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Is Google Docs better than Microsoft Office?

People often say that Google is taking over the world. Some are serious when they say that, and some mean it as a half-hearted attempt at a joke. But ever since I remember, Microsoft Office has been unchallengeable as an office suite. Now, though, Google Docs seems to be the every-day user’s office suite of choice. So Is Google Docs better than Microsoft Office?

Is Google Docs better than Microsoft Office?

I prefer Microsoft Office. But it’s not as simple as that.  We’ve got Microsoft Office set up at the office, and yes, it works great. But when at home, I don’t have office installed. Microsoft Office isn’t always cheap, whereas you can use Google Docs for free. These files can be viewed and edited with Office applications at a later date, should these be available to you. The fact that it is simply linked with your google account and doesn’t require any purchase is a massive positive. Google Docs, is however, pretty bare. It’s like Microsoft Office stripped down to its bare bones. For some, this is a better experience for Word Processing, putting together Presentations etc.

The thing is, even if it is stripped down to its bare bones, it’s said that 80% of users only use 20% of the features on Microsoft Office, meaning that actually the simplicity is only a good thing for many. What Google does do well, is making things sharable. If you use Microsoft Office, chances are, you’re going to share documents by emailing back and forth. However, if you use Google Docs, you can share whatever you like with whoever you like. Click the link and it opens in your browser. It’s that simple.  In fact, it’s pretty much entirely setup for companies with primarly roaming users.

Microsoft have, in the past year, released a dedicated version of Office for mobile devices, and perhaps more bravely, for iOS devices. This was a risky but clever move, it seems, as Apple’s own ‘iWork’ is now pretty much dead in the water.

Is Google Docs better than Microsoft Office on mobile?

Google offers, what I believe to be a more polished platform for viewing documents you’ve already created on mobiles – which is probably what you need a mobile office suite for anyway. Microsoft Word has more options for formatting than you’ll ever need and definitely offers more than Docs on mobile. This theme of more features on Office than Docs on mobile runs through all the programmes, Excel/Sheets, PowerPoint/Slides and so on. Simplicity is a key advantage of using Docs, but if you’re using a complex programme like Excel, you might be better off sticking with it, as some pretty key features like a list of functions – if you aren’t 100% of what you need, finding it might be a bit difficult.

So Is Google Docs better than Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office and Google Docs both have their merits, and certain people would prefer Google Docs, but for me, Microsoft Office wins this battle – even if it’s unnecessarily complex, once you’re used to these complexities, you don’t really want an office suite without them.  Office is still the industry standard desktop suite in an office environment. There is a bigger support and knowledge base which is vital in terms of keeping your overall cost of ownership low – which in a sense negates the point of view that Google Docs is better as it’s free.  Google Docs is great for mobile users and it’s sharing features are excellent, but requires you to be online whereas Office is an offline suite that you can work on without being connected to the internet. Think about how often a mobile loses reception when you’re on a train and this feature suddenly becomes quite significant.  By all means, have a play with Google Docs, and see if it works for you, as it’s free, but otherwise I’d recommend Microsoft Office.

If you’d like to hear more about our Business IT Support services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember if you’d like to take my recommendation of Microsoft Office on board, you can get Office 365 as part of your Business Mobile Contract or on it’s own.