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Summary:

On Tuesday, Microsoft officially launched Office 365, the Redmond software giant’s suite of online collaboration and office tools. It competes with Google Apps for Business, but how do the two compare? Here’s a look at some screenshots of key applications in the two suites.

Screen shot 2011-06-29 at 18.12.22

On Tuesday, Microsoft officially launched Office 365, the Redmond software giant’s suite of online collaboration and office tools. It includes Office Web Apps and hosted versions of SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online, and aims to take on Google Apps for Business. But how do the two compare? Here’s a look at some screenshots of key applications in the two suites. (Note: Office 365 screenshots are on top, and I’ve only included screenshots of the browser-based web apps here)

Signup and Setup

Office 365 is relatively straightforward to set up, only requiring users to enter a few details; you don’t need to be an experienced IT admin to get going.  After signing up with Office 365, it takes a little while for Office 365 to bring online the hosted instances of Exchange and SharePoint, but the whole process takes less than ten minutes. With Google Apps you’ll need your own domain and will have to verify it (Office 365 will provide one for you), which means that setup is more involved and will probably take a little longer, but there is a wizard to help step you through it.

Admin page/Dashboard

The Office 365 admin page has options for managing users and passwords, websites, and for managing your Office 365 subscription. Google Apps has a similar Dashboard page, which also allows admins to add additional apps from third-party vendors via the Google Apps Marketplace.

Email

Office 365 provides Outlook Web App, which has a very familiar interface for users of the Outlook desktop app. Google Apps uses Gmail.

Calendar

Word processing

Spreadsheets

Presentations

Note that you cannot edit presentations with Google Apps, only view them.

  1. A few notes.
    1. PowerPoint files cannot be uploaded & edited on google docs, but if you create the presentation in google docs you can edit it that way, and you can export to PowerPoint. Just to clarify that you do have full presentation functionality on google docs, just not editing pptx files.

    2. Google apps does require a domain to set up, but google docs is available to anyone at all, using a normal email addresss or a gmail address via setting up a google account. The benefit of this is that your google docs will be available for anyone in the world you want to share it with – not just people in your own domain (or subdomain).

    3. There is also a competitor in this space that has been out around as long as google docs – zoho, good to check out if you want to compare what is out there.

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing what this competition in the cloud computing space brings out.
    – lb

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    1. Thanks for the comment, LB. Yes, I should have been clearer that I was uploading and editing a PowerPoint file, and that Google Docs does let you create your own presentations.

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  2. Does Office365 allow you to use your own domain name for email addresses?

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    1. Your Microsoft Office 365 account comes with a domain name—(eg: contoso.onmicrosoft.com)—but if you have your own domain name already, you can use that domain name with Microsoft Office 365 services too.

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  3. Public relations Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Just going through the google apps vs office 365 business case at the moment.. Found the 365 beta experience a confusing mess but google only allows max of 2000 emails sent per day which would limit our business so will have to go with 365.

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  4. Really useful tools, and great comparison. Small businesses are usually better off with something more catered to their specific workflows, though. There’s so many single-purpose apps out there and small businesses try to manage themselves between 3-4 different systems, which is headaches and high monthly costs.

    I’ve found it’s better to go with something that integrates all of what we do. WORKetc is what we’re using now, which integrates CRM, projects, billing, time tracking, and a few other tools. Keeping all data online in one system has been extremely beneficial for us, and tracking every aspect of client relationships through one system really helps improve client relationships. They also just recently integrated with google apps, so we have all the functionality of Docs and Gmail, plus WORKetc.

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