Let’s Compare Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, shall we?

“Should my business use Google Workspace or Microsoft 365?” is a question we regularly receive, and, for good reason. Microsoft 365 (known earlier as Office 365) and Google Workspace (formerly G Suite and Google Apps) are the most commonly used business productivity suites, so deciding between the two is a common challenge, especially among small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

What do Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have in common?

Both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 are many-featured productivity suites providing the tools your organization needs and uses on a daily basis, including email, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, file storage and sharing, video conferencing and chat. In addition, these suites include security features to help repel cyberattacks and administrative controls to assist managing users and permissions.

While the two productivity suites offer similar components, they use different names for each tool. The following chart lists each platform’s various monikers.

  • TOOL
  • Documents

  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations
  • Notes
  • Email
  • File Storage
  • Web Pages
  • Collaboration
  • Google Workspace
  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Google Keep
  • Gmail
  • Google Drive
  • Google Sites
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft 365
  • Word
  • Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint
  • Microsoft Teams

What is the biggest difference between Google Workspace and Microsoft 365?

The desktop-versus-web browser experience is a primary differentiating factor between the two solutions. Google Workspace tools essentially rely upon a web browser. Further, Google doesn’t offer true desktop versions of its applications, although users can save documents, spreadsheets and presentations locally for offline editing.

Microsoft’s approach (for Apps for Business users on up) builds upon its blockbuster Office franchise and includes full-powered and robust desktop versions of its apps, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, all of which are also now available in Click-to-Run installation packages that update automatically. These local desktops versions of Microsoft’s productivity tools are in addition to the browser-based versions it also offers.

How does Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 pricing compare?

Quick Glance

Google Workspace

All prices are per user/month

  • Biz Starter
  • $6
  • Biz Standard
  • $12
  • Biz Plus
  • $18

Microsoft 365

All prices are per user/month

  • Biz Basic
  • $6
  • Biz Standard
  • $12.50
  • Biz Premium
  • $22

Pricing plans are comparable. Similar to its products, Google’s monthly pricing plans are straightforward. They include:

  • Google Workspace Business Starter: $6 per user per month
  • Google Workspace Business Standard: $12 per user per month
  • Google Workspace Business Plus: $18 per user per month
  • Google Workspace Enterprise: Customized pricing provided by sales quote

Microsoft, on the other hand, offers a dizzying array of variations and in January 2022 announced its first price increase in over 10 years. Here is Microsoft’s new monthly pricing:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $6 per user per month
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for Business: $8.25 per user per month
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50 per user per month
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium: $22 per user per month
  • Microsoft Office 365 (Enterprise) E1: $10 per user per month
  • Microsoft Office 365 (Enterprise) E3: $23 per user per month
  • Microsoft Office 365 (Enterprise) E5: $38 per user per month

How does file storage between Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 compare?

Quick Glance

Google Workspace

All storage in on a per user basis.

  • Biz Starter
  • 30GB
  • Biz Standard
  • 2TB
  • Biz Plus
  • 5TB

Microsoft 365

All storage in on a per user basis.

  • Biz Basic
  • 1TB
  • Biz Standard
  • 1TB
  • Biz Premium
  • 1TB

The amount of file storage subscribers receive depends upon the service plan chosen. For example, Microsoft 365’s entry-level Basic plan offers a generous 1TB of storage, compared to Google’s minimal 30GB. That said, 1TB is the storage limit for most Microsoft 365 storage plans, whereas Google Workspace’s Business Plus plan provides 5TB. Note, though, Google includes email within its file storage limits, while Microsoft provides separate email storage capacities based upon the subscription plan.

Do Google Workspace and Microsoft both include email?

Gmail versus Outlook is the name of the game, here. While the Gmail app doesn’t include all of its more robust counterpart’s sorting capabilities and features, you can, ironically, use Outlook to send and receive Google-powered mail, assuming you possess a proper corresponding license.

As you might expect, the specific email features vary by subscription between the two platforms. Microsoft’s Business Basic plan, for example, includes hosted email and calendaring services with 50GB of storage. Conversely, Google’s Business Starter option limits total email storage at 30GB, including attachments. Other Google plan options are available, though, that increase file storage to 5GB, while Microsoft’s “E3” and “E5” enterprise subscriptions increase mail storage limits to 1.5TB when users leverage the provider’s archiving features.

Which is more secure: Google Workspace or Microsoft 365?

Multiple basic security protections are included within both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 subscription plans. Corresponding email services, too, include foundational phishing and malicious attachment protections. And both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 plans include multifactor authentication (MFA) account access protections, as well as encrypted email capabilities.

Additional available Microsoft 365 security services include policy administration capabilities for data loss prevention, device management tools, advanced threat detection, privileged identity management and Azure Identity Protection. And one common Microsoft upgrade is Defender for Office 365. The add-on component protects email and collaboration tools from zero-day exploits, phishing attempts and efforts to compromise business email. Microsoft Defender for Office 365’s “P2” option extends security functionality by adding post-breach investigation response tools and even training simulation capabilities.

Google Workspace leverages security approaches that include suspicious login monitoring, centralized cloud access management, customizable email security rules, and granular permissions including contextual awareness. Google’s Advanced Protection Program, meanwhile, provides users working in sensitive fields with an additional security key (potentially at added cost) to better restrict access to just authorized users. Google also offers DLP for Drive, data loss prevention that protects against sensitive data leakage and assists auditing.

Google Workspace’s Business Plus and Enterprise plans provide subscribers with access to Google Vault, too. The information governance and eDiscovery tool assists administrators with information retention and file searches, as well as endpoint management.

How easy are the productivity apps to use?

Most professionals are familiar with creating documents, editing spreadsheets and preparing presentations using Microsoft’s market-dominant Office productivity tools. Organizations typically experience few if any problems, subsequently, deploying those applications.

Google Workspace’s common applications typically possess fewer features than their Microsoft counterparts. While users may not be as familiar with the Google Workspace offerings, they enjoy clean, simple user interfaces that are easily learned and intuitive. However, Google Workspace users may need to adjust to the fact full-fledged and robust desktops versions are unavailable for offline use.

What support options are available?

Both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 possess thorough documentation online. Legions of consultants are available, too, to assist organizations and end users with learning the nuances of both platforms.

Google Workspace customers can request help directly from the platform’s support team when having technical or billing issues. Multiple levels of Google Workspace support are available, too. Standard Support, with four-hour service-level goals for tier 1 issues, is included with subscriptions. An Enhanced option, included with Google Workspace Enterprise, and a Premium version are also available that both boast accelerated response.

Microsoft directs small- and medium-sized businesses to experts throughout the US and other countries. Enterprise customers, however, can pay additional fees for Premier Support for Microsoft 365. With the upgrade, enterprise organizations receive end-to-end managed support, but such programs are typically used by only very large firms.


Has your business outgrown Google Workspace? It happens. We’ve migrated hundreds of users from Google Workspace to Microsoft 365. If you’re considering taking the plunge into the Microsoft 365 world, tap the Contact button below and one of us will reach out to you in no time.

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