View Full Version : GSuite vs. Office 365 vs Open Office. Which do you use?

Harold Mansfield
05-05-2018, 12:24 PM
Until recently I used MS Office since 2003. Back when it was like $700 and was a multi disk install. It was just one of those things you had to have because everyone else you did business with had it and you needed to be able to send and access files back and forth on a common platform. Today Office 365 is about $99 yr,.

I've honestly never cared for Office. I mostly used Word and Outlook and I thought those were kind of over complicated. Outlook especially had many bugs that existed for years. Very frustrating.

I tried Open Office for a while, but it only has some features and not everything I need.

Lately I've been using GSuite and love it. Much simpler to use, Hangouts is much better than Skype, Drive works better than One Drive, and since I use Android phones the entire experience is just easier.

Google also makes it easy to have a work profile and a personal profile and to be able to switch between either easily, on all your devices. On your phone you don't even have to switch accounts you can have work apps and personal apps side by side. I'm kind of hooked on the Google services and how easy they are to use and keep the same access and experience across all your devices.

Just wondering what everyone else uses out there, and why it's the best solution for your particular business.

05-05-2018, 03:02 PM
Open Office here. I only needed a word processor and a spreadsheet and Open Office fit the bill as I was too cheap to pay for MS Office and I don't want to use cloud based software until I have no other option (I may have the odd trust issue).

05-05-2018, 05:11 PM
I am not a fan of cloud based programs either and will hold off as long as I can using them. I am using Office 2010 and use Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint but PowerPoint is something I use about once a year and access is used for one thing one one old computer. I also have Adobe CS-3 and will hang onto that as long as I can. I do spend tons of hours using PhotoShop but that is about the only application I use. When they become too obsolete or won't run any more for me I would likely use Open Office and Gimp.

Harold Mansfield
05-05-2018, 09:46 PM
I of course looked at photoshop at the time but it was very expensive for someone bootstrapping. I learned to use GIMP and have been using it ever since. It does the little photo editing and graphics tasks that I need just fine.

I know how you feel about cloud based software. I was one of those " I want to own the software out right, and store my own files" people. But looking back over 2 or 3 hard drive crashes over the years, and how ridiculous Windows back up system still is, and learning more and more about security...I recognized the benefits. Of course I have a NAS device too.

It took some getting used to, but not much. It also helps that you can use the basic GSuite apps for free (which is a mirror of the MS office stuff), and for additional features it's $5 mo. which gives me pretty much everything I was paying $99 year for MS Office and then another $100 mo. for additional tools.

That's what really started me looking into it and deciding if I could make the switch and go all Google. I was tired of paying $20mo for this, $10mo for that...I mean those little charges add up and are irritating. Especially for stuff that I wasn't using all the time, just needed to have it available every now and then.

Of course I'm a one man show so I don't have to worry about other employees, or teams and departments or anything like that.

05-06-2018, 02:21 PM
I've used MS office for years. I did upgrade to the monthly online version from the installed version. I use Word constantly, excel often and PP rarely. I use QBs for accounting, oddly not for myself but I do tap into client's versions. I used to use Sony Movie studio but recently found Kizoa online to be good enough for the very simple video stuff I do. I do use one drive (I think that's what I use), but only so I can occasionally work on the same doc from a different computer.

Sometimes I collaborate on documents with others BUT I just send back and forth by email using the redline editing tools. I don't want anybody able to tap into a doc I'm working on.

05-07-2018, 08:09 AM
I have access to the MS Office suite through my day-job, and have 2011 installed on this computer right now ... Of the MS apps, I mainly use Excel in my businesses (and in my day-job). I use PowerPoint a lot in my day-job, but not at all for my businesses. I don't use Word for my own writing unless I have to, preferring a different word processor (Mariner Write). I use the Adobe products (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat) a fair bit (in both my day-job and my businesses), and am still using CS6 versions. Quickbooks, TextWrangler, web browsers, an e-mail client, and an FTP client, round out my most commonly used bits of software (and ~once a year, TurboTax).

