Google VS Office 365

Opening a new / old question as to who is using Google over O365 and how is it working? We are having a major debate here as to switching to O365 or Google because of how you can collaborate on Google (like shared docs modifying on the fly by multiple people), Mind Mapping etc.


Office 365 has definitely gotten better on the collaboration front with Microsoft Teams (I suggest checking out youtube videos on Microsoft Teams).

For us, we don’t qualify and couldn’t get past the second screen of Google for Nonprofits:

We weren’t open to paying for the G-Suite over getting a bulk of O365 for free and adding Office Pro Plus where we needed it.

I realize not all churches hold the same beliefs/hiring practices as ours, so your experience may be different.

The portion that states “other than allowed by law” is in a separate checkbox unrelated to this, so there is no legal or ethical way around this.

That’s just in case it helps narrow down the choices, otherwise both Google and Microsoft have done a terrific job on collaboration.

I have used Google for years but our church/school has joined O365 this year. There are a lot of collaboration capabilities within Office, the obstacle I come up against is the mindset or approach of the end user. We’ve historically treated Word like paper and some users have trouble adjusting to cloud collaboration. Because Google has always been digital, they seem more accepting of it functioning in a different way.

We made the transition to Google Apps many years ago, before Office 365 was as robust as it is now. We have discussed the possibility of moving to Office 365, but have decided against it for a couple reasons:

  • Younger hires that are coming in to our organization are already comfortable with Gmail and G-Suite

–The sharing in G-Suite, in our opinion, is more intuitive and less clunky that what you see int Office 365
–We qualified as a non-profit and do not need to pay for our account (We also are not held to the discrimination clause mentioned here in another post)
–Our transition from Office to G-Suite took a couple years to get people comfortable and we don’t see any need to go through that again.

We do still have a large number of licenses of Office 2007 that we do have some “legacy users” using but standard protocol is G-Suite. Once some of our older, Office users, worked through the transition, they do not want to go back… for what that’s worth.

Yeah, this was one the scared us away from gapps too

they all like that they can interactively edit a document all at the same time adding notes etc to the exact same document which as far as I know can’t be done in O365

“It Depends” :wink:

Here’s a video from over 3 years ago doing live editing in Office 365:

Here’s a more recent video:

On my Mac, this feature doesn’t seem to work as advertised, but I could be doing it wrong.

Even though the automagic sync thing doesn’t work, I have on several occasions collaborated on the same Word document or PowerPoint and just had to manually sync changes. So far, not a single issue has been caused by multiple people working on the same file at once.

I think Microsoft Teams was a real game-changer for their collaboration too.

Once again, though, if Google allowed us to use their discount it would be a tough call. Since we don’t qualify, we’d have to pay, so no matter how much leadership likes Google it is just too difficult to pass up O365.

For documents we don’t print we use OneNote, which does sync very well across devices (Mac, PC, etc.)

I imagine if we were all PC the difference between G-Suite and O365 would be much smaller. I also have noticed more Mac friendly software and more robust web-apps from Microsoft, so most of the features staff want are either already available or on the current roadmap.

We use O365, and are pleased with it. Our staff uses Outlook on their computers so O365 seamlessly syncs with web version. Each has strengths/weaknesses. To use Google you will need to pay $5/month per user, which only gets 30gb cloud storage, vs. 1TB per user for O365 Business Essentials at the same price. We pay for Business Essentials to avoid any belief issues such as with Google. Perhaps more important than which you choose is that the church standardizes on one and everyone uses it, not personal Gmail/MS or whatever else accounts.

  • Greg
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Turns out I got us on the Non Profit Google G-Suite account 4 years ago and never set it up. It now includes Team Drives and we are grandfathered as far as I can tell. Our users have been collaborating on free google docs without TechOps approval, so now at least we will have everything under our Organizational control.