Microsoft Office 365 vs Google Workspace: What's the Difference?

For years, Microsoft Office has dominated the productivity suite space with powerful word processing and spreadsheet tools. That began changing in 2006 when Google released Docs and Spreadsheets. Today, Google Workspace has emerged as a powerful contender for Microsoft’s throne. 

However, Microsoft Office 365 offers a wealth of advantages. Read on to learn the differences between Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 to decide which is the best for your business. 

What Is Google Workspace?

Google Workspace came onto the market in October 2020 and it brings with it a set of productivity and collaboration tools (Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and more) into one place. 

Before then, Google offered G-Suite, featuring many of the same tools currently in Google Workspace. There are a few differences between Google Workspace and G-Suite: 

  • The user experience is more deeply integrated 
  • The brand identity has changed 
  • It’s supposed to be easier to begin collaborating in Google apps.

What Is Microsoft Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 is the next generation of the powerful collaboration and productivity suite. 

It includes such applications as Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. With Microsoft Office 365, you receive cloud storage. You can also take advantage of Microsoft Teams’ collaboration capabilities, which include: 

  • Hosting online meetings
  • Making phone calls
  • Chatting 
  • File sharing
  • Real-time collaboration 

What Are the Differences between Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace?

We’ll look at several differences between Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace:

  • Apps 
  • Collaboration capabilities 
  • File sharing 
  • Security and management tools 
  • Offline functionality 

We’ll compare three popular application categories: 

  • Word processing
  • Spreadsheets 
  • Presentations 

Word Processing 

Both Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace offer word processing capabilities. However, when it comes to features, Microsoft Office 365 wins out. 

With Microsoft Office 365, you can access dozens of document templates (which is not the case for Google Workspace). Microsoft Office 365 also leads in fine-grained editing tools, so users can be confident their documents are polished and professional. 


Again, both Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace feature built-in spreadsheets. Yet, Microsoft Office 365 has the edge. 

As with Word, Excel offers dozens of templates that users can easily edit. Additionally, there are far more charts in Excel than in Google’s Sheets. It’s also easier to create a chart in Excel than in Sheets. 


For presentations, Microsoft Office 365 offers PowerPoint, while Google Workspace provides Slides. As in the two other app categories, Microsoft Office 365 has some clear advantages. 

Creating a presentation in Microsoft Office 365 is far simpler than in Slides; PowerPoint’s QuickStarter asks you to choose your presentation topic, then it walks you through the process of starting an outline, developing introductory slides, selecting a template and themes. Moreover, PowerPoint makes it easy to add graphics, transitions, animation, and multimedia files. When you’ve finished with the presentation, use the Rehearse Timings feature to track how long you spend on an individual slide as you rehearse. Google’s Slides doesn’t have such capabilities. 

Collaboration Capabilities

Collaboration powers businesses today – employees simply don’t accomplish as much if they don’t work with their colleagues. Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace each have collaboration tools: Microsoft Office 365 features Teams, while Google Workspace provides Meet. 

When it comes to collaboration, Microsoft Office 365 yet again has the advantage. Within Microsoft Teams, you can utilise group chat, online meetings, videoconferencing, customised workspaces, and shared team file repositories. These features are far more sophisticated and powerful than what Google Workspace offers. 

File Sharing 

With Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace, you receive large amounts of file storage and file-sharing capabilities. To truly understand the differences between these two solutions, we’ll focus on the file-sharing capabilities. 

Microsoft Office 365 comes out on top in the file-sharing category. For a start, files live in the cloud and on each device, and they all sync together. With Microsoft Office 365, you get OneDrive Files on Demand, which lets users decide which files and folders to store on individual devices and which to leave in the cloud. It works on a file-by-file and folder-by-folder basis, and you can still download them to a device if you choose to store them in the cloud. 

‘Microsoft Office 365 comes out on top in the file-sharing category.’

Another advantage Microsoft Office 365 offers is SharePoint Online, the free online version of SharePoint. This service manages and organises documents, workflows, and other shared information. SharePoint is only available in Microsoft Office 365 – there’s no equivalent in Google Workspace. 

Security and Management Tools 

As an IT administrator, you want both managing and securing collaboration and productivity tools to be simple and straightforward. Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace each provide built-in security and management tools, Microsoft emerges the clear winner. 

The ‘Essentials’ view in Microsoft Office 365 easily lets you accomplish common tasks, such as: 

  • Editing new and existing user profiles
  • Changing licences 
  • Paying bills 
  • Installing Office on devices 

It includes an Add User Wizard to set up email accounts, licencing, roles, contact information, and more from one spot. 

Additionally, Microsoft Office 365 provides a more secure admin account experience, better mobile administration, and greater management control features. 

Offline Functionality 

The most significant selling point for Google Workspace is that it runs in the cloud. Yet, that could also be a weakness. 

While you can set up Google apps to work offline, Microsoft Office 365 collaboration and productivity applications work offline without being configured to do so. You don’t need to be connected to the Internet to work on a presentation or draft a letter; just turn on your computer and start working. With offline functionality, you don’t have to worry that your document didn’t save properly. 

Reap the Benefits of Microsoft Office 365 with Enlighten Designs 

Enlighten Designs is proud to partner with Microsoft to deploy Microsoft Office 365 at businesses across New Zealand. Our team can help you reap the benefits of greater productivity and collaboration without compromising security. To learn more, Contact Us


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