If you are a single user or a very small team and exploring options to host your personal or small business email- the two major reliable contenders are Google’s GSuite and Microsoft’s Office 365. GSuite as well as Office365 has evolved with features and options as they fight to grab businesses. We’ll look at how these two compete against each other, the features available, and which one is better, especially for single users or small business teams.

How will we compare GSuite and Office 365

For a small business team or single-user business, the very necessities from an office suite usually are Emails, Office applications like Document and Spreadsheets processing, and a Cloud-based storage to backup some crucial data as well as share them between devices or other external parties.

Furthermore, small teams may also need to collaborate within themselves or external clients. We’ll compare our contenders on features that are crucial and important for small businesses which also includes alike of video or audio calls, digital collaborations on documents as well as some on the go mobile applications.

We’ll also focus on third-party applications available in the market place that may help us extend the functionalities like taxation, project management etc. Finally, we’ll look at the pros of each over other and educate you on what suits your use case better!

Let’s begin with the pricing comparison of the various plans and then dive into the basic necessary features that one should expect from an office suite.

Pricing comparison of GSuite and Office365.

GSuite provides three different segments of pricing plans – Basic, Business, and Enterprise with each plan offering slightly more features than the former. On the other hand, Microsoft also offers three different segments of pricing plans and a fourth one which is a barebone version and includes just the office application and cloud storage. Since the fourth one does not include business email hosting, we’ll not consider it for our small business usage comparisons. The three plans from Microsoft which we shall compare are Microsoft 365 Business- Basic, Standard, and Premium.

The very basic version of Gsuite costs about 6 USD per user per month whereas the very basic version of Microsoft Office 365 costs 5 USD but with an annual commitment. The second best value option from GSuite will cost you 12 USD per user month and about 12.50 USD with annual commitment for Office 365.

ProviderCheapest PlanMid range PlanFull featured Plan
Google’s GsuiteBasic (6US$ /per user/per month)Business (12US$ /per user/per month)Enterprise (25US$ /per user/per month)
Micrsoft’s Office 365Basic (5US$ /per user/per month)Standard (12.50$ /per user/per month)Premium (20$ /per user/per month)

Microsoft’s pricing is for annual commitments. I.e., you pay 5 x12 US$ in one go to grab the 5$ pricing for basic plan

Most small business users or single users may opt for the Basic plan or the mid-ranged plan. However, there are certain extra features offered only on the premium and enterprise plan such as remote management of mobile devices.

Compare GSuite Basic plan and Office 365 plan side by side

Let’s have a look at GSuite Basic plan and Office 365’s Basic plan side by side.

FeatureGSuite Basic Plan (6US$ per user/per month)Office 365 Basic Plan (5US$ per user/ per month with an annual commitment)
Email Hosting with personal domain nameYesYes
Email ClientWeb-based Gmail Interface + Setup your client (e.g., Apple Mail, iOS Client, Thunderbird, Desktop Outlook, etc)Web based+ Setup your client (e.g., Apple Mail, iOS Client, Thunderbird, Outlook, etc) (Free Office Outlook is not included for download)
Document ProcessingGoogle Docs, Google Sheet, Google Slides, Google forms, Google site, Google KeepWeb/Mobile based Word, Web/Mobile based Excel, Web/Mobile based Powerpoint (Free desktop apps not included for download)
CalendarYesYes
Online meetings and Video CallsGoogle MeetMicrosoft Teams
ChatsGoogle ChatMicrosoft Teams
Engaging EmployeesGoogle CurrentsMicrosoft Teams
File/Cloud StorageGoogle drive- 30GB per userOnedrive- 1TB per user
Support24/724/7
Extra FeaturesApp Scripting- Write your scripts to extend Gsuite features

With the basic plan, both GSuite and Office 365 seem par for par. The major disappointment with this plan with Microsoft’s Office 365 is that one does not get the free desktop applications for Word, Powerpoint or Excel included in this plan.

If you as a single user business or your small teams already have these applications pre-purchased – then you can use them on your desktop. Otherwise, users of these plans have to use the web version or mobile versions of these office apps- just as Google Suite.

Compare GSuite Business plan and Office 365 Standard plan side by side

Let’s have a look at GSuite Mid ranged Business plan and Office 365’s Mid ranged Standard plan side by side.

