Google to Microsoft


I’ve been thinking about making the jump from Google(email, docs, calendar, etc) to Microsoft’s offerings(, Office, OneDrive, etc). Are there any pros and cons to doing so? I’d most likely buy into Office 365, and I’m okay doing so. So the cost isn’t much of an issue. I guess my main concern is if I leave Google, I’ll be missing out on something.

I work on Windows 10 laptop/desktop, and currently have iOS for mobile. Though I jump to Android every now and then. Also, this is purely consumer, not business.

Sorry if this has been posted before, but I did not find anything in my search. Thanks for the advice!

Comments (23)

23 responses to “Google to Microsoft”

  1. Chris_Kez

    Having used both over the past year or so (our company moved from Office 365 to G Suite, but I still use Office for my personal stuff), I don't expect you'll really be missing out on anything big. You'll have some growing pains adjusting to the UI and re-learning how to do some stuff; and you'll probably get inordinately upset about some features that are missing. If you're a big user of extensions, that might be the one thing you miss. has an okay assortment of extensions, and desktop Outlook has so many built in features that it obviates the need for many extensions, but if you're used to what you have then changing can be annoying. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

  2. RR

    You didn't state the reason why you want to switch. That probably matters for getting good advice.

    I use Microsoft services for the most part. I am very satisfied with the offerings. I think Microsoft has been innovating in office at a very high clip (probably pushed by Google and others). A few weeks ago I had to do a presentation (hadn't done one in like ~8 years since I left the corporate world), the powerpoint & other tools of today are like night and day from what I used prior. In hours, I was building like picture and video collages with music overlay using Photos App, with zero experience(I know Google may have similar apps). But powerpoint was also giving me design tips, formatting pages for me, etc (I think that's the AI thing getting in there) all I did was type bullets. not sure if Google has something equivalent, but the bigger point is how improved powerpoint is vs. my days as a consultant. And across the office board like that word, excel, onenote, lots of new tools that make it like stone age was 10 years ago.

    I come across Google services often enough naturally when others share stuff over their freeware system (and I also have gmail). I think they are usable, but nothing special, because on the flip side as well, Microsoft has taken the edge off whatever new thing Google was doing. You can put all the Microsoft files online and share them too, real time, just like Google docs. But I find Google UI generally ugly actually.

    But I think people get used to what they use with that integrated muscle memory; if you have been using Google stuff, you will likely find it quite hard to switch, because no other provider's will be exact replica. Best scenario is if your switch is driven by a strong reason, like a job where you have to make a living etc. But if its something abstract like philosophical, "Google is no longer do no evil" (or whatever their commercial needs demand today) it will be a tough row to hoe.

  3. wright_is

    I've never really used Google services, other than search - and I now use Duckduckgo. I found the Microsoft offering very good over the years (my first hotmail address comes from the time before Microsoft bought the service!).

    That Microsoft don't use so much data gobbling is, for me, a positive point in using it. Not as good as running your Owncloud server or similar, but less invasive than Google.

  4. illuminated with web access and android app are nice. The office on the other hand is somewhat annoying. I have personal license and 3 devices that I use regularly. Every time I use a different computer it says that office is unlicensed. I am OK with that and I am OK deactivating office on one computer and activating it on another but the process is just too slow and cumbersome for occasional use. Why can't software just do deactivation/activation automatically? It is annoying and it costs money. I am thinking of just ditching office and switching completely to onedrive for my occasional office needs.

  5. dcdevito

    I did it 3 years ago and the whole experience felt very disjointed and jarring. Today the only MSFT service I use is OneNote - and even then I don't like it because G Suite/Google offers no viable alternative, so sharing notes is a pain, especially on mobile. I use G Suite and I didn't realize how much I relied on Google's services, and how good they really are, until I stopped using them. Even little things like domain registration for my business account, good grief! That was so difficult I just kept it in Google and then decided to cancel my Personal O365 account and go back to Google/G Suite. The most jarring difference in apps was using Outlook for personal use, it felt so "90s" and antiquated. Inbox (by Gmail) is the best mail app I've ever used.

    Google Docs has improved over the years, and I must say Sheets is definitely the most improved app in the suite. I use a lot of IFTTT integrations and find that GDocs is just the way to go. And with my Google Photos account and Google Drive the whole thing just feels more complete overall for my personal use.

  6. sgtaylor5

    At one time, I had an Exchange Online 1 account. The settings were made for a much larger organization's use (I'm a business of one). Got too frustrated; moved to GSuite. Oh, boy - talk about settings for apps I'll never use! I switched to an iPhone and a used MacBook Pro, and the draw of GSuite lessened to the point so that when I found a much better deal for Exchange Online 1 through GoDaddy, for a third of the price, I went for it. Microsoft seems to have simplified the settings to the point I can setup things the way I want and leave the rest alone. Hardly touch them now.

  7. simont

    The only downside is it you can't use your own domain name for unless you have a business 365 account.

  8. Chris_Kez

    In reply to TheJoeFin:

    Gmail and the related G Suite apps will do a passable job allowing people who only have Google stuff to read and interact with Office documents. It's funny because on the business side, the biggest issue we have since switching to G Suite is that all of our clients use Office and expect all files to be delivered via email as such-- no sending of links to a Google Doc allowed. Yes, the Google team will tell you that you can switch seamlessly back and forth between formats but that has not been our experience. Trying to round-trip documents from Google to Office back to Google inevitably breaks something.

