Battle Royale – Google Drive vs Microsoft Office

Google Microsoft News

Two gigantic online multi-user document editing software at war, and leaving one in substantial uncertainty.  How did this battle begin? Find out as we will explore the broad forces that are at work between two online software – Google Docs and Microsoft Office. What is this battle about, and what is at stake? These are the questions that plague the internet.

Google is one of the largest search engine corporations in history. Google has over 50 tools and applications that are widely used through out the globe. Clearly, this Android is fully equipped with Google Search – to search and destroy any inconsistent information that is not Google approved, Gmail bombers – to send advertisements into enemy mailboxes, Google Alerts – to alert Googlers from any attacks, and the most notorious, Google Docs AKA Google Drive – which may work similar to GN Drive in the future. Introduced in 2010, Google Docs had features that were unique for it’s time. It was the ultimate tool for groups of individuals. It gave them the ability to share a document and allowed other users to edit the one document simultaneously, and proved to be one of the most popular document editing software used online in history. It was an innovative tool that brought billions of groups of students, and businesses together. This area of the market was left untouched for a long period of time until recently. Recently, Google and Microsoft have released tablet applications that emphasize document editing and cloud integration.

Microsoft's bite

Is Microsoft taking a bite out of Apple, or are they working together?

Microsoft is one of the largest software corporations of all time. Microsoft was the first to introduce the PC, and the Operating System, Windows. In fact, at one point, Microsoft was infamous for taking a bite out of an apple in 1997. Today they are recovering from the many times that Steve Balmer kept repeating the word “developers” and his screaming/jumping up and down causing micro quakes. Without these micro quakes causing their developers headaches, Microsoft is coming back under the leadership of Satya Nadella. So what is in their little window of opportunity? With the release of MS Office 2013, Microsoft has bundled an online version of their office 2013 program which includes Word 2013, Excel 2013, Powerpoint 2013, and Onenote 2013 together which can be accessed by their cloud solution, OneDrive (Previously known as SkyDrive).  With the integration with Outlook.com and OneDrive, Outlook 2013 users are able to collaboratively work with each other on a document. This opens another door to a similar technology like Google Docs. Curious of how do these two software stack up against each other? Is it worth it to move over to Microsoft Outlook? Is the Android, Google Doc at risk? Find out as we diverge into the the two products.

Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Docs addons

Microsoft Office

Is Microsoft being eaten by Google, or is Microsoft slicing Google’s head off?

With the debut of Google Drive, Google Docs became an integrated part of Google Drive. Google Drive is a competitor to many cloud solutions in the market for syncing data on Microsoft Windows, iOS, and Android devices. Google’s Desktop app allows their user to share their office documents with other Google drive users, and competes with other cloud services such as Dropbox. Although Google Docs is mainly use for sharing single documents and editing with multiple users together, for example, if someone is working on a school project, he/she, plus their group mates can edit a document at the same time on different computers. Instead of having to share one computer, they can use multiple computers; hence, more work is done in less time. However, the software has many limitations. Google Docs’s word processing capabilities are nothing extraordinary which may disappoint many users. For example, there is no way of adding new clip art, references, or cover pages. Macros, and developer functions do not exist. Users will need to convert their document into a new .gdoc format which is not convenient, and may be cumbersome. On the other hand, there is a way to increase the feature list of Google Docs. There are add-ons for Google Docs to extend the features of Google Docs. For example, EasyBib Bibliography creator can help you with referencing and creating a work-cited/bibliography, and Lucid charts can allow you to make nice flow charts. These “add-ons” certainly gives Google Docs some fuel against Microsoft’s Outlook online, but is it enough?

OneDrive, Microsoft Office Online, and Office 2013

Microsoft pieced together the concept of a collective work load in the release of Microsoft OneDrive and Office 2013. First off, the user will need to have a OneDriveMicrosoft account. In terms of functionality and features, the Office Online offers the basic text editor tools. The whole point is to provide a tunnel for multiple computers to edit the document at the same time while keeping the online version as lightweight as possible.

At this point, there are still some compatibility issues with office online. In many cases, we found that the online version of word does not capture font properly, and even the default font, Calibre is sometimes bugged out. Many times on our docs’s text is seen as SimSun font or Arial on Microsoft Office Online once converted. Therefore, there are many bugs that Microsoft need to squash. Regardless, of the shortcomings of their office online service, the most impressive portion was the Microsoft’s integration of Office 2013 software with Onedrive.

If you have Microsoft Office 2013, or a subscription to Office 365, you are able to access the more advanced office features while you are editing with your group-mates. The only drawback is that the user will have to continuously manually refresh their documents to see the changes the other person has made. This might be a bit cumbersome to some users; however, there is no other software that can offer this kind of service with in an application.

Original font was Calibre before uploading to Office Online. Now it's Simsun, or Arial.

Office Online changed the font from Calibre to Simsun, and Arial.

Overall, this new integration of OneDrive and Office 2013 is a step forward. Microsoft’s integration of Office 2013 with OneDrive will ensure that businesses and students will adopt this technology as they did with Google Docs in the past. Since Surface RT tablets have native Office 2013 installed, this means the integration certainly gives more incentives to purchase a Microsoft Surface RT tablet. As Office 2013 will provide businesses, and students the ability to work as a team more effectively than before. Will this lead to the increase in sales of their Window Surface 2 RT tablets?

As a counter to this new product from Microsoft, Google released a surprise for iOS users. Since currently, iOS only has an Office 365 app, Google has released Google Drive, and Google Docs for iOS for free. Thus, iOS users can use Google Docs on their iPad and edit docs with their friends for free. In the end you get what you pay for. Purchase a subscription of office 365 or office 2013 for the full experience, or use Google Docs and Google Drive for the least expensive option which has many minor inconveniences. Microsoft Office Online is also free with a Microsoft account; however, as stated before, it requires some bug squashing action. The plus side to office online is that there is no file conversion that the user will need to overcome. Now will Apple develop a similar document editing app for their iCloud services?

Steve is a co-founder of DeviceCritique. He is a technology expert who takes a unique perspective by blending humanity, technology, and business. He visions that there are many untapped technology products that have yet to emerge, and plans to explore those ideas with you in his articles. Steve is currently working toward his Bachelor of Commerce while simultaneously juggling work and his passion in writing.