Google has announced a new feature for its productivity package that could help lure customers away Microsoft 365.
As explained in your last blog entry (opens in new tab)users will now benefit from the ability to edit Microsoft Office files from within Google Workspace (née G Suite) without the need for an internet connection.
“Sometimes when your device is offline, you can now edit, comment, and collaborate on Office files using Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Any changes you make to offline files will sync to Drive once you’re signed in again,” Google explained. “The feature brings the collaboration benefits of Google Workspace to Microsoft Office files.”
Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365
Since the birth of G Suite in 2006, Google has directly competed with Microsoft in the office software space, taking on its notorious rival that houses the likes of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.
One of the defining characteristics of Microsoft’s offering is the tight integration between applications and services, extending to the Windows operating system on which most business computers run.
But then Google stole an edge over its rival when it came to the real-time collaboration model, whereby software is served via the cloud, which has proved very important since the transition to remote and hybrid work.
However, data recently provided to Pro highlighted the significant gap that continues to separate the pair, with 58% of companies choosing Microsoft 365 and just 15% opting for Google Workspace.
While the research focused exclusively on the US, the findings are supported by global finance. In Q1 2022, Google’s cloud services segment (under which Workspace sits) generated $5 billion in revenue, while Microsoft’s productivity segment accounted for $15 billion.
In an effort to regain ground, Google had to come up with creative ways to make its own package a more attractive proposition for those already embedded in the Microsoft ecosystem.
Since the start of the pandemic, for example, the company has been working to introduce new synergies between its various services in order to develop a “more deeply integrated user experience” capable of rivaling its competitor’s offering.
The latest update, meanwhile, focuses on easing the transition between Microsoft and Google’s services. While Workspace has allowed users to import Office documents for years, the ability to edit while offline will provide more comfort for those concerned with the ongoing need to deal with Word, Excel and PowerPoint files when working with customers and partners.
The new feature is currently in the process of being rolled out and is expected to take effect for all Google account holders in mid-July 2022.