Why Google Apps? Why not, say, Microsoft 365? Is a very good question and one that is asked on a daily if not hourly basis.
Well one very quick answer is; Google Apps was conceived and grew up in the cloud whereas Microsoft 365 was conceived outside the cloud and is now being levered into it.
Google created their cloud computing about five years ago when companies began to realised there was a change in the way people and, especially small to medium businesses, were working,
The greatly increased use of mobile technology, such as laptops and smartphones, and the mobility of the workforce was proving people not only needed to be in touch quickly and easily but they also needed to be able to collaborate from wherever they were on work in hand. This meant those who were not able collaborate from wherever they were located wasted valuable time in returning to base or other place where they could get the right people grouped to work together.
Google being an internet web based company already, continued to develop their cloud based applications drawing together a suite of business and administrative tools that were always run and maintained from within their internet cloud.
The Microsoft 365 cloud has applications that are based around some of Microsoft’s best software. These applications were previously run from individual PC’s but have now been packaged together and put into the cloud; however some of their applications still need to be retained on the users PC, laptop or smartphone. This is not true cloud computing.
As an example; if end users of Microsoft 365 wishes to create and work on a document they still have to have a version of MSWord on their computer (outside the cloud) and forward that document to any collaborators who need to review it and have it passed back again, so the document is always passing in and out of the cloud. A user of Google Apps works on the document online (within the cloud) and their collaborators can actually watch every letter typed as it appears on the page the document remains within the cloud so all can access it at anytime should they need to.
As a side issue here because MSWord product is retained on each individual PC each copy of it needs to be updated individually; another reason why Microsoft 365 does not pass the true cloud test. This will apply to any applications that needs to standalone on the users PC.
At Google Apps however because the word processing application is retained inside the cloud any updates are automatically applied and run the next time the user logs in, that is cloud computing.
Although Microsoft are trying very hard to make what they have into a cloud computing environment there is still too much dependency on applications needing to run from outside their cloud while Google Apps continues to develop and improve from within their cloud; would that be a cloud with a chrome lining then?
Author: Carolyn Clayton