Google Docs vs SharePoint
Last updated: February 24, 2017
Google Docs is a free, Web-based office suite, and data storage service. Documents, spreadsheets, presentations can be created with Google Docs, imported through the web interface, or sent via email. Documents can be saved to a user's local computer in a variety of formats. Google Docs serves as a collaborative tool for editing amongst in real time.
SharePoint's multi-purpose platform allows for managing and provisioning of intranet portals, extranets and websites, document management and file management, collaboration spaces, social networking tools, enterprise search, business intelligence tooling, process/information integration, and third-party developed solutions. SharePoint can also be used as a web application development platform.
Latest news about Google Docs and SharePoint:
24.02.17. SharePoint Framework is generally available. Microsoft has released SharePoint Framework, that allows developers and administrators to build and deploy parts that are used by Office 365 users in their production environments. In practical terms, this means using web technologies to build apps on SharePoint that are agile, responsive and, more to the point, mobile friendly. SharePoint has been used as an application and development platform for a long time. It offers numerous sets of development and customization options. But the release of Framework is a big step in improving the SharePoint developer experience, which has often been characterized as clumsy and difficult.
17.11.16. Google Docs now let you create custom templates. Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms are getting support for creating custom, reusable templates that you can share with your co-workers. While you may not use templates much in your day-to-day G Suite life, this is a necessary feature for businesses. You don’t want to have to recreate your report or newsletter layout every time you start a new one, after all. For the most part then, the addition of template support in Google Docs is yet another example of Google trying to make its service more attractive to business users as it gets serious about the enterprise.
15.11.16. Microsoft connects SharePoint Team Sites to Office 365 Groups. Microsoft is introducing SharePoint and Office 365 team sites integration - the new feature that allows to create connected SharePoint Online team sites in seconds. Here's how the new integration works. When someone creates an Office 365 Group, the service will automatically create a SharePoint team site (with the appearance controlled by the team site administrator) that can include pages, lists, libraries and team news. SharePoint team sites provide a place where teams can communicate, share documents and work together on projects. They are easy to use and enable users create a site for every project the team is working on. Team sites are accessible on all kinds of devices so can be used by mobile workers too.
06.10.16. Microsoft released SharePoint for Android. Though Microsoft is not actively competing on the mobile OS market already for two years (i.e. not pushing its WindowsPhone), it's still very slow in releasing Android apps. Only now the company is unveiling SharePoint mobile client for Android phones and tablets. The app provides the functionality to work with team sites, documents stored in SharePoint under the main categories of Sites, Links and People. To use the SharePoint app organizations need to have an Office 365 subscription that includes SharePoint Online, with support for SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint 2016 to be added later. Earlier this year Microsoft released SharePoint mobile apps for iOS and WindowsPhone (though the second app is still in preview).
21.06.16. Microsoft brings SharePoint to iOS. Microsoft launched a new mobile app for SharePoint customers aimed at bringing a company’s SharePoint-powered intranet portal and its content to users’ smartphones and tablets. The app is initially available on iOS – meaning it will work on iPhone and iPad – but it will arrive on both Android and Windows platforms before year end, Microsoft says. The app works with either SharePoint Online in Office 365 or SharePoint Server 2013 or 2016 in on-premises or hybrid scenarios. It features a Sites tab that lets you visit the SharePoint sites you frequent, so you can see recent activity, files, and access these files, lists, pages, and other content on those destinations. The app also works with other Microsoft mobile apps, the company notes. For example, when you click an Office document in the app, it will launch the corresponding Office mobile app; and when you view a document library on a team site, you’ll be taken to the OneDrive mobile app for iOS.
18.06.16. SharePoint adds new document libraries. Now that SharePoint 2016 is here, Microsoft is slowly releasing SharePoint Document Libraries to its commercial Office 365 subscribers using SharePoint Online. The new document libraries take SharePoint in a more user-friendly direction. They make it easier for users to access documents, edit document metadata and push content to the top of the document library. It's a big deal — which addresses persistent complains about previous editions of SharePoint around the difficulties of use. In the long run-up to the release of SharePoint 2016, Microsoft promised to focus on user experience.
26.08.14. Google Docs for iPhone/iPad now can edit MS Office files. Google is bringing support for natively editing Microsoft Office documents to iOS. Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps for Android and web browsers added this feature two months ago. With this, Google now offers the full-fledged MS Office alternative on all of its major platforms, including Android, iOS, Chrome OS and the web (it’s unlikely Google will ever launch a Metro app for Windows, though.) Microsoft launched Office for iOS earlier this year. To fully make use of those apps, however, users need a subscription to Office 365. Google’s apps are available for free, though business users are likely already paying for a Google Apps for Business account anyway.
