ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – Comprehenive Advanced Features
As I said in the “Summary” above, if you use Google, once a year or so, you will need some more complex / advanced feature that is in Microsoft Office but not Google Docs.
There’s always a workaround, with some additional effort and inconvenience.
(slight) ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – privacy
Educated guess, but I believe MS Office protects your privacy more than Google.
Here’s my reasoning. These aren’t proofs–just educated guessing and reasoning.
- MS is less motivated financially to sell your content to advertisers or private investigators. Because you pay for MS Office. They have a buisness model where they get paid for the software they produce. Google’s only business model is to sell advertising based on your content. So it is an urgent need, a matter of corporate survival for them to violate your privacy.
- This one seems backwards, but stay with me. MS was criticzied for their handling of privacy because they published visibly that they would turn over your Office 365 (OneDrive) content to law enforcement authorites without your consent or notification. This is true of ALL companies, because of the Patriot Act in the United States. So I give MS *credit* on privacy for being visible about this, instead of hiding it like other companies. It makes me trust them a smidgen more on privacy.
- Last buy not least, MS Office supports a fully offline model, with all files stored on your local hard disk, instead of in the cloud (MS OneDrive). These files are much less likely to be scanned.
ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – offline and alternate cloud storage
Since MS Office 365 (or the desktop apps) run on your desktop, you can be fully operational without an internet connection. Eg, on a plane. Or the day that your ISP goes down. Or if the power goes out (assuming you have laptop battery to keep working, and assuming you don’t have battery backup or generator backup for your internet connection).
Offline, desktop acces model in MS Office also means you can use them with almost any cloud storage (Dropbox, Box.com, SugarSync) in addition to MS’s own OneDrive.
That is *IF* those services have a ‘local sync’ feature. All of those I listed do. (This local sync feature sync’s a folder on your desktop to the cloud. Changes you make in the cloud are replicated on your local disk. Changes you make on your local disk–with desktop Office 2016, for example–are mirrored in the cloud.)
Can not do that with Google Docs because there is no way to work on local files.
You can download offline files out of Google Docs, for storage and back. And you can edit them locally. With what? MS Office? Might as well have just used MS Office in the first place.
You could edit them with the free LibreOffice and get close to the MS Office experience. The disadvantage is that you’re working in two different interfaces, and LibreOffice is not quite as powerful as MS Office.
Or using only the Chrome Browser, and a Chrome extension “Google Docs Offline” you can edit offline with Google.
ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – printing
in Google Docs, if in Firefox or Internet Explorer, you have to dowload as a PDF to print. Using the browser print will make it print like a web page, not a document.
In the Chrome browser (only) Google Docs print normally.
Reports (I can’t confirm) that advanced printing is not available in Google Docs (but they’re upgrading all the time).
ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – upload limit
50MB (was: 2MB) upload limit for Google Docs (no limit once in Google Drive online cloud storage)
(slight) ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – huge size
Google Docs can’t handle HUGE data sets, eg, > 2 million (was: 400K) cells in a spreadsheet.
ADVANTAGE GOOGLE – FREE!
By far the biggest difference between the two is that Goodle Docs is FREE. You pay for that with Google scanning your docs and providing that info to advertisers so that they can target ads to you. But Microsoft is still doing at least some of that.
ADVANTAGE GOOGLE – “Explore”
GDocs new “Explore” feature
Launched in September 2016, “Explore” enables additional functionality through machine learning.
- In Google Docs, Explore shows relevant Google search results based on information in the document, simplifying information gathering. Users can also mark specific document text, press Explore and see search results
- based on the marked text only.
- In Google Sheets, Explore enables users to ask questions, such as “How many units were sold on Black Friday?”, and Explore will return the answer, without requiring formula knowledge from the user.
- In Google Slides, Explore dynamically generates design suggestions based on the contents of each slide.
The “Explore” features in Docs follow the launch of a more basic research tool originally introduced in 2012.
In December 2016, Google introduced a quick citations feature to Google Docs. The quick citation tool allows users to “insert citations as footnotes with the click of a button” on the web through the Explore feature introduced in September. The citation feature also marked the launch of the Explore functionalities in G Suite for Education accounts.
In June 2017, Google expanded the Explore feature in Google Sheets to automatically build charts and visualize data, and again expanded it in December to feature machine learning capable of automatically creating pivot tables.
NO LONGER ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – columns and image editing
In 2013, Microsoft released ads that called out specific features missing in Docs, including columns (eventually added by Google Docs in 2016) and image-editing support (eventually added by Google Docs in 2014).
NO LONGER ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – mail merge
You didnt used to be able to do mail merge in Gmail+Docs. Now you can.
NO LONGER ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – add-ons
In March 2014, Google introduced add-ons
Before that, only MS Office had add-ons.
NO LONGER ADVANTAGE GOOGLE – real-time simultaneous co-authoring
Until MS Office v2016 MS Office did not provide real-time simultaneous co-authoring (unless you used Enterprise SharePoint).
By this I mean 2+ people working on the same document at exactly the same time with each seeing the other’s edits in real-time as they happen, letter by letter.
Before v2016 MS had less helpful co-editing techniques.