    • offTheRecord

      In reply to Chris_Kez:

      "Trying to round-trip documents from Google to Office back to Google inevitably breaks something."

      Yep. In my experience, this has been the most frequent issue. Either suite will pretty much handle most of what we need to do, but interoperability isn't quite there, yet.

  9. EcceLex

    I just feel that Gsuite is much more comfy, however if you're a power user, O365 has no credible alternative.

    I use it at work (I'm a lawyer), and the list of things that I couldn't do with Gsuite is endless.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to EcceLex:

      Yep. Office 365 will feel big, heavy, and ponderous by comparison.

      • RR

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        You kinda have it both ways with some of your Microsoft complaints. It's either O365 are big, heavy, and ponderous by comparison to Google's but when they make UWP items, then the Apps are not command dense enough in comparison to W32.

      • Daekar

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        You know, I see those adjectives thrown around, but I'm pretty sure they're meaningless at this stage. Office runs like lightning on every machine I've tried it on except a tablet that cost me $70. It might be bigger and more complicated than G-Suite, but it's not exactly burdensome software. From a user perspective, the only thing bigger about it is the feature list.

    • Bats

      In reply to EcceLex:

      How exactly do you "power" use Office for your firm?

      If my firm, we just use Word Doc templates for letters and documents. That's actually powered by a plug-in created by the home office and is installed on everyone's machine. That capability is available on Google Docs, but via extension. 

      As for Excel, we use it mainly for indexing documents/productions and some light analysis, particularly when it comes to determining duplicate information regarding custodians via Pivot Tables. I don't know if this is can be done using Google Sheets, but being that I've been doing this for years, I am sure someone created an extension by now, to perform similar or better tasks. 

      All these docs go into Filesite, which is a plug in for Outlook. LOL...everyone's Outlook is so filled with "plug-ins" the program crashes for a number of people. 

      As for Outlook, it's powerful, but not everyone uses or knows how to use it correctly. Unlike Gmail/Contacts you can't create a distribution list to circulate documents unless we actually give it to an IT Admin. With Gmail, that task is supereasy to do. Now with GDPR, in effect, you can protect your recipient's identity by creating and sending that mail to the "group" rather than CC'ing every single person and their email address using Outlook.

      Perhaps the most important software is adobe acrobat, for actual bate stamping and document management

      • AnOldAmigaUser

        In reply to Bats:

        Is there any particular reason you feel that your experience is more valid than EcceLex's? I ask only for information.

      • Bob Shutts

        In reply to EcceLex:

        How exactly do you "power" use Office for your firm?

        We use CompareDocs for Word. As its name suggests, you can compare different versions of a Word Doc or a PDF and it will highlight the differences. It's invaluable if you're drafting a lot of revisions or if a colleague returns your draft with changes. Not sure something like this is available for Google Docs.

  10. Daekar

    I would say that the biggest boon to me and my usage patterns is OneDrive. It used to be a bit clunky, but the sync client and web interface have gotten really good. Since we have the 1TB from O365, OneDrive is the fabric that stitches together all of my devices - I even use the web client on Ubuntu, and there is a wonderful Android sync client called OneSync (I think) that will synchronize arbitrary OneDrive files/folders into the native android filesystem rather than holding them captive inside an app.

    The functionality you might miss out on is that which results from Google's inability to mine your personal information for data. For example, I block Google from accessing any of my searches on Bing or... well, anything really. As a result, Google Maps doesn't know anything to suggest... which is fine by me, the app still works just fine. Those tiny personalization touches are pretty much all you'll see go away. Well, that and the Contacts part of Microsoft accounts doesn't seem quite as consistent as Google contacts. It's not insurmountable, it just might require that you clean your contacts up a bit after migrating them.

  11. Daekar

    In reply to TheJoeFin:

    That's interesting. Literally nobody I know or work with uses the Google ecosystem for office tasks, it's all Microsoft Office stuff. If I used G-suite, working with our company attorneys and Board would be an absolute nightmare.

    From my limited experience with Google, I will say that the one thing which will take some getting used to is the Contacts management part of a Microsoft account. It's just not as consistent as the Google contacts are. Everything else seems to be the same or better, in my opinion.

  12. Tom Wilson

    I always recommend going with the herd. Work&friends&family all use MS Office, so I do the same. It just makes life easier.

  13. Tony Barrett

    If you do, just consider it as if going from the dark side to the darker side. MS are no saints, and they'll happily slurp up all your data and take all the money you're prepared to give them.

  14. jprestig

    Thanks, everyone. I appreciate all the posts!

    I think I'll end up sticking with Google services for the most part. After playing around with MS' offerings, the only thing I really like much more than Google is the Outlook web email interface. The new is very nice, but only the mail aspect. I know they are still in beta, but I'm not a fan of the calendar and contact management. OneDrive is nice but the photo backup seems clunky compared to Google Photos, and no support for live photos. The Office apps all seemed fine - web and desktop versions. But I guess I wouldn't really gain anything with them over G Suite.

    As RR said, I didn't really give a reason for exploring this change. I guess my reason would mostly be because I really like Microsoft. I'm a longtime fan of Windows/Xbox, but never really used their email/Office apps outside of work. I've been on Gmail since the beginning so like many people, I just expanded my uses with them over the years. So just wanted to explore other options out there.

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