Office showdown: Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google Apps

Office showdown: Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google Apps

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PCWorld – The war between Google and Microsoft is heating up. Each tech giant offers a productivity suite serving the essentials for serious work online: word processing, spreadsheets, email, and calendars. Should you ally with Google Apps for Business, or root for Microsoft’s Office 365 for Small Business?

My experience with both brands’ productivity tools reflects the workflows many small businesses face. In 2007, with staff scattered across several countries, my editorial company started using Google Apps for Business. It offered email, plus shared text documents and spreadsheets all under our company domain name and logo. Meanwhile, on the desktop, we used Microsoft Word and Excel, particularly for complex documents that we shared with clients.

If we were starting over today, we would seriously consider Microsoft’s desktop-hybrid Office 365 for Small Business. For years Microsoft wasn’t putting significant functionality online, but next week’s release of Office 365 Small Business Premium is a big step forward. In addition, Microsoft offers the full, rich Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other applications.

Google and Microsoft each allow personal and business use of their online platform, as well as simultaneous logins to multiple accounts in different browser tabs. Beyond that, however, their platforms differ greatly in usability, functionality, and mobile support. Read on to discover the standout features and surprising weak points of each suite, with a focus on how key tools operate in a Web browser.

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