Office 365 vs. Google for Work: A cloud comparison for small businesses

The price of enterprise collaboration and productivity tools has dropped considerably

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The price of enterprise collaboration and productivity tools for small- and medium-size businesses has dropped considerably. Cloud-based services from Microsoft, Google and others are available for what many folks pay for a single cup of coffee.

Google beats Microsoft in the price war, with an entry-level offering that starts at $4.17 per month, per user with an annual commitment. Microsoft's cheapest plan costs $5 per month, per user with an annual commitment. Both companies offer flexible month-to-month options that start at $5 a month for the Google Apps suite and $6 a month for Microsoft's online versions of Office. Price obviously isn't the only concern for smaller businesses but it can be particularly important to young startups. Flexible pricing plans allow businesses to add or cancel employees as needed and can add up to significant savings over time. 

With competitive and relatively affordable prices, the choice between Google and Microsoft comes down to comfort, familiarity and brand affinity. All of the options come with the basics, such as Web-based email, calendar, messaging, documents, spreadsheets and presentation slides, but there are some notable differences in the features Google and Microsoft make available to business customers.

Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google for Work  

Mobile is a key differentiator between Office 365 and Google for Work, because Microsoft charges almost twice as much as Google for access to its mobile apps. A small business can use Google's full arsenal of smartphone and tablet apps for as little as $4.17 per month per user, while Microsoft charges at least $8.25 a month for the privilege.

[Related Analysis: Google for Work vs. Microsoft Office 365: A comparison of cloud tools

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