FeatureGSuite Basic Plan (12US$ per user/per month)Office 365 Basic Plan (12.50US$ per user/ per month with an annual commitment)
Email Hosting with personal domain nameYesYes
Email ClientWeb-based Gmail Interface + Setup your client (e.g., Apple Mail, iOS Client, Thunderbird, Outlook, etc)Web based+ Setup your client (e.g., Apple Mail, iOS Client, Thunderbird, Desktop Outlook etc). Microsoft Outlook Desktop version is also included in this plan.
Document ProcessingGoogle Docs, Google Sheet, Google Slides, Google forms, Google site, Google KeepWeb/Mobile/Desktop based Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook. Microsoft Access and Publisher app is also included but for Windows PC only.
CalendarYesYes
Online meetings and Video CallsGoogle MeetMicrosoft Teams
ChatsGoogle ChatMicrosoft Teams
Engaging EmployeesGoogle CurrentsMicrosoft Teams
File/Cloud StorageGoogle drive- Unlimited, but 1TB per user- if you have less than 5 users on this planOnedrive- 1TB per user
Support24/724/7
Extra featuresApp scripts- write your scripts to extend GSuite functionality, Data retentions policies, Data regions– Choose where in the world your data is stored, Audit reports to track user activity, Remote management of mobile devicesFully up-to-date desktop apps for Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook, etc. Each user can install these on up to 5 PCs or Mac., Customers can schedule and book appointments with you, MileIQ included for sales teams mileage tracking.

With this plan, one notable benefit from Office 365 is that each user gets the desktop apps for Office and can install them on up to 5 devices.

Compare GSuite Enterprise plan and Office 365 Premium plan side by side

Let’s have a look at the GSuite Enterprise plan and Office 365’s Premium plan side by side.

FeatureGSuite Basic Plan (25US$ per user/per month)Office 365 Basic Plan (20US$ per user/ per month with an annual commitment)
Email Hosting with personal domain nameYesYes
Email ClientWeb-based Gmail Interface + Setup your client (e.g., Apple Mail, iOS Client, Thunderbird, Outlook, etc)Web based+ Setup your client (e.g., Apple Mail, iOS Client, Thunderbird, Desktop Outlook etc). Microsoft Outlook Desktop version is also included in this plan.
Document ProcessingGoogle Docs, Google Sheet, Google Slides, Google forms, Google site, Google KeepWeb/Mobile/Desktop based Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook. Microsoft Access and Publisher app is also included but for Windows PC only.
CalendarYesYes
Online meetings and Video CallsGoogle MeetMicrosoft Teams
ChatsGoogle ChatMicrosoft Teams
Engaging EmployeesGoogle CurrentsMicrosoft Teams
File/Cloud StorageGoogle drive- Unlimited, but 1 TB per user- if you have less than 5 users on this planOnedrive- 1TB per user
Support24/7 (1hour target response for critical issues)24/7
Extra featuresApp scripts- write your scripts to extend GSuite functionality, Data retentions policies, Data regions- Choose where in the world your data is stored, Audit reports to track user activity, Remote management of mobile devices, Third-party Gmail Archiving, Gmail log analysis, Cloud Identity– Manage usersFully up-to-date desktop apps for Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook, etc. Each user can install these on up to 5 PCs or Mac., Customers can schedule and book appointments with you, MileIQ included for sales teams mileage tracking, Restrict the copying or saving of company information to unauthorized apps and locations with app protection for Office mobile apps, Managed policies

If your small business looks forward to advanced managed policies and security, features like remotely wiping devices, not allowing unauthorized copying of data from apps to other apps, then the enterprise version of Office 365 is useful.

Let’s have a glance at the various features available in each plan in depth and then we can fine-tune further on which plan and provider would be a better choice for your use case.

Email Hosting on GSuite vs Office 365

Email communication has been the official formal form of communication between businesses for a long time. Small businesses or even a single user can host their email on Google’s GSuite or Microsoft’s Office 365. Some new users to GSuite or Office 365 are confused about how these emails are different from the free options available with Google or Microsoft.

How is Gsuite or Office 365 is different from Gmail or Microsoft’s free email?

When one signs up for a free email from Google or Microsoft, the domain name behind your email are the likes of @gmail.com or @outlook.com or @live.com etc. These emails are free for use, however, they do not show the seriousness of your business and lack professionalism.

With email hosting under GSuite or Office 365, one can use their domain name. E.g., If you need an email address like, abc@yourbusinessname.com, you can host those with GSuite or Office 365 as long as you own the domain name yourbusinessname.com.