In general I think I prefer to have the software -- and my data -- reside on my computer rather than in "the cloud," but I am not sure I have really tried cloud-based applications. We use an online reservation system for some of our businesses, and I submit payroll data to our processor online, and I do a lot of online banking -- but these are all more about interfacing with databases, and not so much about the creation or manipulation and processing of data.... right? I don't know -- it's all becoming pretty seamless I guess. I do (in the back of my mind) worry about bandwidth, reliability, and security of networks and of cloud storage.

Harold Mansfield
05-07-2018, 10:36 AM
So here's my take on cloud services and storage today. I stress the "today" part because my stance has evolved over the last 2 years.

No matter how much I learn about network and cyber security I will never have the knowledge that the hundreds/thousands of engineers and security experts have at Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and Amazon. Those 4 companies provide cloud services for Fortune 500 companies and governments. They have also never been hacked or had any catastrophic failures, data losses or security breaches. I can't do better than that on my own.

If I store all my files myself, and the only copies are on my computers and NAS devices, I alone am an easy target that can eventually be breached by any kid with a copy of Kali Linux if they were gunning for me specifically. But to get at my critical files they have to hack Microsoft, Amazon or Google.
Much tougher. Especially with 2 factor authentication.

I've learned to let go and NOT store important files on my computer. Just the ones I need for quick access. It's just not safe because it's a single point of failure and the most vulnerable one at that. If something happens to that drive, or my home or business (fire, flood, robbery and so on)...all is lost. If I get hit with ransomware all is lost. If all my drives fail on the same day all is lost. If for some strange reason the feds raid my business and take all of my devices all is lost.

I've wasted a lot of hours recovering lost files when a drive failed. Thankfully because of backups I was able to recover from the 2nd and 3rd failures. But I never want to do that again. Sure as rain is wet, a drive will fail. It may be next week or 10 years from now, but they will all eventually fail. I also hate Microsoft's back up and recovery process. System images, recovery disks..it's ridiculous.

Without going into too much detail about how I have everything set up, I basically employ a 3-2-1 backup plan (https://haroldmansfield.com/what-is-a-3-2-1-backup-and-how-do-i-set-it-up/) with a few twists. So if my main drive fails big deal. I install a new one, fresh copy of Windows (or any Linux OS) and I'm up and running. If my office burns down, buy a new computer, plug it in somewhere and I'm back at work.

I used to think of my computers as my office in a box where my entire business and all of it's files resides. That without it I'd be dead in the water. But that's not true anymore. Now I think of it as a tool. A graphical interface. Most of the things I do or access are outside of the computer. or can be.

"Out there. That-a-way"- Capt Kirk, Star Trek, The Motion Picture.

The cloud is just someone elses computers, however that someone else is an expert. I know it's difficult to trust "it" and by no means am I saying that should be your only backup/storage but it should be one of them. A plan B if you will.

You already trust cloud computing and data storage with your money. Your bank (or investment firm) doesn't keep everyone's cash in a safe, nor do they keep your account information in file cabinets behind the counter. It's all digital now and we've been trusting our it with our money, 401k's, investments and health records for years.

Heck, our entire identity..credit, drivers license, property records ( that may still be on paper), SS#....all digital. And who do you think provides the cloud services to store and secure that info? Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Amazon, and Apple. The same people who offer it to you.

If one day you can't access your cloud account because the entire internet is down for any significant time, we're all going to have far bigger problems to worry about. If that does happen, grab some cash, food, some personal protection, and get out of the city.

JMO of course.

05-07-2018, 10:39 AM
Thanks for that insight, Harold!

05-07-2018, 05:07 PM
At Evolving Digital (Digital Marketing Firm) we use iWork (Apple) for all our internal needs. However, we have to use MS Office on a few client projects. For example, one of our clients needs all analytics graphs and charts generated in MS Excel.

Personally, I think Apple's 'Pages' and 'Keynote' are great for creating visually appealing documents and presentations. On the other hand, MS Excel is still the king of spreadsheet, and for a very good reason. I don't think Google or Apple are even close (features and flexibility).

05-14-2018, 07:54 AM
I use G Suite for work! G Suite essentially allows the employees to have their own Gmail accounts with email addresses with the business domain name. By using Google Drive, we can store, access, and share the files in one secure place. We can have easy access to them from any device. G Suite Basic plans come with 30GB of storage for every employee. :-)

05-18-2018, 10:47 AM
"It was just one of those things you had to have because everyone else you did business with had it and you needed to be able to send and access files back and forth on a common platform."

