Why Atlanta Businesses Choose Microsoft 365 Over G-Workspace

No matter what your business does, a portion of your workforce needs a productivity and collaboration suite to get work done. This essential set of tools, once known as an office suite (with Microsoft Office dominating the market), has significantly evolved over the past decade.

Cloud services have steadily taken over, and businesses have increasingly demanded more collaborative capabilities. Google Suite emerged and eventually evolved into Google Workspace. Similarly, Microsoft Office expanded its functionality and tools, transforming into Microsoft 365.

Today, most businesses rely on an office, productivity, and collaboration platform, with the majority choosing either Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace. Both ecosystems are powerful, robust, and feature-rich, yet there are numerous differences between them.

In this guide, we’ll explore the key differences across six categories:

Our goal is to help you decide which environment is best for your business. Once you decide, we are ready to assist you in setting up your platform, establishing governance and policies, and educating your team on how to use the tools within your chosen platform. Reach out today to begin the process. For now, let’s start with the basics.

Understanding Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace

Microsoft 365 has evolved from Office and Office 365, incorporating familiar Office apps like Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and Exchange. It also includes powerful new tools such as Teams—a collaborative tool combining elements of Slack and Office—and SharePoint, along with numerous smaller tools that add incremental value for organizations.

Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, is Google’s cloud-first alternative to Microsoft 365. It features parallel products to the core Office apps, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Drive, and Calendar. To compete with Teams and SharePoint, Google offers Meet and Sites.

Both platforms enable you to accomplish similar tasks, though they operate slightly differently, and not every app is equal in quality. Google generally provides more lightweight, streamlined apps, while Microsoft offers deeper functionality and formatting options but with a busier interface.

One significant difference is that Google’s suite is primarily cloud-based. There are no desktop apps for Docs, Sheets, Slides, or even Gmail, and files are stored in the cloud with no clear file structure. This allows for greater flexibility but can also be limiting.

In the past five years, Microsoft has introduced web-based versions of all its major tools and invested heavily in creating a robust, mature cloud-based experience. This includes features like conditional access policies, SharePoint share permissions, MFA, folder sync, and the ability to work on any device. Microsoft has the advantage here, as you can work both in the cloud and locally with desktop and mobile apps.

Additionally, Microsoft has shifted from on-premise servers to EntraID (cloud-based Active Directory) for controlling machines and permissions. This means users can authenticate their email and devices using the same account, username, password, and MFA application.

Differences in Cybersecurity and Support

Both platforms are developed and maintained by industry leaders, ensuring robust basic cybersecurity. Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace offer:

  • Enterprise-grade encryption
  • Comprehensive cloud security
  • Data loss prevention
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Spam and malware prevention tools
  • 99.9% uptime or availability guarantees

However, there are some key differences to consider.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 provides 24-hour support for all plans and offers more robust support for multi-factor authentication, not just two-factor. While all Microsoft 365 accounts include standard cloud security, the more advanced security package—which includes Microsoft Defender for Business, advanced security, and cyberthreat protection—is available only with the higher-priced Microsoft 365 Business Premium tier.

Google Workspace

Google adopts a tiered structure for its security features, offering standard security and management controls with its Business Starter and Business Standard plans. For enhanced security, the Business Plus plan includes advanced features such as Vault and sophisticated endpoint management. However, Google’s customer support falls short compared to Microsoft’s. Standard support is included with all account types but is not available 24/7. To access enhanced support, customers must pay for an upgrade.

Differences in Productivity and collaboration

Both office suites provide a comprehensive range of productivity and collaboration enhancements, with many features being quite similar. It’s common for one brand to introduce a new feature, only for the other to release a comparable feature soon after.

Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace both support live co-authoring and editing of documents across their main productivity apps—Word/Docs, Excel/Sheets, and PowerPoint/Slides. Google has been offering this functionality longer, and its implementation is simpler and more stable. However, if your Microsoft 365 and network environments are correctly configured, you should experience no issues on the Microsoft side.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft’s primary productivity and collaboration applications are available as desktop, mobile, and web apps. While some lesser-known apps may not be available across all platforms, Microsoft generally ensures that these apps are accessible on the most relevant devices. The broad availability of Microsoft 365 apps and their seamless integration with Windows, OneDrive, and network infrastructure create a cohesive ecosystem. Users can effortlessly share a file in Teams, have a coworker open it in Word, and send it via email, all without the need for switching browser tabs. In contrast, Google’s heavy reliance on the browser results in less seamless integration between apps.