Now let’s compare the email hosting options from GSuite and Office365.

Gsuite vs Office 365 email hosting for small business or single user

For small business users, on the basic plan, Office 365 provides you with dedicated 50GB storage for a single users’ email for about 5USD a month (with an annual commitment), on the other hand, GSuite provides you with 30GB of storage on the basic plan for 6USD a month. This email can be accessed using all the email clients out there. However, the basic plan from Microsoft does not give you free access to the desktop version of Office apps. One can however use the latest up-to-date web and mobile versions of office.

What this means is, if you are eyeing Office 365 for using the latest Office apps on your desktop, you’ll have to jump to the Business plan priced at 12.50 US$ per user per month or the higher Enterprise plan.

On the other hand, GSuite provides you with the familiar Gmail interface with excellent spam filters aa well as the Gsuite apps like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google slides included and well-integrated with the email. One can easily open the attachments from Emails with these suite applications on the cloud.

To round it up, if you are basing your decision based on Email hosting, if you are very familiar with the Gmail interface, Gsuite is a better option. However, if you have been well trained and find Outlook more comfortable, Office 365’s web version on the basic plan or the desktop version from midrange and enterprise plan would be ideal.

Cloud Storage on GSuite vs Office 365

As a small business team or a single user, you might need to store documents on the cloud, so that they can be shared with other users or also accessed remotely using various other devices. Cloud storage has become an integral part of modern business.

With Microsoft’s Plan, one gets 1TB of One-drive storage right away with all the available plans. With GSuite, however, one get’s about 30GB of storage per user on the basic plan.

With higher plans, GSuite offers Unlimited Cloud storage, but a max of 1TB if you have less than 5 users on the plan.

Google’s drive file stream can be used on PCs and Mac and Google Drive app can be used on mobile devices to access the cloud contents. Microsoft OneDrive app is also available for Mac, Windows and mobile phones.

Default free applications with GSuite or Office 365

Both GSuite and Office 365 offer few essential free applications. One can also integrate more third-party applications if needed- but for most simple businesses the included applications may suffice.

With Microsoft’s Office 365, one gets the below applications. However, the desktop version of the office suite is not available on the basic plan of Microsoft Office 365.

  1. Microsoft Word
  2. Microsoft Excel
  3. Microsoft Powerpoint
  4. Microsoft Outlook
  5. Microsoft Access (Windows PC only)
  6. Microsoft Publisher (Windows PC only)
  7. Microsoft Onedrive
  8. Microsoft Teams
  9. Microsoft Sharepoint
  10. Microsoft Intune (Premium plan only)
  11. Microsoft Bookings (Standard and Premium Plan only)
  12. Microsoft MileIQ (Standard and Premium Plan only)

On the other hand, GSuite plans include the below applications.

  1. Google Docs
  2. Google Sheets
  3. Google Slides
  4. Gsuite Business Email
  5. Google Forms
  6. Google Sites
  7. Google Chat
  8. Google Meet
  9. Google Keep
  10. Google Currents
  11. Google Drive
  12. Google Apps Scripts

Working Offline on GSuite vs Office 365

When it comes to certain businesses, users may prefer to work offline on certain applications. The ability to work offline is also a deciding factor for some preferring Office 365 over GSuite.

When it comes to GSuite, one uses the web or mobile version of Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. Of course, these can be used offline, by enabling the offline usage in the web app. However, these applications are web-based and not completely native to devices.

On the other hand, when one signs up for the higher version of Office 365, one receives the desktop version of these applications. The desktop versions of Microsoft Word, Sheets, and Powerpoint are known to be far more well featured than the web versions.

So, if you do consider or foresee your business’ users using the offline or native versions of the applications, leaning towards the Microsoft suite of office applications would be a better idea.

Collaboration

Although offline and native version of applications are preferred by some users and many users prefer to send copies of their documents around via email, the benefits of collaborating remotely on a single document has its advantages.

When it comes to GSuite or Office 365, both of these suites provide collaboration features. One can share their cloud-hosted (Google drive or One drive) documents to other users and they can either view, edit or comment on the documents on the go.

Find out more on how one can easily collaborate online using one of these services here.

Video calls

GSuite users can use Google Meet, which lets users set up meetings, and phone calls easily. External users such as your clients etc who are not GSuite users can also hop on to the meetings.

