Microsoft Office 365 vs Google Apps

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A couple of months ago Microsoft rolled out the beta version of Office 365, which is an upgraded and rebranded version of the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS). Microsoft Office 365 consists of Office Web Apps (online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote), Exchange 2010 (for email, calendar, and contacts management), SharePoint 2010 (access and share documents and insights, contacts, calendars, and tasks in a single location), and Lync 2010 (instant messaging, video calls, or online meetings). As you can tell, Office 365 competes in the cloud with Google Apps. If you’re looking for a comparison between Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps, below are some highlights.

Microsoft Office 365 vs Google Apps Comparison

Price
Google apps is free to individuals and businesses with up to ten users. Otherwise, Google Apps for Business is $50 per user annually. Microsoft Office Web Apps (subset of Office 365) is free. However, Office 365 (Plan P1 for up to 25 users) will run you $6 per user monthly. This seems on the low side when you consider Exchange hosting costs $10 per box monthly. I couldn’t find any pricing info for Plan E3 for enterprises. Plan E3 is intended for businesses with over 25 users and includes Active Directory Sync, advanced archiving capabilities, 24×7 phone support, Microsoft Office Professional Plus suite.

MS Office Compatibility
No big surprise here, Office 365 is the winner when it comes to Microsoft Office compatibility. I receive a lot of press releases as MS Word documents. Sometimes when I open the files with Google Docs, the formatting is messed up. Even worst for me is when graphics are missing. Then I have to launch MS Word or Excel to view the missing chart. I find this really annoying.

Uptime Guarantee
Both Office 365 and Google Apps for Business offer 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Applications
The software included with Office 365 and Google Apps are similar. However, there are some differences. For instance, Google includes an application for creating and managing forms.

Google Apps

  • Gmail (25GB mailbox for Google Apps for Business, otherwise only 7.57GB)
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Docs (word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, forms, drawings)
  • Google Talk (voice and video chat)
  • Google Video for Business (Google Apps for Business)
  • Google Groups for Business (Google Apps for Business)
  • BlackBerry and Microsoft Outlook interoperability (Google Apps for Business)
  • Picasa Web Albums

Office 365

  • Outlook Web App (25GB mailbox)
  • Exchange 2010 (for email, calendar, and contacts management)
  • Office Web Apps (online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for collecting your thoughts, information and notes in one place)
  • Lync 2010 (instant messaging, video calls, and online meetings)
  • SharePoint 2010 (access and share documents and insights, contacts, calendars, and tasks in a single location)