Top 5 reasons for Microsoft fans to dump Google Docs for Office Online

Most likely, if you are working online with office documents, you and your friends are using Google’s Docs service. While the web-based office suite from Google has served a good purpose since February 2006, when the service was integrated into the major suite of Google Apps, it might be time to move over in 2014 and let Microsoft's Office Online suite (officeonline.com (opens in new tab)) truly shine.

The main complaint from users of Google Docs that you often hear is that it feels like a stripped down or light version of Microsoft Office. While Microsoft has had an online Office suite for a while now, it was buried within their OneDrive web interface. Now though, the company has launched its own site and revamped the service.

Here are the top five reasons you should be using Office Online instead of Google Docs to accompany your other devices.

1) It is a free version of Microsoft Office - not a stripped down editor

The most obvious reason you should be using Office Online instead of Google Docs is the fact that it brings the full power of the Microsoft Office suite to the web for absolutely no price. Simply login to the Office Online website and you have access to Word Online, OneNote Online, PowerPoint Online and Excel Online.

Such a great deal might even have you wondering why you should pay for the offline version of Microsoft Office when the online version is completely free – after all, Office 365 Home Premium is going to run you $9.99 per month.

While the offline version of Office is smoother in performance and includes a bit more features than the web-based version, the online service will be more than enough for many users and a breath of fresh air for those coming from Google Docs.

2) It will instantly sync your documents with OneDrive

When you work online with Office, your documents can be saved to your OneDrive folders and then be automatically synced to your main computer whether it is a Windows PC or even a Mac.

Windows 8 introduces tight integration into Microsoft’s online cloud storage, and you might even notice that they make the OneDrive option more upfront than your local document storage within Windows Explorer.

Working with Office Online instead of Google Docs insures that your files always stay updated and available on all of your various devices. Sure, one could use Google’s Drive application, but it does not have the same tight operating system integration that Microsoft’s own solution offers within Windows 8 and even Windows Phone devices.

3) It allows you to collaborate in a familiar place

When working on a team-based project, the last thing that you want to have to worry about is whether or not your teammates are aware of how to use Google Docs (not to mention Google Drive along with that). When you work with Office Online, all of your team members probably already know how to use the world’s most popular Office suite.

The fact is simple as that, you are collaborating in a well-known environment, so you will not have to worry about managing any of the technical details or teaching a coworker something new. Office Online looks exactly like the last few versions of Office with the now familiar ribbon bar design.

In addition, Office Online now has up-to-the-second collaboration abilities just like Google Docs, so you and your team members can work on the same document while seeing changes in real time. Do not waste time teaching everyone a new service – stay productive and use Office Online.

4) It is expandable with Office 365

While Office Online is a great free variation of Microsoft’s offline Office suite, you can always upgrade and get more if you desire. By adding on an Office 365 subscription, you can expand the access and abilities of Microsoft’s online services.

For example, if you purchase Office 365 Home Premium for $9.99 a month, you will gain access to the full offline versions of Office for up to five PCs and five tablets. In addition to making your money really worth it, Microsoft will also include 60 minutes of world-calling per month via Skype – the perfect way to collaborate with your friends and coworkers. If you are not sporting a family or do not need the extra computer access, you can sign up for the forthcoming Office 365 Personal subscription for $6.99 a month, which covers a single individual.

If your team is using Google Docs and needs to get a bit more creative or expand the abilities of the platform they are working on, then they are out of luck. Google Docs has no upgradable solution and you are always stuck with a lighter version of Office.

5) It works best with the Microsoft products you use everyday

These days, when you use various services, software, and hardware, living within a single ecosystem will make your situation easier. Statistically, you are already more likely to be using a PC and since you are reading this site, there is an excellent chance that you are using a Windows Phone and have an Xbox somewhere in your house.

The idea of a company forming ecosystems is not only to maintain control, but also to create a single universal user experience. As an example, Office comes pre-built into Windows Phone and offers quick access to documents from the cloud via OneDrive. Your devices are designed to work well with all Microsoft products and services – you are within the ecosystem.