Imagine using Mac for business back then. We paddled upstream way too long. We had to send many files to our computer guy to open.

We use QB via Rightnetworks. Whenever I find some time I will attempt to get away from QB. It is great, but it lacks many basic functions. I get upset paying what I do for it when these functions are not there, I keep addressing them in Feedback. I use Pages sometimes and the photo editor that is in the Mail a lot.

"If one day you can't access your cloud account because the entire internet is down for any significant time, we're all going to have far bigger problems to worry about. If that does happen, grab some cash, food, some personal protection, and get out of the city." - True

Harold Mansfield
05-18-2018, 11:02 AM
"It was just one of those things you had to have because everyone else you did business with had it and you needed to be able to send and access files back and forth on a common platform."

Imagine using Mac for business back then. We paddled upstream way too long. We had to send many files to our computer guy to open.

I remember those days. When you asked people what kind of computer they had and they said "Mac" ( or the other way around if you were the Mac person) you had to jump through a few compatibility hoops and it was still pretty janky.

That was back when both companies refuse to play well together because they were both fighting to be a standard. Thank God they got over that.

Now if we could only get Amazon and Google to stop fighting so that I can get You Tube on my Firestick again :)

11-19-2019, 04:06 AM
G Suite and Office 365 are both great cloud productivity suites. They both enable your business to collaborate, store files online and easily share them. They both free you to work from anywhere using different devices.
We believe that G Suite is a much better choice for small business owners. It is much easier to use, their web and mobile apps are the best, and you probably already use many of their apps like Gmail, Calendar, Photos, Google Docs, and more.
Another advantage with G Suite is pricing. If you are on a basic plan, you can buy more storage, and you get unlimited storage with their business and enterprise plans.
G Suite also has a much simpler admin control panel with tons of documentation. As a small business owner, this alone will save you time when adding employees and managing accounts.
Office 365 is more suitable for enterprise-level businesses where all employees work from an office using a Windows PC. Their desktop apps are top-notch specially if you are in a Windows ecosystem. Also Office 365 plans (https://www.o365cloudexperts.com/compare-office-365-plans/) are much more cheaper than G suite. Also, you can integrate it with DaaS network. Contact your Desktop as a service provider (https://www.clouddesktoponline.com/hosted-desktop-service/) for more information. Also, you can connect with Office 365 migration support (https://www.o365cloudexperts.com/office-365-migration/).
At the end of the day, the choice really comes down to which platform are you more familiar with? If you are using Gmail for your personal email, then you will love G Suite. If you are used to of using outlook, then you will love Office 365.


11-19-2019, 02:28 PM
I use Libre Office. I've gotten used to it and it does what I need. I use the spreadsheet more than the word processor.

As to backup / restore, I used to do disk clones which worked well. I used it a lot for a friends computer that I maintained. He was always trashing his system. I'd just do a restore and a few other things. I'm thinking about using a cloud service to go between Linux and Windows PC's I have. It seems like a good solution for sharing files between machines. I also keep key files on a thumb drive I carry with me.

11-20-2019, 11:47 AM
I use GSuite when creating documents / spreadsheets if they need to be collaborated live on. This is usually work related things with my team. If it's things like personal documents, I use Word. If the spreadsheet requires a more complicated spreadsheet, I will use Excel. Most of the time I can just use GSuite.

11-29-2019, 06:46 AM
You can also try with O365 business premium. includes all of the online services and desktop apps. For larger organizations, Microsoft offers four Office 365 business premium plans (https://www.o365cloudexperts.com/office-365-business-premium/) that support an unlimited number of users. It includes up-to-date versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint for Windows or Mac, OneNote (features vary), and Access and Publisher (PC only). You can also use Microsoft Teams (https://www.o365cloudexperts.com/microsoft-teams/), Skype for business, OneDrive for business and other more tools.

10-22-2020, 03:24 AM
I like office 365 at the moment.

Melanie O
10-27-2020, 03:17 PM
I use Libre Office. I've gotten used to it and it does what I need. I use the spreadsheet more than the word processor.

