Microsoft Office and Google Workspace comparison


Microsoft Office historically and the primary is the software installed on the computer, and it saves documents on the computer. In comparison, Google Workspace (former GSuite) works inside an internet browser such as Chrome. Workspace is the same as Microsoft Office without the software installed. With Workspace you must keep your documents on the internet. You can download Workspace documents as Microsoft documents onto your computer, but the process is cumbersome. The efficiency of work on GSuite depends on the quality of your internet connection. The delay of opening, creating, and saving a document on Google can be seconds. Working on MS Office documents takes no noticeable lag if the computer is in good working order.

 WorkspaceMS Office
documents savedonline onlyon a computer as well as online
computer softwarenot includedincluded

Albeit Microsoft is catching up with Google rapidly. Since version 2013 MS Office must be connected to the internet for activation occasionally and documents synchronised with Microsoft online (cloud) storage by default.

Sync Google with Microsoft Office

Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Outlook application connects MS Office Outlook emails and calendar with Workspace.

Google Drive synchronises other types of documents, such as text and spreadsheets, on your device with Workspace. The device can be a PC, tablet, or mobile phone either Microsoft or Mac or Google Android. Google to Microsoft sync solutions is far from perfection. If you chose Workspace, you better off not using Microsoft Office at all. Android phones and tablets are the best to work on the Workspace cloud. There are also Chrome laptops that are not extremely popular.

Price comparison

Like Google, Microsoft has an internet only package without software called Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials for $6.9 per user per month which is an equivalent to Workspace Business starter for $8.4.

The price of MS Office software starts from $99 per user per year for a Home version without Business features such as email server.

Office 365 Business Premium with all software and online services is $17.20 per user per month

Free personal email account vs business email server

Personal emails look like: personal emails example

Business emails look like: business emails example

Parts after @ called domains. and are the same for everyone in the world. Hence you cannot choose any username. But a business email server is linked to unique domains, usually a business name. So, you can have any email you like if it is unique to your business. Apart from the professional look, the advantage of business emails is the control over the data and advanced features not available or limited to free email services.

Both Workspace and MS Office Business include an email server. Google confusingly called it Gmail but within the Google Workspace suite. It is similar to free Gmail but it is not the same. Microsoft's name for the business email server is Exchange.

Outlook and difference

Everyone knows Outlook as a program on PC. To highlight the business purpose, Microsoft renamed the free online email Hotmail service to Now the log in to paid MS Office 365 online is the same as the free email. Basic features email and documents for paid and free Microsoft online services are the same. Again, the difference between the paid Office is the software on your PC and the business website domain.

Live Mail was a free email client for Windows XP and Windows7. People still use it, albeit I do not recommend it due to many bugs. There is a free email client included with new windows 10 called Mail. Windows 10 Mail is even simpler than Live Mail used to be.

- Issues with MS Office 365

  • Disrupting work features such as Focused inbox
  • Admin notifications irrelevant to your installation
  • Complicated security and data retention policy and administration
  • Complex domain setup

+ Advantages of MS Office 365

  • Consistent and responsible support which unsweres usually within 5 minutes.
  • Extensive functionality.
  • Wide adoption, interoperability within organisations.

- Issues with Workspace

  • Buggy poor supported synchronisation with Microsoft Outlook
  • User is forced to work in Chrome browser only
  • Unclear security and data retention policies
  • Inconsistent support with zero personal accountability.

I have an impression that Google support picks random people from the streets of countries with a lowest human development index and they google unsweres as they go. Most of them don't even have a clue what products they support and have burned out dopamine receptors.

+ Advantages of Google Workspace

  • Cheap and robust. Core services are relatively stable due to minimalism and a fanatic software developer's base.


For a small business or startup, Workspace or Google Workspace as it is called now is the way to go. Companies with the IT department can have Microsoft Office 365 Business. An alternative solution for a small business is Microsoft Home 365 without Exchange (email server) for $99 per year. With MS Home you can use the email server provided for free with almost any website hosting.

2019-06-26,  Tags: Computers