Both G Suite and Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) offer complete sets of productivity features for business use. At $6 per user, per month, G Suite is the best choice for businesses needing branded email, cloud storage options, and easy-to-use document creation software. Microsoft 365, at $5 per user, per month, is a better choice for businesses that regularly work with Word documents or advanced Excel spreadsheets.
When to Use G Suite
G Suite is the best option for small businesses that want to take advantage of creating branded email using Google’s Gmail service. It’s also best for users who regularly collaborate on in-house document creation and want to take advantage of the endless number of integrations between Google Drive and many of the project management tools, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, and other apps that small businesses already use.
When to Use Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 is the best option for small businesses that require the ability to regularly edit and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with people outside the organization. It’s also the only one of the two that has dedicated desktop versions of each productivity app.
When to Use an Alternative: Zoho Workplace
Zoho Workplace is a cloud-based suite of apps that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and mail client with a forever-free plan for up to five users. Paid plans range from $1 to $6 per user, per month. Zoho Workplace is an affordable option for teams that want a productivity suite with robust team collaboration tools and integrates tightly with a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) system.
G Suite vs Microsoft 365 at a Glance
$6 - $12 per user, per month
$6 - $15.00 per user, per month
30GB - Unlimited
30GB - Unlimited
✔ - Gmail
✔ - Outlook
✔ - Google Docs
✔ - MS Word
✔ - Google Sheets
✔ - MS Excel
✔ - Google Slides
✔ - MS PowerPoint
✔ - Meet
✔ - Teams
✔ - Currents
✔ - SharePoint
Mobile App Versions
How We Evaluated G Suite & Microsoft 365
Both G Suite and Microsoft 365 are full-featured productivity suites that help you handle the things you do on a daily basis, like email, cloud storage, and creating and sharing documents. Based on these needs, we evaluated both solutions based on the following:
- Ease of use
- Browser-based functionality
- Mobile apps
- Collaboration features
- Administrative tools
- Cloud storage
- Customer support
Based on our comparison, G Suite is the best option for most small businesses. G Suite includes the features that startup and small businesses need while also offering the best value and combination of storage, ease of use, accessibility, and collaboration tools.
G Suite vs Microsoft 365: Pricing
G Suite and Microsoft 365 service plans start at $6 per user, per month. The plans are comparable, although G Suite offers an overall better value with unlimited storage options in its $12 per user, per month top-tier Business plan. Microsoft 365 caps storage at 1TB on all plans. Both solutions bill customers monthly; however, Microsoft 365 offers a small discount to customers who pay annually.
G Suite Pricing
- Basic: $6 per user, per month; includes business email, 30GB of cloud storage, and Google’s suite of business productivity apps
- Business: $12 per user, per month; adds cloud search, unlimited cloud storage, and archiving vault
- Free trial: 14 days
Microsoft 365 Pricing
- Microsoft 365 Basic: $6 per user, per month; includes cloud storage, OneDrive, and web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Microsoft 365 Apps: $10 per user, per month; includes Office apps across devices and cloud file storage
- Microsoft 365 Standard: $15 per user, per month; adds business email, online meetings, and chat
- Free trial: 30 days (Standard and Premium plans only)
Takeaway: Although both services offer similar features for approximately the same price, G Suite is the clear winner here. Business email, arguably one of the most valuable features for small businesses, is available with all G Suite’s service plans. However, access to business email with Microsoft’s solution is not available with its Basic plan.
G Suite vs Microsoft 365: Features
Both G Suite and Microsoft 365 offer similar features, including cloud storage, business email, and mobile apps. The biggest difference between the two is that business email is available with G Suite’s entry-level plan, while Microsoft 365 only offers it with its mid-range plan and higher.
