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Google Docs Make Major Updates That Could Potentially Replace Microsoft Office 365 (GOOG)

Productivity just became a cool gadget.

Google Docs announced a whole slew of updates that put the service in the position of a serious contender to Microsoft 365. One of them has been announced as ready to go, but another is planned for a later release. But Google Docs has a competitor called Microsoft Office 365. However, the problems that are related to Microsoft Office 365 could make Google Docs the better software to use.

Just what are these updates?

Google Docs is planned to be more convenient for people to use, especially for those who are legally blind. The updates are supposed to be able to support software that are designed for blind readers. The names that were listed are JAWS and ChromeVox. And multiple languages are made available for those who need to use another language besides English.

As an added touch, Google Docs updates will include tools that make the software more compatible with handheld devices. Besides page numbers that listed on every page, entire documents can be selected for print with the touch of a button.

But the main goal of Google Docs is to streamline and make easier the presentations and documents that are expected to be top-notch at work and at school. Varied fonts, text sizes and colors are touted as diverse and easily made available. The updates will also allow people to comment on the submitted documents and presentations.

The planned updates are explained as a response to user requests and suggestions. Examples of suggestions included a wish to merge table cells on Google Docs and a request to make Google Docs more compatible with the iPad.

How do Google Docs compare to Microsoft Ofiice 365?

Microsoft Office 365 is also advertised as great office tool, but mainly in the business world. And the product contains less of a novelty feel for potential users because the familiarity of Microsoft Office is highlighted. However, Microsoft Office 365 offers new mediums for Microsoft Office to be used, which makes the software appealing for less computer-savvy employees and employers who find it a struggle to learn new technology.

Microsoft Office 365’s community blog is less about technological novelties and more about delivering the same old, same old that many people know about Microsoft Office after using the software for many years. For example, concerns about data loss when technological functions lead to unsaved data are highlighted. Another example reveals a plan to figure out how Microsoft Office 365 software administrators can improve their abilities to solve problems that occur while using the Microsoft Office 365 software.

However, an important difference between Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office 365 is that users have the option of sending instant messages to fellow work partners. But the forums indicate that the current instant messaging software, called Lync, can have issues. One user complained about the Lync instant messages never staying on file, and the issue still hasn’t been resolved. Google, on the other hand, already knows how to do that on Gmail in a reasonably straightforward manner. Another issue with Lync came up on August 26, 2014 that involved compatibility issues with Windows 8.1 and crashing on a frequent basis.

Which software makes more sense to use?

Instant messaging is becoming an increasingly attractive option to use while working on projects, so Microsoft, until it fixes the major issues that customers have with Lync, loses that round to Google.

The other issue is pricing. Google Docs is advertised as being available to use free of charge. However, data usage rates could still apply, depending on the hardware that is used. Microsoft Office 365, on the other hand, requires users to pay a certain amount per month. Depending on the chosen service on Microsoft Office 365, the monthly fee varies from $5.00 to $12.50. It is unclear how useful Microsoft 365 is for businesses. The targeted business sizes are small and medium businesses, but there is no feedback from customers on how influential this software was on their business earnings.

The last issue is target audience. If Microsoft is mainly targeting small- and medium-sized businesses, then the product has less appeal for large audiences. Google Docs is an applicable tool for many more users. If the majority rules supreme, then Google Docs win for the moment. However, a rematch between the two software technologies lingers as a possibility.