In terms of collaboration and communication, Microsoft offers a comprehensive suite of tools. The standout among them is Microsoft Teams, a powerful and versatile app. Additionally, Microsoft provides other specialized tools like Yammer, and the desktop-class Outlook remains the standard for standalone email applications.

Google Workspace

Google’s productivity and collaboration apps run either in your browser or through dedicated mobile apps. This design makes them lightweight and highly streamlined. However, juggling multiple Google apps in browser tabs can sometimes be less efficient and convenient compared to having several desktop applications like Word, Excel, and Outlook open simultaneously.

For communication tools, Google provides a few options. Its counterpart to Teams is Meet, which is adequate for video conferencing but lacks the extensive capabilities of Teams.

Google does not have an alternative to Outlook. Instead, it relies on Gmail in the browser. If you enjoy the Gmail interface and prefer your business email to resemble it, then Google Workspace is ideal. However, many business users find this less desirable. Those who choose Google Workspace often do so despite the Gmail interface’s limitations.

Cloud Storage

Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are cloud-centric and provide cloud storage for every user, but there are notable differences among their various plans. Importantly, both platforms offer cloud redundancy, especially when used as cloud-first solutions rather than on-premises setups. This redundancy ensures that your files are continuously synced to the cloud. If the primary cloud server fails, redundancy guarantees that you still have access to your files.

Microsoft 365

All Microsoft 365 business plans provide 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user. With the exception of the Apps for Business plan, all plans also include file syncing across devices, secure sharing, permission-based email, and guest access links for external recipients.

Google Workspace

Google Workspace offers three storage tiers: 30 GB, 2 TB, and 5 TB per user. The Starter plan lacks shared drives and target audience sharing, which are included in the higher-tier plans. In contrast, Microsoft’s cloud storage and sharing options are more nuanced and offer greater flexibility. However, Google’s storage solutions are still highly effective and sufficient for most businesses.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, the two platforms show noticeable differences. It’s not that one is significantly easier to learn than the other; rather, the user experience of each is distinctly different.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft holds an advantage here, as most office workers are already familiar with its products and interfaces. For newcomers, Microsoft might present a slightly steeper learning curve due to its more feature-rich applications compared to Google’s equivalents.

While Microsoft’s collaborative tools are robust, they are less mature and more complex when dealing with network-based documents. On the other hand, Google’s collaboration features are almost always seamless and intuitive. For businesses that prefer a traditional file structure or its cloud-based equivalent, Microsoft 365 is the clear choice, as its folder system, although seen by some as outdated, remains logical and practical for many users.

Google Workspace

Google’s tools are designed to be streamlined and lightweight, making them relatively easy to learn and use. However, users accustomed to Microsoft’s products might find Google’s tools lacking in some areas. Certain functions are either nonexistent or buried within the interface, making them less accessible compared to Microsoft’s straightforward layout.

Google excels in collaborative features, offering superior usability and stability compared to Microsoft. However, Google’s approach to file organization, which deviates from traditional file systems, can be challenging for users to adapt to.

Workspace offers excellent ease of use if you work within the parameters set by Google. However, power users or those requiring specific functions that Google deems less important may encounter frequent frustrations.

Administration Differences


Choosing the right suite of tools not only empowers your teams but also ensures you have the necessary level of administrative control. Here, the approaches of Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace diverge significantly.


Microsoft 365


Microsoft builds on its extensive experience in business software development. Organizations familiar with provisioning and managing Windows computers will find similar support with Microsoft 365. Administrators can set password policies, configure file access controls, gather feedback from employees and customers, and more. Business Premium customers enjoy even more advanced administrative capabilities, including:


– Remotely wiping lost or stolen devices

– Setting limits on the transfer of company information

– Information Rights Management

– Automatic app deployment through mobile device management (MDM)

– Policy management


These robust administrative controls are particularly beneficial for mature businesses with complex office environments, offering features that are often absent in Google Workspace.