28.07.14. Google Docs allows to edit MS Office files without conversion. Google made it possible to edit Microsoft Office files directly in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, so you can open and edit those documents in their native format using Office Compatibility Mode. No need to buy additional software or think about how to open your file. The Docs, Sheets and Slides mobile apps come with Office editing built right in, and with the Chrome extension, you can edit and share files directly from Google Drive or Gmail. Another new feature - Suggest Edits in Docs. It lets you do just that: your team can make suggestions that you can accept or reject with a single click.
05.05.14. Google launched standalone Docs and Spreadsheets for iOS and Android. Until now, all Google's document editors for mobile devices were available in the single app called Google Drive. Ok, they remained there, but recently Google also launched standalone apps Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets (for iOS and Android). The presentation app is coming soon, and will be called not Google Presentations, but (for a change) Slides. Maybe, you could think that thus Google wants to unlink the editors from Google Drive and let users edit files not only from Google Drive, but any other documents stored on your smartphone/tablet. But no! In the new apps you still can't open a document without uploading it to the Google Drive cloud storage. So for while there is not so much sense in these standalone apps.
13.03.14. Google Docs gets Add-ons store, Teamlab Office gets server version.. Online office suites continue to evolve. Google Docs adds embedded add-on directory, which is accessible from the top menu Add-ons and contains all sorts of useful things. For example, a plugin for collaborative docs approval, for printing stickers, for integration with Mailchimp (email marketing service), etc. Obviously, this directory will grow day by day. Meanwhile one of the main Google Docs rivals - Teamlab Office unveiled the local version for large companies, that can be installed on the own server. Besides the office document editors, Teamlab Office Enterprise contains the full set of collaboration tools . Teamlab already provided in-house open-source version - Community Edition. It's free but trimmed in functionality. The new Enterprise version costs $1200/year per 30 users. If you think that it's expensive, calculate how much MS Office and SharePoint will cost for the same number of users.
27.01.14. Google, Microsoft and Apple refreshed their online office apps. These are not very important updates, but we thought why not remind you once again that online office apps exist, develop and you may well use them instead of paid Word, Excel and PowerPoint. So, Google updated its spreadsheets (watch video above). Now they work faster, even with a very-very large documents. There are new filters and functions, as well as the ability to work offline in the Chrome browser (just like it works for text documents and presentations). As for Microsoft, they mainly worked to redesign their Office Web Apps. The interface became more flat (like in Outlook.com) and more comfortable thanks to the updated toolbar. And the notebook app OneNote for Android has become like Evernote (watch video below):
2013. Microsoft's social networks: Yammer vs SharePoint Newsfeed. Last year, when Microsoft acquired Yammer (the service for building enterprise social networks), it already had own the own social network based on SharePoint (now it's called SharePoint Newsfeed). And that's OK, because Microsoft bought Yammer not for the engine, but for the customer base and the image of social vendor. But now, it seems, Microsoft doesn't know what to do with two almost identical solutions. In June, Office 365 users got the opportunity to replace SharePoint Newsfeed to Yammer, and Microsoft continues to insist that Yammer - is its future and that soon Yammer will become the platform for all its business apps. But on the other hand SharePoint Newsfeed also continues to evolve. For example, today SharePoint Newsfeed app for Windows 8 has been launched. And it's very similar to Yammer app for Windows (guess where is what on the screenshots).
2013. Video: How to build company website in Microsoft Office 365. Perhaps for many people it will be a surprise, but Microsoft Office 365 allows to create a public website for your company (thanks to SharePoint Online component). The practice of building websites on SharePoint existed for a long time. But it was quite expensive (due to the cost of SharePoint licenses and Windows hosting). Second, SharePoint was originally designed for intranet portals, and for public sites it's not very appropriate. Therefore, only large companies (for whatever reasons) used SharePoint as a website engine. But with the appearance of Office 365 things changed to better. Having Office 365 subscription, small business owner can create a company website for free. And the only technical skills he needs - is Word editing. Watch the video:
2013. IBM kills Lotus. Microsoft kills SharePoint. Perhaps the two most famous brands in the history of enterprise software, Lotus and SharePoint, will soon disappear. We mean brands, not specific products. Because by renaming their products, vendors try to erase the association with outdated technologies in customer brain. For example, Lotus appeared back in the 80-s years of last century. In 1995 IBM acquired Lotus Development and began selling their products Lotus Notes/Domino. In the following years most IBM collaboration systems moved under the Lotus umbrella. But last year the revolution occurred. The last child of the Lotus family - SaaS suite LotusLive was renamed to SmartCloud for Social Business. And then the name Lotus was removed from other products. The final nail was the recent launch of Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition (without Lotus).