Office Online fits perfectly into the Microsoft ecosystem and all of your devices are granted to play along. Google Docs, well you know their history with Microsoft – you might be waiting a bit of time (or forever) for an official Google Docs app to hit any Redmond designed platforms.

Conclusion

Google Docs is a great solution and that is why it has been used in the past by students, business persons, and stay-at-home moms alike. But with Microsoft’s introduction of Office Online, it just does not seem to make sense to stick with a weaker online office suite in 2014.

As stated, Office Online is essentially a free version of Microsoft Office that you can always have access to on the go. In addition, by using the company’s OneDrive solution, you can be sure that your documents are ready and backed up across all of your devices.

Want to upgrade? No problem, simply add-on an Office 365 subscription and you will find yourself using the world’s most powerful and versatile Office suite across your PCs and tablets.

What do you think of Office Online – in spite of our top five reasons, do you still prefer Google Docs over Microsoft’s Office Online?

163 Comments
  • #1 Google.
  • you shouldn't be here man
  • I think you misunderstood with what Starstrider said. IMO, when he said #1 Google, it's means that the very first reason to switch from gdocs to office online is ... because gdocs is Google. I could be wrong though. But that's what I catch from his comment :D
  • That's is what is translate that to, also. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • "you shouldn't be here man"     Seriously?  Fanboys only?   Are your convictions so weak that you can't bear to hear a contrary idea?   
  • +620 The main reason for me haha.
  • Google is wack, tha only thing I like about Google is YOU TUBE
  • The only thing I use from google is mytube
  • The only Google service I use is xtube.
  • I'll give them two #1's
    < ^ >(-_-)< ^ >
  • He means #1 reason to dump Google Docs is Google.
  • :D too bad they basically rule mobile. I'd love to avoid them with I'm carefully considering my loyalties. MSFT seems to be basically dead in the consumer space with Satya saying "it was time to face reality" and giving windows 8 the middle finger yesterday. And how long until BYOD kills them on the enterprise too?. So I'm looking for an alternative to all my MSFT choices (basically everything) and google is making the list way too often for my liking. I guess time to root for Tizen?  
  • At what moment do you see him giving Windows the middle finger? He said that next week (BUILD conference) will be all about Windows and related MS products. That's multiple days, whereas they only dedicated about an hour for their new Office product. Not to mention that Office and Windows are two separate products that can perfecly exist independently .
  • It is a metaphor. I don't know what your expectations for build are but all the leaks about gemeni indicate late 2014 release which means basically if you're betting on MSFT own tablets and own touch OS to have the best touch office experience, you're out of luck. If you're a customer who purchased their devices and their OS hoping not to be treated like a second class citizen, well you were wrong. and IMO that is basically the guy giving windows the middle finger because you know what? those that bought his product and story deserve better as they are his biggest fans. If that is how you treat your biggest fans, why do I want to be your customer?
  • It's indeed the #1 reason to quit gdocs!
  • Google is #2. Number 2 as in poop
  • ┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐ They get two #1's
  • I like yours better but I did it first...
  • I agree. Google has the #1 cloud office. Google Docs is a waaaaaayyyy better online office experience. It's collaborative capabilities and its offline mode capabilities and its stability/reliability is much better. MS Office online wins when it comes to table in the word processor app though
  • truly.. google is the best. We get to create fillable forms for free. Moreover google is more productive, easy to use and the UI has become beautiful.  
  • No need for me to switch. I was smart to never use any Google services, ever. Except YouTube by default...sadly.
  • Same here.  I used Chrome for a hot minute back in the day when IE was terrible, and I had a Droid 2 with the keyboard before the HTC Trophy came out.  I completely deleted my Google account a few years ago and it felt great. The only downside is that I can't watch "age restricted" videos on youtube since I can't log in.  It doesn't bother me too much, and I know lots of other sites to use if I'm really looking for something a bit more salacious. 