G Suite Tiered Features
$6 per user, per month
$12 per user, per month
Cloud-based File Storage
30GB per user
Unlimited (or 1TB if less than 5 users)
Video and Voice Conferencing
Web-based Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
24/7 Standard Support
Secure Storage for eDiscovery and Archiving
Microsoft 365 Tiered Features
$10 per user, per month
$6 per user, per month
$15 per user, per month
OneDrive Cloud Storage
Web and Mobile Versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Advanced Security and Compliance
Chat and Video Calling With Microsoft Teams
Advanced Email Protection
Online Appointment Scheduling and Management
Mileage Tracking and Reporting
Takeaway: The winner here is almost too close to call. Both offer robust security and compliance features, team collaboration tools, mobile apps, and generous online storage with similarly priced service plans. Microsoft 365’s mileage tracking and online appointment scheduling are nice features to have, but G Suite gains a slight edge overall by offering business email with all service plans, whereas Microsoft 365 does not.
G Suite vs Microsoft 365: Ease of Use
Both G Suite and Microsoft 365 have the benefit of being familiar to most users. G Suite has the familiar look and feel of Gmail, while Microsoft 365 builds on the software that many users have known for years. If you’ve never used either, G Suite is a bit less intimidating and more intuitive to get started.
G Suite Ease of Use
Google typically chooses function over form, which sometimes means that its design isn’t quite as pleasing to the eye as Microsoft’s applications. However, the positive trade-off is that G Suite’s features work seamlessly behind the scenes. For example, documents created in Google Docs are automatically saved in your Google Drive. You don’t even have to name it first. It also constantly autosaves your work in the background so your files are always up to date.
G Suite also tends to focus on the core activities that users need most, which means it doesn’t suffer from feature bloat as much as Microsoft 365. G Suite apps don’t have some of the advanced features you’ll find in Microsoft Word or Excel, but it more than makes up for it with a clean, simple interface that just makes sense.
Microsoft 365 Ease of Use
Office has certainly come a long way, but there’s no question that it tries to be everything to everyone. Microsoft packs in every feature it can think of, sometimes at the expense of the user experience. This is especially true of the desktop versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The browser and mobile app versions, on the other hand, are far simpler in design and focus more on putting the most important tools within reach.
Takeaway: If you and your employees are more familiar with the user interface of one of these solutions over the other, then that’s the investment to make. However, if Google and Microsoft apps are both unfamiliar, G Suite has a slightly lower learning curve than Microsoft 365.
G Suite vs Microsoft 365: Business Email
Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Outlook are considered two of the leading business email providers available today. Most users are primarily interested in how easily they can set up their branded business email (firstname.lastname@example.org instead of @gmail.com), how much email storage they have, and the maximum file size limit you can attach to an email.
G Suite Business Email
G Suite provides 30GB of storage and allows you to easily set up your email on your business’ web domain while taking advantage of all of the functionality of Gmail. Gmail allows attachments up to 25MB, though you can share files larger than that directly from Google Drive. You can send up to 2,000 emails per day and receive over 86,000 daily. Learn more about setting up your business email with our Gmail for business setup guide.
Microsoft 365 Business Email
Microsoft’s business email client, Outlook, has a send limit of 5,000 per day and a 50GB storage limit on each of their business plans. This limit is separate from your overall cloud storage, which means your email attachments aren’t taking up space in OneDrive. On the other hand, if email storage space is important, unlike G Suite, you aren’t able to use your full cloud storage (1TB) for email.
Takeaway: G Suite’s business email management options give it the advantage over Microsoft 365. Email storage is shared with your overall Google Drive storage limit, which means that for teams that regularly email large files, the Business plan is definitely a better option than Microsoft 365, which limits your email storage to 50GB.
G Suite vs Microsoft 365: Apps
G Suite and Microsoft 365 both include software for creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Both offer browser-based versions, as well as iOS and Android apps. However, only Microsoft 365 offers desktop versions of its software to its Business and Business Premium customers.
G Suite Apps: Docs, Sheets & Slides
All of G Suite’s apps for document creation, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, are browser-based with mobile app versions. Unfortunately, there are no desktop versions, meaning you generally need to be connected to the internet to create and edit files. However, each has the option to mark files for offline access, allowing you to continue working on a file even if you lose your internet connection, updating your changes the next time you connect to the internet.
