Google Apps vs. Office 365 vs. Zoho Docs

The battle for supremacy in online productivity suites is raging.

By Tony Bradley, PC World |  Cloud Computing

The Office 365 apps offer a more diverse selection of fonts and formatting styles than either Google Apps or Zoho does. More important, those fonts and styles will align with the fonts and styles available in the online apps' desktop counterparts. You can open Office Web Apps inside the appropriate desktop-suite program with the click of a button, and the desktop Microsoft Office suite can save files to the online storage so that you can access them when you're on the go and using the Web apps.

When it comes to spreadsheets, unfortunately, none of the three online packages really deliver the power and flexibility that spreadsheet gurus need. The Web-based tools are sufficient for basic purposes, but lack many advanced features. Office 365 beats the other two, though, in look and feel (especially for users familiar with the Excel 2010 desktop software), as well as in macros and formulas.

Winner: Office 365 Choosing a winner here is difficult, because it is largely a matter of opinion. The unique formatting options in Zoho make that package compelling, but we give the edge to Office 365 for its synchronicity with the look and feel of Microsoft Office.

Files and Storage

Zoho comes with a meager 1GB of online file storage; you can purchase an additional 5GB for $3 per user per month. The space allocated for Zoho email is separate from the data storage and is either 10GB or 15GB, depending on the service plan. Zoho limits you to 10MB file attachments on email, which could become an issue if you're planning to use a document with lots of images, for example.

Google Apps offers the same 1GB of data storage but beats Zoho on email storage, allowing up to 25GB for email, and file attachments as large as 25MB. On top of that, Google recently partnered with Box.net to integrate Google Docs with Box.net's storage. Box.net provides 5GB of data storage for free, so the combination of Google Apps and Box.net delivers a possible 6GB of space.

Of the three online suites, Office 365 stands tall, providing the most storage space by default. The basic Office 365 plan gives you 2GB of data storage space on SharePoint Online; additional space costs $2.50 per gigabyte per user per month. For email, each user has 25GB on the entry-level plan, while higher Office 365 plans have unlimited email storage. Office 365 also allows the biggest file attachments, up to 35MB.

Winner: Office 365 By itself, Office 365 has the edge with its generous file storage. But Google Apps, with its Box.net integration, can provide significantly more data storage capacity.

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Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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