Office 365 vs Zoho


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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.
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Zoho
The Zoho Office Suite is an alternative Web-based online office suite containing word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, invoicing and other applications. Zoho helps you get more sales, get paid, support your customers and make your business more productive.
Comparing Office 365 vs Zoho 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 Zoho



Ok, now let's compare the UI. Looks like Zoho 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 Office 365 is more popular than Zoho

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

- Zoho launched Operating System for Business (in 2017)
- Microsoft adds 5 new services for SMB to Office 365 Business Premium (in 2017)
- Zoho offers free online office for 25 users (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)
- 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)
- Microsoft opens Office for Android tablets to all (in 2015)

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

2017 - Zoho offers free online office for 25 users. Office 365 is in panic


Zoho is the world champion in making SaaS services for small business. They created so many services that you can easily loose your mind looking through the list. To make it more simple and attractive, Zoho now offers a bundle of 9 most popular services under the title Zoho Workplace. It includes email Zoho Mail, text editor Zoho Writer, spreadsheets Zoho Sheet, presentations Zoho Show (with audience engagement tool Zoho Showtime), cloud storage Zoho Docs, intranet messenger Zoho Chat, site builder Zoho Sites, internal social network Zoho Connect. And the most exciting is that all this if free for 25 users. Moreover, if you invite other companies to the service you can get 25 more free users. It's a great offer while the competitors (Office 365 and G Suite) don't provide free version at all.

2017 - Microsoft launched StaffHub - a new Office 365 app aimed at shift workers to catch up with Zoho



Microsoft unveiled the new addition to its Office 365 suite - application for shift workers and management, called StaffHub. The program is aimed at those who don’t tend to work from desktop computers and have different schedules from week to week, such as in retail, hospitality, restaurants and other industries. Managers, who may have access to desktop or laptop computers, may use the web version of StaffHub to create the staff schedules in the program, but employees will likely only use StaffHub from their mobile phones. Staff can swap shifts with other workers in the mobile app and request time off — requests that get routed to a manager for approval. Push notifications are used to alert users of these requests and approvals along with other updates, private notes, chats and more. Plus, the app can be used for sharing notifications and internal resources. The software is available for free in Office 365 commercial plans.

2016 - Office 365 hets online booking app to strike back at Zoho



Microsoft extanded its Office 365 suite with a new service called Bookings, which will allow customers to schedule appointments with a business using online software. In addition to connecting businesses and customers without the need for a phone call, Bookings will also manage other aspects to appointment management, including sending out confirmations and reminders, handling re-scheduling and cancellations, updating the business staff’s calendar, and more. Businesses are provided with a unique web page that works on both desktop and mobile where customers can select their dates and times based on current availability. Here, they’ll enter in their contact information and book the appointment. The system then automates the rest of the process surrounding appointment management.

2013 - Microsoft released free Office for iPhone to keep up competition with Zoho


Think Microsoft has finally stopped playing political games and released Office for the competing platform? Of course not. Political games go on. Just Microsoft has invented the better idea. Yes, they are really launching full-featured Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPhone. And these apps - are really free. But they can be used only by Office 365 subscribers (who pay from $99.99 a year). And, of course, these apps can open and edit only those documents that are stored in SkyDrive cloud or on enterprise SharePoint server. But even with these limitations, Microsoft hasn't yet dared to release Office for iPad, otherwise its latest ads iPad vs Surface wouldn't be so funny any more.

As for functionality, the Office for iPhone is quite decent.  It supports rich media content like charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. And since it works through MS’ cloud service, all changes saved on the phone updates the original, too. And of course, the main advantage of this mobile office is the best compatibility with Microsoft's document formats.

2011 - Microsoft is working on Office for iPad. Zoho is in panic


It seems, Microsoft is already feeling confidence in its mobile future. According to The Daily report, in the 1st half of 2012 Microsoft will release Mobile Office for the competing platform - iPad. Of course, iPad is very popular among business users and Microsoft can easily dramatically increase its incomes by selling mobile Word and Excel for the iPad at $10 (the planned price). But from the political point of view, Microsoft is not interested in making iPad even more attractive product, because it competes with the upcoming Windows 8 tablets. However, after the intention of HP and several other manufacturers to support Windows 8, Microsoft is not afraid of iPad any more. As expected, the MS Office for iPad will be significantly stripped-down compared to the desktop version and will be integrated with the online service Office 365.

For now iPad users already have several options for working with office documents: native iWork (which, however, can't edit MS Office documents), QuickOffice, Documents to Go and Office2. They all cost about $10-15 per app. And you can also use the free web services Google Docs and Zoho Docs in iPad's browser.

2011 - Office 365 vs Google Apps: first look to fight Zoho

Office 365
Microsoft has opened its online Office 365 for public beta testing and there are already first reviews, so we can already judge of how this service will justify its label "Google Apps killer". Recall, Office 365 includes online versions of Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync and the office suite Office Web Apps. So the functionality of Office 365 is even better than in Google Apps. But "killing Google Apps" hardly possible because these are quite different products. Office 365 is more appropriate for medium and large companies, who used to work in Microsoft-oriented IT infrastructure, that already have an IT administrator who knows Active Directory, Exchange and Sharepoint settings. Without such administrator you can't manage Office 365, it's not so simple as Google Apps.

