As LifeHacker hasn’t published my comment, I’m still waiting for verification email to arrive, I’ve decided to write this post. I must admit that I’m a little angry after reading article comparing Office 365 with Google Apps. Actually only one paragraph made me mad, so I would quote it here entirely before I would get to the point:
Google Apps v. Office 365 Feature Showdown: Which Should You Use?The way the user interacts with the application suite may be the biggest difference between Google Apps and Office 365. When you use Google Apps, you live in your Web browser. You edit documents and spreadsheets in Google Docs through your browser, you get your email through Gmail, and you chat with colleagues using Google Talk – all in your browser.
Conversely, Office 365 requires you download a plug-in that will link your desktop with the cloud-based service, if you want to access those features. You’ll need Microsoft Office installed on your desktop already (to make use of offline and cloud-based features as opposed to webapps only,) and you’ll need the .NET framework installed. You’ll also need Lync installed on your system as well if your organization will leverage global presence for instant messaging and chat. It’s a hefty list of system requirements you’ll need just to get started on the enterprise level, especially compared to Google Apps’ requirements: a supported browser.
I must say I find the second part, about O365, a total bullshit. But let’s break it into points:
1. The part about necessity of plug-in installation before you can work with O365 - Well obviously you need it for offline mode, at least if you want to use the service smoothly, as you always can upload your docs manually after editing them on your desktop. But you still have option to edit your docs offline (in Office) and upload them later, so plug-in isn’t such necessary after all. And Google Apps do not offer any offline mode at the moment, they’ve did (read more here), but it was clunky and was dropped. They’ve promised offline support to be released this summer, but it hasn’t been done yet. So actually Google Apps and O365 are equal at this point. Now I must tell that next part confuses me a little, we read “to make use of… cloud-based features as opposed to webapps only). I don’t get it. You can use all apps in Office 365 without a plug-in, this is how I’m using them. I don’t know what “cloud-based features” author is referring to. If I understand it wrong, please let me know, English is my second language after all. To summarize, this point is pointless:)
- The part about necessity of Lync installation to be able to use chat - Again, bullshit. You can use Lync through OWA and it works great. I’m using it at work and at home, only through my browser. So, fail again.
I hate when somebody is writing lies (or maybe it’s just lack of knowledge) just to proof his point (in this case that Google Apps are fully browser accessible and O365 not). I find it lame. Maybe I’m overreacting, but it’s just how I feel. As I’ve written above (and you can always check by yourself, you don’t have to believe me) all services of O365 are fully accessible via browser, there is no need to install any additional app (plug-in), you don’t have to have Office on your desktop. And let’s be clear here, I’m using both Google Apps and O365 every day, and I find both really useful. Both have their strong and weak points, so I’m trying to use the best parts of them to get my work done as comfortable as possible. Quoted article was written by some Google fanboy (or maybe it’s paid advertisement) and is using poor arguments to make the point. I hate such kind of journalism.