Google Meet now also offers hardwares that can be integrated into your meeting rooms for one-click quick meetings.

On the other hand, Microsoft’s Team application is a hub for video calls and meetings with your team and offers similar features as GSuite’s Meet. Microsoft’s Team however also combines the features like Slack or GSuite’s Currents and Chat into the same application. Thus users need not use multiple applications.

Special hardwares for conference rooms are also available for Microsoft Teams.

Mobile Applications for GSuite vs Office 365

Both GSuite and Office 365 provide most of their apps on mobile devices operating systems such as iOS, iPadOS, Android etc.

Google’s Gmail, Google Drive, Google Sheet, Google Slides, Google Meet, Google Admin to manage Gsuite on the go, etc are available.

On the other hand, Microsofts’ Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Teams, etc are available on iOS, iPadOS, and Android. However, when it comes to the latest functionalities of these, they do differ slightly from the web or desktop versions.

However, most of these apps let you do your day to day tasks quickly. One can also always fire up the web version of these applications in the mobile devices Browsers.

Third-party Applications to extend features

When it comes to integrating third-party apps on these suites, GSuite has been a leader here. Many third-party apps are available in the market place which can be subscribed to or paid for extended the functionalities.

The popular categories of third-party apps that can be integrated with Gsuite include those for Accounting & Finance, Sales, CRM, HR, Marketing, etc.

Find out more about the popular Apps in the GSuite Marketplace here.

Transferring out from GSuite or Office365: Exit Strategy

Many users who are not sure of the commitment to one provider over others might also be interested in one could hop from one provider to another.

Once you plunge into the plans for either GSuite or Office 365, you can easily upgrade your plans as and when needed. However when you look to switch from GSuite to Office 365 or vice versa, it is possible, however, one would some technical support or knowledge to get this done.

To move your content and emails from Office 365 or legacy Exchange servers to GSuite, follow the instructions in this detailed post from Gsuite.

On the other hand, if you would like to move your content from Gsuite to Office 365, Microsoft provides tools as well. Detailed actions or steps on how to migrate from Gsuite to Office 365 can be found here.

Moving GSuite or Office 365 to another billing country

There are cases where digital nomads or small businesses may register their GSuite or Office 365 billing in a certain country. However, when one moves businesses, keeping the same content and moving the billing country is a bit of concern for some single user consumers too.

When it comes to GSuite, if you wish to move countries for billing address, you will have to contact a registered local partner to carry out the tasks for you. Partner’s directory for helping you with this task can be found here.

For Office 365, the suggested approach is to register a new plan with a billing address in another country and then transfer the content to a new account. More details on how to transfer mailboxes from One Office 365 account to another can be found here.

Now that we know most of the features and plans offered by GSuite or Office 365, what are the pros of using one over the other?

Pros of GSuite over Office 365

Let’s have a look at the below benefits and if they are helpful for your use case which might prove GSuite as a better contender.

  • GSuite supports Office document formats as well ( Although some hardcore formatting are not supported)
  • GSuite may get you unlimited cloud storage on the mid-range and higher plans for more than 5 users.
  • There is no limit on the number of maximum users in GSuite as compared to 300 for small business plans on Office 365
  • GSuite apps are better at digital collaborations as they were first designed with the idea of collaborating online.
  • GSuite apps are clean and minimal that loads on the web.
  • GSuite is better for businesses that support multiple operating systems as everything can be supported on the web.
  • Integration with various third-party apps that can be browsed for in the GSuite marketplace.

Pros of Office 365 over GSuite

When it comes to Office 365, below are the pros over GSuite. If these pointers prove more beneficial for your use case or business, one should opt for Office 365.

  • The mid-range and higher plans offer free desktop applications of the office productivity suite on up to 5 devices per user.
  • The desktop-based apps are native and provide more functionalities as compared to their web or mobile counterparts.
  • On emails, Outlook is well known and understood amongst business users.
  • The basic plan has a higher cloud storage limit than GSuite’s offering on the basic plan

Now that we know the pros of each other, which one would you choose? If you are still undecided or not satisfied with the options and features available in each or consider them expensive, you could also consider other alternatives to GSuite or Office 365.

Other alternatives to GSuite and Office 365

The other popular alternatives to GSuite or Office 365 are:
1) Zoho Workplace
2) Rackspace
3) Samepage
4) Fastmail
5) Proton mail

Read more about the best alternatives for G Suite or Office 365 we recommend.