Microsoft 365 Apps: Word, Excel & PowerPoint
Microsoft 365’s document creation apps, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, are available as desktop software, browser-based apps, and mobile apps. Like G Suite, new documents, changes, and edits made offline are automatically saved and synced to the cloud once you’re back online.
Takeaway: Microsoft 365 has a slight edge over G Suite in the apps department simply due to their ubiquitousness. Having been around for over 30 years, most people have at least a passing familiarity with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint’s features and user interface.
G Suite vs Microsoft 365: Collaboration
G Suite and Microsoft 365 are built around team collaboration. However, both companies employ their own unique approach to facilitating teamwork. Neither is necessarily better than the other. It boils down to what a company expects from its collaboration tools.
G Suite Collaboration
G Suite makes collaboration dead-simple. In fact, one of the strongest aspects of Google’s productivity software is that multiple people can work on the same document, spreadsheet, or slide deck at the same time, without having to save files, email links to each other, and keep track of versions. Revisions happen in real time while giving you the ability to see what changes have been made and accept or reject them.
Microsoft 365 Collaboration
Microsoft 365’s collaboration advantage lies in its widespread usage throughout the business world. Sales agents and teams can send a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation to clients outside the organization with confidence they can be opened and read at the other end. It also offers more advanced features than G Suite, such as built-in artificial intelligence services to help users create more polished documents.
Takeaway: The deciding factor on which solution is the better collaboration choice lies in how the tools will be used. Companies that mainly work together on in-house projects will find G Suite more than sufficient to get the job done. Teams that frequently collaborate with people outside the organization will benefit from Microsoft 365’s familiarity and prevalent use in the business world.
G Suite vs Microsoft 365: Customer Service
G Suite and Microsoft 365 both offer 24/7 phone and web support to their business clients. Each also offers access to robust self-help knowledge libraries and community support forums. Google and Microsoft both cater to businesses, and their customer service for these types of users is good.
G Suite Customer Service
Google gives G Suite administrators access to 24/7 phone, email, and chat support in 14 languages. For users, support is available through Google Help, their online knowledge base for self-help. Google is known for having helpful support agents and resolving issues quickly when you need a real person.
Microsoft 365 Customer Service
Microsoft 365 also provides live phone and email support to business customers. In addition, Microsoft has extensive training materials, including self-help guides, how-to videos, and a searchable knowledge base. Microsoft is known for paying attention to its business customers, and Microsoft 365 support is no different.
Takeaway: When it comes to deciding which company provides better customer service, it’s too close to call. Both have support teams available by phone and online around the clock, and also offer self-help documentation so users can troubleshoot issues themselves. In the customer service arena, the winner is a draw.
G Suite vs Microsoft 365: Customer Reviews
G Suite Customer Reviews
The most commonly mentioned reasons users love G Suite is the ease of collaboration and how intuitive the software is to use. Customers also say they enjoy how tightly integrated everything is, and how they are able to work anywhere and still have access to all of their files. One negative user’s mention is that the admin panel is less straightforward than it could be, and sometimes hard to navigate.
Microsoft 365 Customer Reviews
Microsoft 365 customers say that because the software is so widely used, it’s easy to create, share, and open documents created by other businesses or customers. They also like the advanced features found in the apps, like real-time editing suggestions. However, one area that users reviewed negatively is the amount of space the Microsoft 365 desktop apps take up on your computer.
Takeaway: G Suite and Microsoft 365 each have loyal fans and followings, which are borne out by generally positive online customer reviews. Since the user experience and subsequent reviews are highly individualized, we encourage you to read more about each solution at our G Suite reviews and Microsoft 365 reviews pages.
For small businesses looking for an office productivity suite that provides branded business email, cloud storage, easy collaboration and sharing, and the ability to create and access all of your documents wherever you work, G Suite is the best choice. It’s intuitive and easy to use, so your team can usually be up and running the same day.
G Suite does not offer a free trial, but most of the apps are available for free without the business features if you have a personal Gmail account. Sign up for a business account and get set up quickly by visiting G Suite’s website.