2013. Office 365 for Business: new pricing quest from Microsoft. A month after the release of Office 365 home version, Microsoft is launching the updated version of Office 365 for Business. Just like in its previous incarnation, the business version besides the office editors (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, InfoPath) contains the email server Exchange, SharePoint portal and communications system Lync. Plus all sorts of IT-friendly things like Active Directory integration and the Admin Console. And as usual, Microsoft comes up with confusing variety of subscription plans. For example, some editions don't include desktop Office apps and some - include. Some editions can be installed on 5 computers, some - just on one. Some prices are per month, some - per year. And of course, every edition has different limit in the number of users. The price of Office 365 Small Business Premium, which provides the same functionality as Google Apps, is $150/year per user (Google Apps costs $50).
2013. Real-time collaboration in Google Forms. Google added multiuser real-time collaboration to its online forms editor Google Forms. This feature is already available in all other Google office apps: Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Google Presentations and Google Drawings. Now, when creating a form, you can invite one or more co-workers, control who is currently helping you to build the form, what field he is editing (each user has different color), communicate in chat and comments. In general, after the recent update Google Forms turned into the world's best tool for conducting employee or customer surveys. It allows to add any any kind of fields (text, checkboxes, radio-buttons, lists, tables ...), select a template, embed form to your site, collect the entered data into a spreadsheet or view it on a graphical report.
2012. SharePoint 2013 will integrate Yammer, provide platform around the online version. At the SharePoint Conference 2012 Microsoft revealed some new facts about the upcoming SharePoint 2013. But nothing specific has been announced - just few promises. The exact release date is also still unknown. Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Office Division Kris Koenigsbauer promises a launch during the first fiscal quarter of 2013, which falls between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Now about the Yammer. As expected, Microsoft will integrate this social intranet service (acquired in June) into SharePoint. The integration will be done via Yammer Web Parts and Yammer Open Graph. Got it? And soon (Microsoft says) SharePoint will become a system "powered by Yammer". Ok, let's look what is the real sense of integration between SharePoint and Yammer.
2012. Google Drive for iOS now can edit documents. In July, when Google released a mobile client Google Drive for iOS, users were disappointed by the lack of ability to edit documents on iPhone/iPad. Today, Google has fixed this drawback, but with some limitations. Editing (including real-time collaboration editing) is available only for text documents. Though the video shows that spreadsheets can also be edited, in fact, it's just a special effect. Editing spreadsheets will appear later. Besides, Google added the ability to view presentations, create new folders and move files between folders. Google Drive for Android app has been also updated today. It now also features the ability to create folders, move files and add comments to files and documents.
2012. SharePoint 2013 will include SkyDrive Pro. Together with Office 2013 Microsoft unveiled the beta version of SharePoint 2013. This is still an early version, and we won't review it so far (in particular, it's still no information about possible integration with Yammer). But one thing is this beta has already attracted great public interest - SkyDrive Pro. We have previously reported that SharePoint is being attacked by the army of file synchronization services called "Dropbox for Enterprise", and that SkyDrive's technology should help SharePoint to overcome these attacks. And so it happens, but as usual, Microsoft has added an element of chaos to this project. Why was it necessary to create a separate service called SkyDrive Pro? Why they just not added simple file sync functionality to SharePoint without inventing new titles? It's even more confusing as SkyDrive Pro won't replace the existing off-line client - SharePoint Workspace, but will be used along with it.
2012. Google Docs - on its way to offline. Some day Google Docs will fully support offline access on all computers and mobile devices. But apparently, it will be no earlier than in two years. Because Google likes to delight users with more happy news about the motion of Google Docs to offline. At a recent Google I/O conference the company proudly announced that Google Docs now works Offline! What does it mean this time? The service really now works Offline - but only in the Chrome browser. And to make it work you need to ... install Google Drive app for Chrome. Those readers that are following our news may say that about a year ago we already reported that Google Docs work offline in Chrome. But then it was about viewing documents, and this time - you can edit docs and even post comments. The changes will be synchronized with the online account once the internet connection appears. And for now you can only edit text documents and spreadsheets. Editing presentations will be obviously the next big news.