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Google apps vs Office 365

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Started by Anna Harrison 30 Aug 2012 10:13am () Replies (3)

I am working with a school who are looking at Office 365 for use with their students and staff.  Has anyone gone through the process of comparing Google apps and Office 365?  I'd be really interested in pros and cons that you have found.


  • Bruce Saunders (View all users posts) 03 Sep 2012 1:21pm ()

    I am going through a similar process. Here are the big ticket compromises I see. Note I have written several of them all as negatives, could easily spin them the other way to show the positive for the other product/system

    1. 365 always requires a techie in behind the scenes tinkering away. Especially to allow powerful integration of other Microsoft products like SharePoint and outlook. (this may also be true for the education version of Google apps, but I would suggest 365 would always need more tinkering)
    2. If your internet access is down you cannot access Google documents unless using some sort of local repository and converting to another format to edit locally.
    3. Collaboration for 365 is not real time (watching the other person type), loses the coolness factor. Microsoft indicates it is to allow for considered thought to be collaborated.
    4. Most High Schools in NZ have gone the Google way, which allows for greater collegiality across schools and at conferences (within NZ)
    5. Both can be downloaded and converted to be edited in more powerful local software (Office, open office), 365 does not need converting Google docs do. Otherwise need to use more limited browser editors.
    6. 365 traffic is considered to be far more secure than Google traffic (privacy issues)

    I was initially keen for the 365 model as we use Sharepoint and Outlook extensively at our school. I am now tending towards the Google option as our tech support is over stretched, the collaboration is more engaging and to foster collegiality across schools. 

  • Jenifer Roberts (View all users posts) 24 Sep 2012 7:39pm ()

    I have also just had this conversation with our knowldgeNET advisor and this was his reply.

    My limited understanding of the disadvantages of Office 365 are as follows:

    • It's really slow and clunky compared to Google
    • Can't enrol and share with others who don't also have it - unlike Google
    • Can't do things like Calendars and Forms etc that work so well with Google
    • Administering Google is a breeze - you need lawyers (I exaggerate!) and technicians (I don't exaggerate) to go through the Microsoft process
    • Google has got free Apps for everything you might need
    • Looking forwards, Google is likely to be providing way more free tools for schools - and so is the best platform to be building on

    Apart from all that - the bottom line is speed, usability and uptake amongst learners - Google wins hands down, in my opinion:)

    So more opinions to add

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