But is this cloud base? I thought Libre office was just localized software

03-12-2021, 09:15 AM
Office 365 is Microsoft's productivity suite with tools like Word, Exchange, Excel, SharePoint, Teams and more. Because Office 365 is cloud-based, the full-featured experience can be accessed from anywhere, on any device, as long as they're online.

The tools in Office 365 complement each other and work together seamlessly, so it's a must-have for any business.

Here are seven key benefits of Office 365.

Access Files Anywhere
Office 365 allows your organisation to store all the files in the cloud. This means they can be accessed on any device, from any location with an internet connection. For organisations where mobile working is essential, being able to access all the apps and files you need when out of the office is invaluable.

Secure Cloud Storage
Office 365 is a totally secure environment with robust security measures in place, like two-factor authentication, which ensures unauthorised people can't access your files if they happen to get on your device. Threat detection and anti-malware means security threats are identified and stopped immediately, which is particularly important for organisations that deal with confidential data or information. Using Office 365 means your business is free to operate without any concerns for security.

Improved Communication
Office 365 gives users tools to keep communication centralised and straightforward across Skype and Outlook. Skype for Business lets you hold conference calls and meetings with staff and external agencies anywhere in the world, so you can always collaborate and communicate regardless of distance or time difference. Teams provides an instant messaging function where comments can be added and files uploaded at the same time, which is useful for cross-department collaboration and when co-authoring documents. You can also 'at' people on Teams so they receive a notification that a comment is aimed directly at them. All these features mean you can be in constant and immediate contact with teams and individuals wherever they are located and at any time. Yammer is another feature of Office 365 which acts as a kind of social network for your organisation. By posting on your company 'news feed' you can instantly message the entire workforce, and staff receive an email notification when there is a new post so messages aren't missed. Anyone can comment on a post, and you can create different 'channels' in Yammer for different purposes, so you don't always have to post to the entire company.

Predictable spend
Office 365 is paid for on a per user, per month basis, like a subscription. The cost of your licences depends on the level of functionality you choose for your business. Different enterprise levels include different applications and products, which dictates the cost of each licence. Paying per user, per month gives you a predictable outgoing and helps you budget your IT spend for the year ahead. Upgrades are included in the cost of your licences, so there are no unexpected or additional costs. If you buy your licences through Core, you can also change the number of licence you have at any time, if you hire or people leave, for example. That way, you are never over-licensed and there is no waste.

Business Continuity
With files stored in the cloud and regularly backed up, your organisation continue to operate as normal in the case of a disaster at the office. No matter what happens to your physical devices, your email, files and data are safely stored in the cloud. Exchange also has recovery features which mean individual emails or even entire inboxes can be restored if needed. No matter the situation, it can be business as usual if you're using Office 365.

Automatic upgrades
All the essential apps such as Word, Excel and Outlook are included and work online without the need to install any software. Upgrades are performed automatically at predetermined intervals, so you don't have to worry about being on the latest version; that will happen automatically. The expense of buying new software is also eradicated as updates are included in the subscription for your Office 365 licences.

Centralised Collaboration
Office 365 lets you share mailboxes, calendars, contacts and edit documents in real time through collaborative tools. Sharing calendars in Exchange means you can see who in your organisation is available when, so you can schedule meetings that work for everyone, first time round. Shared mailboxes mean multiple people can access the same mailbox, so messages can be filtered to land in the shared mailbox and won't be missed. SharePoint is another integral tool for enabling collaboration. Documents that are saved here can be accessed and worked on by any staff member, and shared as a link in email. Multiple users are also able to edit documents stored in SharePoint in real time, which makes co-authoring easy. You can see who is in the document at any time and even where they're working thanks to little coloured flags which identify each user.

Learn more: Email Migration Service (https://www.o365cloudexperts.com/office-365-migration/)


04-08-2021, 03:01 AM
G Suite and Office 365 have much in common. Both are subscription-based, charging businesses per-person fees every month, in varying tiers, depending on the capabilities their customers are looking for. Although G Suite is web-based, it has the capability to work offline as well. And while Office 365 is based on installed desktop software, it also provides (less powerful) web-based versions of its applications.

03-01-2022, 10:08 AM
Hi Harold, I completely agree with you regarding Google services, it is so simple to switch between emails without having to log in and out. How is it using email on MS Office?