add some fun to your research and suggest some new comparison parameters.

Let's start with videos. We think that Office 365 has better video than Google Docs



Ok, now let's compare the UI. Looks like Google Docs has more user-friendly interface than Office 365 because it's bigger. At least on our screenshots


To compare the popularity of the solutions we counted how many alternatives people search for each of them on the Internet. And it turns out that Google Docs is more popular than Office 365

Now let's look at the recent activities of our competitors:

- Google updates Docs with new collaboration features (in 2017)
- Microsoft adds 5 new services for SMB to Office 365 Business Premium (in 2017)
- Microsoft launched StaffHub - a new Office 365 app aimed at shift workers (in 2017)
- Office 365 gets its own built-in lightweight CRM (in 2016)
- Google Docs now let you create custom templates (in 2016)
- G Suite adds some intelligence to Docs (in 2016)
- Office 365 now lets you invite guests to groups (in 2016)
- Office 365 hets online booking app (in 2016)
- Office 365 groups gets connectors (in 2016)
- Microsoft released Office 2016 (in 2015)

Looks like Office 365 was recently more active than Google Docs (at least in our news). We also found some news, in which Google Docs and Office 365 meet head to head:

2016 - Office 365 now lets you invite guests to groups - a new advantage over Google Docs


From now Office 365 users will be able to include outside parties in their project, as Microsoft is rolling out guest access in Outlook on the web.  Once added, guests receive a welcome email, are granted access to group files in SharePoint Online, begin receiving email messages and calendar invites sent to the group, and can access the group in Office on the web and the Outlook Groups mobile application. They also have automatic access to cloud-based file attachments. All guests have to sign into Microsoft to get Office 365 access, but they can be part of any email domain, even if it’s not part of a business.

2012 - New Office Web Apps add mobile touch interface, real-time collaboration. Your move Google Docs!


Microsoft started preview testing of the new version of its browser-based document editing applications Office Web Apps. Everybody can already join the preview on the SkyDrive or Office 365. The first thing that has changed - is the interface. It's now exactly like the upcoming Office 2013. And the main feature of this interface - is its adaption to the tablets with touch-screen. In general, the main objective pursued by Microsoft in this update - is to improve the performance of Office Web Apps on mobile devices (in mobile browsers). And the new mobile web interface for smartphones, is perhaps even better than its main competitor - Google Docs:


The second major update in Office Web Apps - is real-time collaboration support in all applications. Previously it worked only in Excel Web App. In addition, the new handy commenting feature has appeared. It allows to insert comments (discussions) anywhere in a document or presentation.

Microsoft also announced that Office Web Apps will be available in SharePoint 2013 as a new Office Web Apps Server, that means that it would be possible to integrate them into third-party applications.

2010 - 5 Enterprise 2.0 forecasts for 2011 - a new advantage over Google Docs

Office 365
It's not very interesting to read IT analysts' forecasts for the next year. All of them are predicting further growth of cloud IT infrastructures, the increasing number of mobile apps, SaaS-service, further implementation of social tools into all business applications, further integration of the intranet systems with external social networks. Thank you, Captain Obvious. Unlike them, we'll focus on less global, but more interesting events that are expected to tale place next year:

1. Social Business Intelligence

Social Analytics
Enterprise clones of Facebook and Twitter, social CRM (which is now quickly implemented) - of course give employees a lot of useful information. But with it they create a lot of noise (social spam) that reduce work effectiveness. That is why there is a strong need in social business intelligence technologies that will filter the social noise and provide each employee the most important and relevant information. In addition, we expect that social Email-technologies will find new ways of filtering e-mail spam.

2. Re-imagine CMS

Facebook
First, we expect the boom of Site-as-a-Service solutions. Perhaps the leading online office providers (Google, Zoho, Microsoft) will pay more attention to this subject, and make the creation of a small business site as affordable and necessary thing, as the registration email-address. Second, company Web-presence already can't be limited to a corporate site. Companies should benefit on using social networks (Facebook, Foursquare, Groupon ...) to find and retain customers. Therefore, corporate CMS will become able to manage the content, distributed over many sites on the Social Web.

3. Video calls on tablets and TV

Mobile Videoconferencing
As known, in 2011 the iPad 2 with front camera (and a lot of other tablets) will be unveiled. And these will be ideal devices for mobile video calls. At hotels and airports we'll see people comfortably sitting on chairs, holding tablets in their hands and talking to someone. Moreover, thanks to Skype and Google, affordable (and free) video calls will come to HDTVs. Therefore, in many offices we'll see common TVs, which will be used to contact with branch offices, partners, home-based staff or those people sitting with tablets at hotels and airports.

4. Webified communications

GMail Google Voice
This year Google turned GMail into the unified communications tool by adding Google Voice. Now you can make and receive calls in a browser. Skype also announced the Web-based client. We think that this trend will become a mainstream in 2011. As a result, VoIP and video calls will become more affordable and popular. In addition, we expect a large spread of such tools as "calls via site", site voice menus and on-site video-receptions. Perhaps we'll also see the implementation of Facebook Messages idea - the integration of email, social, VoIP, video communications around discussions.

5. Microsoft SaaS to take on partners

Office 365
In 2011, Microsoft Office 365 (along with Dynamics CRM Online) will become available dlobally. I.e. Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM will be available as SaaS services and compete with Microsoft's own partners that host these solutions or implement them for clients. In theory this should lead to lower prices and SaaS market push. But for Microsoft - it's a political decision, so progress will be slowed down.