  • "age restricted" videos = pr0n (IMHO) :3
  • No, you just can't watch anything "mature," meaning trailers/reviews of some M-rated games, and other such content. It's moronic.
  • What browser do you use now? I use IE11. Its fricking Amazing. its faster then Chrome and FireFox. I was using chomr for, years... Back then i didnt even know much about anything computer related... I thought Google was Better then Bing, without ever trying Bing (Typical Person)... what a mistake that was. I didnt even know Microsoft owned Bing, or IE... very stupid of me lol.... Also, i tried Chrome ONCE, and saw it was  a bit faster. So i stuck with it. Till a few months ago while i tried IE 11... never going back.... I literally ONLY use Chrome, to edit my G+ Account, witch i need for YouTube... since Google says, LITERALLY, "Your browser is outdated, please upgrade to a more modern browser like Chrome" when using IE... lIke fuck off Google... it only works corerctly when you use Chrome. Anything else and it says its out dated... if you dont use Chrome, it just wont load pages, the layout is REALLY different... It seems alomost as if... Google purposly did that.... Anyways, I only use FireFox to get Bing Search Points. You know how you can get 15 points a day be doing searches (30 on mondays)? Well i have my PC, while im asleap. To launch Firefox with a Random thing into Bing. And it counts... so i get 15 (On mondays 30) points every day for Bing, without having to ever make the search myself. Now im hapily sitting here with my Gold Bing Rewards account.
  • Ie is good except for the lack of extensions. Firefox is the only practical alternative. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Exactly this, can't imagine an internet without adblock or element hider!
  • It has both of those you know, ever addon from Chrome o used, BetterTTV, AblockPlus, etc are all on IE
  • Enhanced Steam is NOT on IE, though.
  • The main, and most used Addons are on IE. Anything else has about a 50% chance of not being on it. Addons like that, witch are not "Big" (Popular) are not really useful anyways. If you really want that to come to IE, ask the Dev.
  • Yes, but FF is bloated :(
  • Good to see that IE, (aka: the browser we loved to hate), is gaining credibility with latest revisions. For those who are an&l about comparisions, the can try running EcmaScript test262 (offical JavaScript conformance test suite with over 11k tests) on their beloved browsers and compared the stats with IE11 (even IE10!). Nonetheless, i wish IE team gets this issue fixed once forever: http://connect.microsoft.com/IE/feedback/details/735370/ie-amnesia-forgets-all-user-preferences
  • IE's rendering engine is great but the UI and features are far behind chrome and FF. Basically it was the last browser to cloud sync, and its various dialogs and settings are still looking like IE6. With the demise of MSFT in the consumer space, I'm wondering if IE stands a chance given nobody will use it on iOS and Android for they can't, or won't if they could. I almost wish MSFT would make a new browser from scratch based on webkit's engine. don't even call it IE and basically tout it as faster than chrome, which has become bloated in its attempt to become an OS.
  • First you admitted IE's rendering engine (namely Trident) is great. If you are refereeing to layout rendering engine, then the EcmaScipt benchmark i was talking about has nothing to do with rendering engine, but everything to do with JavaScript engine called Chakara (at least till IE10). Secondly, why should Microsoft change the rendering engine, which according to you and stats is "great", why not just build a renewed UI with tons of options on top of a great thing? BTW have you run tried running the official Javascript test and saw the results http://test262.ecmascript.org/? Its not worth dumping the whole bunch of engines because of the UI/UX related issues..