Office 365 is likely to win if the decision to move online is taken by IT department (not by users). It really provides are lot of administrative tools. But the end-users will often suffer because of little details. For example, Office 365 doesn't work properly in mobile browsers and provides native app only for Windows Phone. Or, in order to simultaneously edit online Word document, users need to have desktop Word 2010 installed. In general, Office 365 is still tightly bundled to Office 2010 desktop suite and that may result in lower pace of innovation with this cloud offering.

Unlike Google Apps there is no free version in Office 365. The price starts at $6/month per user. Of course, Microsoft has the free Windows Live Office, but this is not the same. In this sense, Google Apps has more coherent strategy, providing the same service for free and for monthly fee (with difference in functionality). In addition, the cost of the Google Apps paid version ($ 50 per year per user) - is lower in any case.

Another advantage of Google Apps - is Google Apps Marketplace. It was definitely good idea and many developers have integrated their products with Google Apps. In response, Microsoft has unveiled Office 365 Marketplace. The idea is the same, but we'll see if they succeed in attracting developers.

The first Office 365 testers also report of the large number of bugs in the service. Of course it doesn't mean that they won't be fixed, but it means that the working version won't appear in the near future. Moreover the beta is available not everywhere - only 38 countries are able to participate in this public beta and it supports 16 languages including, English, Chinese (traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Spanish, Swedish and Romanian.

2010 - What will Microsoft's online office look like?. Beware Zoho

Windows Live Office
Microsoft has done a great job to confuse users with their online office applications. Office Live, Office Live Workspace, Office Live Small Business, Live Folders, Foldershare, Live Docs, SkyDrive, Live Mesh, Docs.com, Office Web Apps - a lot of similar in functionality or name services, formed in result of numerous acquisitions and rebrandings. Taking into account the existence of Exchange and Sharepoint SaaS versions (BPOS), it becomes a mystery - what Microsoft's online office suite is and what it's target audience. The new version of Windows Live Wave 4 (which includes the online office) is trying to bring this chaos into order, however, again  by the numerous mergers and renamings. Let's try to understand all this stuff.

Windows Live Office

Office Web Apps So, the new name for Microsoft's online office is Windows Live Office (do not confuse with Office Live). This Live Office will work on top of SkyDrive storage, which is also used, for example, by Photos service.

It was also announced that:
- Online versions of MS Office programs - Office Web Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) will be available for free in SkyDrive
- Office Live Workspace, that enables to store documents and collaborate with them online, will merge with SkyDrive

So in the Windows Live navigation menu we'll have the Office service similar to Google Docs. It will contain a list of folders and files that can be viewed and edited online (using the Office Web Apps) and shared with colleagues. From SkyDrive it will get 25 GB of space, and from Office Live Workspace - version control system.

It is interesting to note that Windows Live Office will only work in conjunction with desktop Office 2010. And Office 2007, which works with Office Live Workspace will not be supported. Here's how the company encourages users to buy the new Office version.

Office Live Small Business

Windows Live Small BusinessService Office Live Small Business will not be changed or renamed with the release of Windows Live Wave 4 and Office 2010. This service allows small businesses to register own domain, create website (in visual designer) and email accounts for employees. These email accounts can be used to create Windows Live ID accounts and organize collaboration in Windows Live Office. I.e. this service can be compared to Google Apps for Your Domain with the difference that the Google Apps provides the single (centrally administrated) office space, and in Office Live Small Business each employee has his own office, that can be shared with others.Windows Live Sync

Windows Live Sync FolderShare, the service for sharing files and Live Mesh, the service for syncing files between multiple computers, will merge into a single service called Windows Live Sync. It will synchronize files and folders between different devices and SkyDrive cloud storage(in particular, Windows Live Office). I.e. this tool allows you to get offline access to files and docs. In addition, it can be used to access your computer remotely.Windows Live Mail

Windows Live SkyDrive The new version of Windows Live Hotmail (which can also be called Office Live Mail, if account is created in Office Live) contains many improvements that make it closer to GMail: improved spam filter, full SSL session encryption, email threads, integrated chat (Windows Live Messneger), online attachments preview and editing (in Office Web Apps), preview videos in email, BlackBerry and Nokia support, ActiveSync support.

In addition, Windows Live Mail has impressed all with max attachment size - 10 GB. The secret is that it will not send a file but a link to file in the sender SkyDrive storage.Windows Live Calendar

Hotmail Calendar
Windows Live Calendar is not actually a separate service (like Google Calendar), but a part of Windows Live Hotmail. The most important upgrade of the new Windows Live Calendar - is ActiveSync support. In addition, the Windows Live Events service will closed in September, and force users to migrate to Windows Live Calendar.