Microsoft Office 365 vs Google Apps
The Google Apps admin page is cluttered with adverts for new features and third-party tools.
By comparison, the Office 365 dashboard is clear and well laid out; you can see immediately what to do.
If business users sign into other Google services with their Google Apps account, the business is bound by the terms and cond
The Postini control panel is separate from the Google Apps control panel, but it’s still simple to use.
The Forefront rules and filters are very powerful but the interface is more complex.
Apart from creating resources using Google’s complex naming structure, you have only a few controls for calendar sharing.
Fine control of smartphone security in an interface that will be familiar to any Exchange administrator.
Google Apps lets you transfer documents to another user if someone leaves and you delete their account.
The Office 365 Outlook Web App has good self-service features for users (and you only see the admin links if you’re an admini
There are useful features in Google Apps that aren’t turned on by default, and the interface is basic but clear.
All the key email management features in Office 365 are available through a straightforward interface if you don’t want to us
SharePoint Online combines workflow, document management and Web publishing – and it looks professional straight away.
Despite frequent warnings about a problem, Google Apps didn’t record any disruptions to the service.
Issues with Office 365 can be broken down by exactly which part of the service is affected.
Office 365 isn't a new version of the Office desktop suite; it's a cloud service offering the key server-based versions of desktop applications Exchange mail server with Forefront malware and spam protection, SharePoint document management (which can also power a public-facing Web site) and Lync Online for communications (presence, instant messaging and audio and video calls).
This is similar to the BPOS cloud service Microsoft has been running, but it has newer versions of the server-side software that are multi-tenant and (Microsoft claims) better suited to running as a cloud service. You also get online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook and some subscriptions even include the full Office Professional Plus suite. There's also an Office 365 marketplace for third-party tools that work with the service.
Office 365 is commonly seen as competing with Google Apps so we decided to look at them both.
Google Apps for Business includes Gmail with Postini spam and malware filtering and basic smartphone management, Calendar and Contacts, Google Docs (including spreadsheets and presentations), Chat, Groups mailing lists, Sites (for both intranet and public Web sites).
There's a control panel for managing users and what they can do with the Google Apps tools. You can also control user access to various other Google services like Picasa (which may get more important as Google combines personal and Google Apps accounts into a single account type) and add third party services from the Google Apps Marketplace.
Office 365 is commonly seen as competing with Google Apps so we decided to look at them both to see how similar the services really are and how they compare to each other.
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Mary is a freelance business technology journalist who has written for the likes of ITPro, CIO, ZDNet, TechRepublic, The New Stack, The Register, and many other online titles, as well as national publications like the Guardian and Financial Times. She has also held editor positions at AOL’s online technology channel, PC Plus, IT Expert, and Program Now. In her career spanning more than three decades, the Oxford University-educated journalist has seen and covered the development of the technology industry through many of its most significant stages.
Mary has experience in almost all areas of technology but specialises in all things Microsoft and has written two books on Windows 8. She also has extensive expertise in consumer hardware and cloud services - mobile phones to mainframes. Aside from reporting on the latest technology news and trends, and developing whitepapers for a range of industry clients, Mary also writes short technology mysteries and publishes them through Amazon.