  • I'm not referencing your benchmark. Why should they change it? because chrome and safari are extremely dominant in mobile meaning it would make development of this new browser much easier and faster (key in mobile when you're losing). They take google's approach and grab a webkit base and then polish it further to their needs. There is a ton of markup compatible with mobile browsers that fumbles on mobile IE. that problem would be significantly reduced by sharing the webkit guts with the mobile heavy weights. As much as I like the IE engine, MSFT is no longer a dominant power and a great way to get some of their speed back would be to just embrace the winners, in this case webkit. There is a precedent for this in the "new" microsoft where they embrace technologies they didn't create. For example, hadoop was embranced in favor of dryad and MSFT story in distirbuted computing on azure suddenly became appealing.
  • Your saying the mobile IE is bad? Have you ever used it? Its better then the desktop IE11. There is a big desktop update coming, so that could change
  • Still use Chrome only becoz i have hundreds of bookmarks and amazing themes.But still i am MS Fan now.Loving the Lumia experience.Will give a try to IE11 when i format my pc.
  • IE, FireFox, and Chrome (Dont know about others) have the ability to import Favorites/Bookmarks from eachother. So thats not a problem. And IE 11 looks amazing the way it is. Chrome has alot of "Extra" space that allows you to have Themes... IE Has pretty much the Forward/Back buttons, Adress Bar, Tabs, and some optional things like a Bookmark bar and Folders. So theres ALOT of space for the website, making you see more of the page. So theres not much room for Themes anywyas, thats what i like about IE, theres no extra garbage you dont want, anyhting you dont want can be changed or removed from Veiw, theres ALOT, more visual options for locations of things, then in something like Chrome. But your Windows Theme color cn make it look different, and in IE11, you can make a Webpage App. So if i did that for YouTube, it would be IE, but everything will be "YouTube" theamed, so it will be more Red then Vanilla IE. And the Icon will be the icon for the page (in this case its the YouTube logo)
  • Well, the only reason i use Chrome is it allows Sync including the browse history & it's neat integration with the Google ecosystem.
  • IE11 Syncs everything too. Lets say I have my Windows 8.1 Laptop. I then go and buy a Surface. Everything from IE, Bookmarks, etc etc Will be Synced over to my Surface. Along with othr Windows Settings. (It kind of combines them together.)
  • but wont' sync with your WP or win 7 machines. I'm not sure about xbox but I bet it won't. :( this is typical MSFT: half assing everything all the time.
  • Yes it doesnt Sync to WP (Witch could change in the WP 1.8)   If your using Windows 7, you dont have IE11. IE11 is for Windows 8+ Machines. So theres no problem. And why is anyone still using Win7? (Other then Buisness programs that stupidly only work with that OS) Win8 is a uprade from Win7, it has everything Windows 7 has, but, the start menu is a screen. Thats literally it. And the screen is more usful then the Menu. Its like a second Desktop. Win8 is like a PC and Tablet compatible OS. The Desktop, works good for PC. The Start Screen works good for Touch/Tablets. (And the Start Screen works good on PC too, just how the Desktop works good on Touch/Tablets. Its just slightly less so. So its better to use the respective areas for your device) Like really, if people are so mad about a menu being a more usefull screen... i... i dont even know what to say...
  • IE11 works great on Win7. Nice step up from IE10.
  • When in Mac, Firefox. When in Windows 8, most of the time I use IE10 (yes ... it still the old IE10 on W8 Enterprise since I can't update the 8 to 8.1 without approval of IT admin) and occasionally Firefox if something wrong with IE (or rather, something wrong with the websites ^^a).
  • Good point for YouTube.
    It make me sick when Google bought YouTube. And Android (the company). Actually there are buying with the rate of one company per week. Just hovering whatever is worth buying. Sleeping again?
  • Google forms. Sadly office.com has no equivalent. I also was hoping office.com would be a nice upgrade from the dismal Word app on our phones, but it doesn't work from our mobiles.
  • Change to desktop.
  • Have you tried it on your mobile? I can only see the top half of the text. Unusable. :(
  • You're right, i forgot that this was useless on my 925, due to the screen size . Its readable on my 1520 tho.
  • I can view the docs online, but as soon as I go to edit from my phone, fail.
  • You can create forms in the excel web app.
  • I will look into this. I was unaware. Edit: found the survey function in excel online. Not nearly as polished or powerful as the google forms.
  • Unfortunately, Excel Surveys currently is weaker than Google Forms. Playing with it for 5min proves it.