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Small businesses are trading Microsoft Office for Google Apps
For many years Microsoft has been the undisputed champion when it comes to office suites, but the growth of online offerings from Google heralds a challenge to the crown.
Working in the cloud
Microsoft Office has been the package of choice for businesses all over the world for years, but the advent of the cloud and the growth of Google's products means there are big changes afoot.
Google has recently introduced a series of cloud-based apps that are designed to offer the same functions as Microsoft's Office suite. From editable text documents to complicated spreadsheets and shareable calendars, Google Apps for Business offers all the same essentials as Microsoft – but instead of running through a network or individual desktop, the information is stored online in the cloud.
This means businesses can share access to all documents at all times. Microsoft has also launched a cloud service – Office 365 – but for many businesses the tide has already turned towards Google. Now there are more than five million businesses making use of Google Apps.
Google Apps versus Microsoft Office 365
While Microsoft Office remains a strong, adaptable and powerful option, many businesses are finding that the sleek and minimalist approach offered by Google is more suited to their needs.
Not only does Google offer a simpler and slightly smaller product range, its pricing plans are more straightforward and its very easy for businesses to simply plug in and get started. By contrast, some of Microsoft's products and services are not necessary for the average small business, and its packages are unwieldy and can be hard to choose between.
Microsoft may have the upper hand when it comes to longevity, but Google is hot on its heels as far as innovation is concerned. When Microsoft launched an iPad-ready version of Office in March, Google pipped it with Docs for a wide range of iOS devices in May – including iPhones and the iPod touch.
If you've been using the same tools for a while now, it might be worth exploring some alternatives and finding out if new products like Google Apps might better serve your business needs.
The challenge is always change, but the benefits financially, productivity, and ease may far outweigh that concern .