Google Workspace


True to its streamlined nature, Google Workspace offers a simplified administrative experience. Since Google rarely installs apps on desktops or laptops, the need for extensive administrative controls is reduced. However, some organizations may find the limited administrative features of Google Workspace insufficient.


Administrators can set file sharing permissions on a team basis, customize the user experience with business logos and premade templates, and turn specific apps off. Despite these options, Google Workspace’s administrative controls are not as comprehensive as those provided by Microsoft 365.




Find general pricing information for both productivity suites in the sections below.


Microsoft 365


Microsoft, previously known for its complex, multi-tiered pricing, has streamlined its business pricing structure to four main plans. Prices below are based on an annual subscription with auto-renewal:


– **Microsoft 365 Business Basic:** $6 per user per month

– **Microsoft 365 Apps for Business:** $8.25 per user per month

– **Microsoft 365 Business Standard:** $12.50 per user per month

– **Microsoft 365 Business Premium:** $22.50 per user per month


The two lowest tiers may be too restrictive for most businesses. Business Basic includes web and mobile apps but not desktop apps, aiming to compete with Google Workspace’s cheapest plan. Apps for Business includes desktop apps but omits email hosting and custom domains.


Most established businesses will likely choose between Business Standard and Business Premium, depending on their needs for handling large files and advanced threat protection. Businesses requiring access control or other advanced features should opt for Business Premium.


Enterprise businesses have their own set of plans, which we won’t detail here. If you’re unsure which plan to choose, we can guide you through the decision-making process.

Google Workspace


Google’s pricing tiers are simpler than Microsoft’s, reflecting the overall simplicity of Google’s product offering:


– **Business Starter:** $6 per user per month

– **Business Standard:** $12 per user per month

– **Business Plus:** $18 per user per month


Enterprise plans are custom-quoted.

All Google Workspace plans include custom email and domain, along with access to all Workspace apps. The primary differences lie in the amount of cloud storage per user, security and management controls, and the quality of voice and video conferencing. Typically, the deciding factors for Google Workspace users are cloud storage and the number of meeting participants.

While Google’s Business Starter plan is economical, Microsoft’s Basic plan offers more value at the same price, including significantly more cloud storage and triple the meeting participants. At higher price points, Microsoft’s offerings remain more comprehensive and competitively priced.

Our Recommendation

All Google Workspace plans include custom email and domain, along with access to all Workspace apps. The primary differences lie in the amount of cloud storage per user, security and management controls, and the quality of voice and video conferencing. Typically, the deciding factors for Google Workspace users are cloud storage and the number of meeting participants.

While Google’s Business Starter plan is economical, Microsoft’s Basic plan offers more value at the same price, including significantly more cloud storage and triple the meeting participants. At higher price points, Microsoft’s offerings remain more comprehensive and competitively priced.

Based on our analysis, Microsoft 365 outperforms Google Workspace in nearly every critical category. Even in areas where Google Workspace excels, Microsoft 365 remains a strong contender. Working with an IT provider like AlphaCIS ensures you maximize the potential of Microsoft 365, leveraging its full suite of services that seamlessly integrate with your business operations from the moment you log into your computer. Many features are natively integrated into the Windows operating system, creating a cohesive and efficient ecosystem.

A significant advantage of Microsoft 365 is its robust user permission management capabilities directly on desktops. Tasks such as controlling application installations or enabling multiple users on a single computer are straightforward. Without Microsoft EntraID, managing separate local user accounts for each machine can become overly complex, involving different passwords and usernames—a logistical nightmare. In contrast, using Google Workspace would require a local server for permissions management, adding unnecessary complexity and reliance on multiple passwords, making the system cumbersome and reliant on local servers for basic user management.

By now, it should be clear that we recommend Microsoft 365 for most customers, particularly the Business Premium or Business Standard plans. If your business is in the Metro Atlanta area and you have questions about which productivity and collaboration suite is right for you, or need assistance with any other aspect of IT, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today to get started and optimize your business’s IT infrastructure for success!