Earlier this year, Microsoft rebranded Office 365 to be Microsoft 365. Today, Google is doing something similar: it’s replacing the G Suite brand with Google Workspace, a new name for the company’s suite of productivity apps.
Along with the new name, Google is introducing new logos for its apps (checkout that new M for Gmail) — but even more importantly, it’s announcing a bunch of new features that brings all its productivity apps together in a completely new way.
The new Google Workspace experience will enable teams to collaborate more effectively. There are a bunch of new features that make this happen — mainly the new picture-in-picture for Google Meet across Docs, Sheets, and Slides. The idea here is that you will be able to review docs, spreadsheets, and presentations while being on a Meet call with the rest of your team.
Chat will also enable users to create and collaborate in real-time on a document with guests. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides will now preview a linked file without having to open a new tab, which Google says will reduce context switching. The company is introducing new Microsoft-inspired “smart chips” that will show contact details when you hover a @mention.
“By connecting you to relevant content and people right in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, Google Workspace helps you get more done from where you already are,” wrote Javier Soltero, who heads Workspace at Google. As you may remember, Soltero previously led Microsoft’s Outlook and Cortana products after his company Acompli got acquired.
Soltero says the new Google Workspace will be coming to education and nonprofit customers in the coming months. The company is introducing a new “business plus” tier for Google Workspace as well.
Google Workspace is a very big, ambitious push from Google. The company has been steadily developing G Suite over the last few years, but the push has been even more noticeable ever since Soltero took over.
A lot of the new features Google is announcing today aren’t available straight away, and they are expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Microsoft is also doing something similar with its Fluid Framework for Microsoft 365, and with G Suite/Google Workspace being one of the main competitors for Microsoft in the productivity business, it will be interesting to see how both the companies develop their new productivity experiences, especially with the new generation of remote working in mind.