Google Docs vs. Microsoft Office

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Difference between Google Docs and Microsoft Office

In the world of online office suites, Google Docs has traditionally been the only real option. Sure there are a smattering of other software suites available, but it was pretty clear that Google Docs is way ahead of the pack...until now that is. With the recent release of the Office Live Workspace beta by Microsoft, it appears that Google Docs finally has some serious competition. While many think that the new web-based add-on to Microsoft Office was intended to compete directly with Google Docs, the question that now comes up is whether or not Microsoft has succeeded in trumping Google. Let's see!

Google Docs
Microsoft Office


At the time of this writing, Google Docs allows a fairly limited set of file types that you could edit online. Included in the list are HTML, .txt, .doc .rtf, .xls, .csv, .tsv, .tsb, .ppt, and .pps files.

Office Live Workspace on the other hand allows you to upload and edit practically any type of file. The list isn't limited only to Office documents, and include file types such as .PDFs, and photo and image files, with the exception of files on the "blocked" list, many of which are considered "executable" or program files.

File Sizes

Google Docs places a cap on document sizes, limiting them to only 500kb each, with a 2MB ceiling for each image included. Google Docs does allow users to upload 10MB presentations. Spreadsheets are measured in terms of content, with 10,000 rows, 256 columns or 100,000 cells being the upper limit. Google Docs accepts spreadsheet with up to 20,000 cells.

Office Live Workspace is a lot more generous in this regard, and it accepts individual files (of any type) of up to 25MB.

Sharing And Collaboration

Google Docs allows for plenty of flexibility with regard to file sharing and collaboration, with. Users can share files simply by clicking on a checkbox next to the appropriate files and selecting the "share" option. These can then be shared to "collaborators" or "viewers", and you could also add a note with the invitation. There is a limit of 200 viewers for documents and presentations, although spreadsheets can be shared with as many contacts as you want. Google Docs allows collaborators to work on files in real time.

Office Live Workspace offers similar features, with added options for allowing viewing without having to sign in, and it displays a preview of the file as well. All types of files can be shared with only 100 people. Office Live Workspace does not allow for real time collaboration.


Google Docs

  • Allowable files include HTML, .txt, .doc .rtf, .xls, .csv, .tsv, .tsb, .ppt, and .pps files.
  • Real time collaboration is allowed
  • Allows up to 200 viewers for documents and presentations
  • Allows unlimited viewers for spreadsheets
  • 500kb limit for files, 10MB for presentations
  • 10,000 row/256 column/100,000 cell/40 sheet limit for spreadsheets

Office Live Workspace

  • Virtually all file types are allowed
  • No real time collaboration
  • Allows up to 100 viewers for all file types
  • 25MB allowable file size
Which is the better online office suite?
  • Google Docs
  • Microsoft Office

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