2010 - Google gets inside MS Office

Google Cloud Connect
Google continues to use the fact that the main competitor of the new MS Office 2010 is not Google Docs but Office 2007/2003. "Why should I pay some hundreds of dollars for the new Office 2010?" - user thinking. "First, it has more beautiful buttons. Second, you can sync with online Office Web Apps" - says Microsoft. "Hey, you don't need to update! " - Google enters the conversation - "Now you can sync between Office 2003/2007 and Google Docs in real time." Today Google has introduced Cloud Connect - the plug-in that allows to open documents, spreadsheets and presentations from Google Docs in MS Office applications, edit them and save back. Moreover, multiple people can edit the same document simultaneously and Google will keep track of the versions and conflict resolution.

Office Web Apps
Cloud Connect is a remake of DocVerse that was bought by Google in March this year. DocVerse was originally designed for collaborative editing in MS Office and used Google Docs account as a synchronization point. Google added to it the ability to edit documents in Google Docs. This means that several people can collaborate on a document either in desktop Office, or in browser, or on a mobile device (Android, iPhone, Windows Phone).

At the moment, Cloud Connect is available only to paid Google Apps users, but soon will be available for all and for free. And it is not surprising, because it's the best weapon for Google in the fight against MS Office.

Cloud Connect duplicates the functionality of another well-known plug-in OffiSync (which costs $ 30). Apparently, the OffiSync business has come to the end.

2010 - MS Office 2010 released. Time to upgrade to Google Docs

MS Office 2010
Today, Microsoft officially launched its Office 2010 for companies using the volume-licensing. For other companies and users the office suite will be available in June. The web-based version - Office Web Apps, that is the main new feature in Office 2010 and its main weapon in competition against Google Docs, will appear also in June. Google responded to the release in very original way - they used the fact that the main competitor to Office 2010 is actually not Google Docs, but Office 2007 (or 2003). The point is that why pay several hundred dollars for the new version of Office 2010 (+ Sharepoint 2010), if using Office 2007 in combination with Google Docs, you can get even more features at virtually no cost. Here is the comparison table, that was published in the Google Enterprise blog:

  Google Docs + Office 2007/2003 Office 2010 Required user licenses Google Apps Office 2010
Sharepoint 2010
Sharepoint & Windows Cals Cost $50/user/year $499 (Office Professional) + Sharepoint 2010 + Windows Cals + server hardware Server software - Windows Server 2008, SQL Server Express, Sharepoint Server Server hardware - server 64bit, 8Gb RAM, 80Гб Datacenter replication included additional software and hardware required Store and share office documents in the Cloud yes Sharepoint 2010 required Real time collaboration on the web yes Excel only Real time collaboration in desktop applications soon (MS Office 2007, 2003 required) Sharepoint 2010 required. manual updates

2010 - OffiSync adds almost-real-time collaborative editing between MS Office and Google Docs to catch up with Office 365

OffiSync
OffiSync - is a plug-in for MS Office editors, which allows you to save Office documents in your Google Docs account, and open them from it. I.e. the idea of the service - to combine the advanced functionality to MS Office with collaboration features in Google Docs. Since our last review, OffiSync added integration with Google Sites (i.e. documents from MS Office can be saved as attachments to a selected pages in Google Sites and opened from there). And yesterday the most interesting feature was unveiled - the ability to simultaneously edit document, while working in any version of MS Office (2003, 2007, 2010) or online Google Docs editor. Of course, it's not so cool, like in the new version of Google Docs, but it unites the users of both solutions.

It works this way: say, two users open the same document from Google Docs (or Google Sites) in their MS Office editors. When one user changes something and presses the Save button, the second one receives notification about the changes in the document. He can preview the new version of the document, and if everything is ok - update his local version.

OffiSync
This collaborative feature is only available in the paid OffiSync version, which costs $30.

2009 - Microsoft starts free Web-based Office testing to keep up with Google Docs

Windows Live Office
At last (after the July announcement) Microsoft is opening web-based Office 2010  applications to beta-testers. The web Office will have a long official title: Microsoft Office Web Applications. As we already informed, it will be available in two editions: Free and Business. The business version will work on top of SharePoint 2010 (behind the firewall). And free version will work on top of the online file storage service  Windows Live SkyDrive (that provides 25Gb for free). Yesterday one thousand of SkyDrive happy users already got an access to online Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. And their reviews are quite different - from "awesome" to "tedious". Here are the most interesting points:

The online Office applications functionality hardly excels the functionality of Google Docs (and all the more Zoho Docs). So our hope for full-featured rich Office was not realized. Online editors provide only basic functionality. For example, online Excel allows you to edit tables and cells, format text, filter and sort columns, but it can't build diagrams. Though, documents, created in the desktop editors are displayed in web Office applications with all the bells and whistles (that is what Google and Zoho can't do).

Generally, Microsoft wants us to use online and desktop editors together. Any document in SkyDrive can be easily opened not only in the online Office, but also in the desktop editors. And after you edited the document using the desktop program it will be automatically updated on the web server.

All new online Office applications can share files for collaboration. But only online Excel allows to work with a file together in real time. Besides, to be precise, you can share not single files, but only folders, that is not always suitable. Вut the good news is that the users that you invited to collaborate can edit and comment the document in browsers even if they don't have Live ID.

Some beta testers complain that the online Office is quite slow, compared to Google Docs. One more disappointing point is that online Word and OneNote in the meantime can only display documents, but not edit them. Besides, there is no version for mobile devices. But Microsoft still has enough time to fix all these issues before the official launch, that is scheduled for the first half of 2010.