Google Apps or Microsoft Office

I have been using both. Lets take a quick look at what both offer. Then you decide, which one is for you.

Google Apps Enterprise:

  • domain name for use with email and website
  • website creation wizard (Page Creator)
  • 10 GB email storage (per user)
  • no limit on document storage
  • unlimited accounts (since pricing is per user, you get what you pay for)
  • document collaboration through Google Docs & Spreadsheets
  • leverage Google API for integration with other applications
  • $50 per user, per year ($250 per year, assuming 5 active users)
  • Google Apps and Avaya (VOIP/IM integration)

Microsoft Office Live Essentials:

  • domain name for use with email and website
  • website creation wizard
  • 2 GB email storage (per user)
  • 1 GB workspace storage
  • 50 email accounts ([email protected])
  • business contact manager and workspaces for document collaboration (10 users)
  • website add-ins sold as modules (for advertising and other purposes)
  • $19.95 per month ($239.40 per year, assuming 5 active workspace users)
  • Microsoft and Nortel (VOIP/IM integration)

Google Apps Enterprise free until 30th April 2007.

Microsoft Office Live free for 30 days.

Which one is for you?

If

  • You are more interested in having reliable tools for email and collaboration, than you are in having a new point-and-click website.
  • You and your co-workers are using a mix of different platforms, including Mac OS X.
  • You and your co-workers are comfortable using web-based tools for email, word processing or spreadsheets.
  • Your business is not entirely based on attracting and cultivating customers. Maybe you have a handful of accounts, but don’t need to track a lot of customer interactions. Maybe you’re a nonprofit organization, school or faith-based organization. Maybe you own a blog network. The possibilities are endless, and you don’t want to be confined to a standard business model.
  • You are always online.

Then the answer is Google.

If

  • You don’t already have a website for your business and want to get something for the world to see that’s quick and easy.
  • You and your co-workers are all using computers running some version of Windows.
  • You and your co-workers already own some version of Microsoft Office and are prepared to continue using Outlook, Word and Excel as the hub of your business communications and processes.
  • Your business is based on customers…attracting them, interacting with them, and keeping them.
  • You won’t always have access to the internet.

Then the answer is Microsoft.

Mate, the ball is in your court now!

Alpesh Nakar

6 Replies to “Google Apps or Microsoft Office”

  1. Google Apps kind of sucks – i mean for e-mail and chat its going, but everything else is a bit of a let down. Microsoft Office 2007 has been a big hit so far – things like “Smart Art” for example and the new menu structure really sold me. Only if their Vista team had been so inclined to make an OS that didn’t suck balls, I mean really…they couldn’t have done much WORSE.

    SharePoint beats the non-email parts of Google APPS hands down and if you haven’t tried it, sign up for a trial today – they offer one off of http://blog.sharepointhosting.com.

  2. @edbong: Thanks for the information.
    @ike: You are passionate about SharePoint, aren’t you ;-)? That is the reason you are into SharePointHosting. Did you check out my post on SharePoint Hosting providers?

    Cheers!
    Alpesh

  3. I have not tried the Office Live Essentials but Google Apps (free version) and Google pages if you have a Gmail account are both very simple to use to create web pages. Especially if you do not know HTML. You get a number of themes that you chose, then chose a layout for the page and type in the boxes. What could be simpler? However if you want to do something more complicated needing HTML then it is very hard to do. So I would disgree on the first point of the reasons for choosing Microsoft Live.

    You can access Google Docs & Spreadsheet for free anyway. Without paying the yearly fee. In fact one review said it was worth the fee just for the 10 GB storage. My initial raection to Writely was mixed as it seemed reasonable until I found that there was no undo which it now has.

    Having bought a domain and transfered it I do not think the average small business person would be able to do it (even though the help is pretty good). It is all pretty intimading about going in and changing CNAME and MX records in DNS.

    But having setup Small Business Server for a couple of friends I can see the appeal of Google Apps for a small business starting out. Getting an ADSL line and router is easy so they have Internet access which they need. I would still say that they used Windows and Office but for hosting a simple web site and having a shared calendar, IM and company e-mail it may be enough for small comapnies that are not that IT literate. There is the question of backup but in my experience companies are not that good at back even if they have a server and a backup system.

    I think that with a bit of help on the initial setup then most small companies starting out can get away with Google Apps and depending on requirements upgrade to the Enterprise version. Whether or not they use the Docs and Spreadsheets will depend on their usage and requirements.

  4. Hi Ian,
    Nice to have you here. You are the MOM Expert 😉 Well, I do agree that Docs and Spreadsheet is free anyways. Create Google Pages is straight forward no doubt. Just basic web page and static but not very impressive. Thats what you get for free. In contrast Office Live is definitely SharePoint platform, Google is in a different domain. Office live does not give flexibility to customise to what I would like to – but then hey this is all free as in a free beer.

    Certainly Google does office online pretty well, but for a user to do dns can be a daunting task. Google Apps for a small business to collaborate and operate online is a great tool indeed. Besides óutsourçed’mailing solutions would reduce IT overheads for these small businesses for sure.’I tend to agree, backup is last thing on the minds of the IT people in small companies.

    It will be interesting to see what our other readers have to say.

  5. OFFICE LIVE SUCKS! You cannot import contacts into the Business Contact Manager. No way. No How. Don’t waste your time like I did.

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