Microsoft: Google Docs provides a "suboptimal experience"

Google has been working to boost its suite of productivity apps in recent months, including the launch of free Docs and Sheets apps for Android and iOS. But as Microsoft extends its own Office suite to more platforms, including its launch on iPad back in March, it is not afraid to speak negatively of what Google has to offer.

In a recent Office Blogs post, Microsoft's Sanjeevini Mittal explained why the company believes that Office is superior for collaboration across multiple devices. The main reasons listed were the 'familiarity of Office', making it easier for users to find features and functions; and 'file fidelity', ensuring that documents always look the same, no matter which device you use to open them. 


Microsoft may not like Google's productivity apps, but Office is expected to launch on Google's Android soon

But the closing paragraphs of the post focus less on the positives of Office, and more on why Microsoft believes Google's offering to be inferior. "If someone on your team moves the file to Google Drive and opens it to make changes, you no longer experience that familiar Office look and the formatting is a mess," it states. 

Mittal continues by saying that "you don't want to waste time reformatting and finalizing the collective work of your team" in order to fix that "mess" that it says Google's software will make of your Office documents. 

"Why settle for a suboptimal experience using Google Docs, Sheets and Slides," the post adds, "when Office provides you the best experience available with the modern Office experience on PC and iPad already. Office will be available on other platforms soon." 

Despite this less than flattering assessment of Google's software, Microsoft will soon be sending some love Google's way with the launch of native Office apps for Android - perhaps even before they arrive on Windows

Source: Office Blogs via WinBeta 

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Everybody thinks their product is the best! When it comes to opening or creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations or what ever I want on ANY platform I want; I use either Open Office Suite (primarily on my desktops) or Kingsoft Office Suite (primarily on my Android smartphone and laptops)! They are both 100% compatible with each other and (for those die hard Office users) Microsoft Office Suite as well and they have features (that I use a lot) that Microsoft Office does not have. Plus there is no talk about monitoring your every move with these office suites.

Microsoft's Office Mobile apps give a "suboptimal experience", too. Can't even open password protected files FFS (Kingsoft Office can, though).

Darrian said,
Microsoft's Office Mobile apps give a "suboptimal experience", too. Can't even open password protected files FFS (Kingsoft Office can, though).

Not as bad as the "suboptimal experience" on WP where I can't edit documents with unsupported content as well as having next to no formatting options.

If you want to do some real editing on your WP device use the Office Online app in WP8.1 and IE11. Works great on my Lumia 1520.

I'd agree that google docs is not as good as Office but it's free. If you can get by on free then you should. Office should be free to use too. That day is coming.

derekaw said,
I'd agree that google docs is not as good as Office but it's free. If you can get by on free then you should. Office should be free to use too. That day is coming.

Office is free to use, you don't NEED an Office 365 subscription any more.

Yeah not only are the word, excel, powerpoint, one note etc web apps free but ALSO the one note installable app is now free AND the Office for iOS app is now free for private use. Between the web apps and the free Office app for iPhone i have all my bases covered for free.

DeltaXray said,
Yeah not only are the word, excel, powerpoint, one note etc web apps free but ALSO the one note installable app is now free AND the Office for iOS app is now free for private use. Between the web apps and the free Office app for iPhone i have all my bases covered for free.

What do you think of OneNote?

neo158 said,

What do you think of OneNote?

Love it. Makes a huge difference for me, although I find I mostly use the installable app and the ios app rather than the web version, but the way it syncs across devices is great. Personally I don't know what I would do without it, the apps are elegant, functional and fast.

DeltaXray said,

Love it. Makes a huge difference for me, although I find I mostly use the installable app and the ios app rather than the web version, but the way it syncs across devices is great. Personally I don't know what I would do without it, the apps are elegant, functional and fast.

I have to agree, I was using it at uni and it really helped having my notes sync between devices.

google docs works for me... not as "powerful" as office for sure... but most are deluded to thinking they are a power-user just because they typed up 2 sheets instead of 1 :)

But you can use Office Online for free as well and it is a feature reduced version for home use. IMO it offers a much easier and more stable experience over google docs and OneNote is the one power app that I can't live without.

Office is the only thing to use. They've had quite the monopoly with Office over the years and I doubt that's gonna change.

neo158 said,
That's rich coming from Microsoft considering the "suboptimal experience" Office on WP provides!!!!

it isn't sub-optimal compared to everything else that tries to use such a small device. what they are saying is that on larger devices, docs sucks, and yeah, it does.

neonspark said,

it isn't sub-optimal compared to everything else that tries to use such a small device. what they are saying is that on larger devices, docs sucks, and yeah, it does.

Fair enough, but there are phablets/big screen phones running WP out there as well though.

I use Office Online mostly because my desktop version of Office is non-genuine. But there are times I need to use the desktop version. If they added the ability to copy slides from one presentation to another in Office Online (I know clipboard won't support it, but they could have a "Merge presentations" server-side feature) and the rare times when I want to use trigger animation. If they added the former feature, I would ditch the desktop version.
And yes, I will buy an Office 365 license when I can (when I am 18 or 21). Sadly, most people here (India) use Office in the same way.

TheCyberKnight said,
We all knew that.
Now, what about bringing out "Modern" Office to Windows 8 instead of whining against Google?

We'll get it when it's done ... ah, that'll be when hell freezes over then!!!

neo158 said,

We'll get it when it's done ... ah, that'll be when hell freezes over then!!!

Most expect it no later than with the Windows 9 release but could be sooner than that. Its what was thought to have delayed the Surface Mini announcement as well.

I think the blog poster on that Office blog is probably picking inane reasons. If he picked REAL reasons, it'd be more convincing.

Reasons like being able to use proper Office software AS WELL AS online versions - if you use Office (or indeed any other application) and save it to a folder that Google Drive backs up, then when you open it in Google Drive online you can't edit it unless you change it to Google's document format, which means you can't subsequently edit it in Office (or indeed any other application).

For someone who just does the basics, GDOCs will be fine for them. Someone who does/needs more, then Office is for them. GDOCs has no place in the enterprise but works well in the small business.

techbeck said,
Last I heard, you needed a 365 sub in order to edit documents on Office. Dont need to with GDOCs. Unless things have changed.

Online editors are available for everything via Skydrive I think.
Outlook is the big killer app for me with Office, there is nothing out there I have found so far that can compete.

ZeroHour said,
Online editors are available for everything via Skydrive I think.

Yup, I'm able to create/edit/download most types of Office documents via OneDrive, I don't have a 365 sub. (Not that I actually use it, I prefer the desktop version myself.) That said, OneNote on the desktop, OneDrive, and all my mobile devices? Stupidly handy.

techbeck said,
For someone who just does the basics, GDOCs will be fine for them. Someone who does/needs more, then Office is for them. GDOCs has no place in the enterprise but works well in the small business.

Um yeah. Google specifically said that while Office is vastly superior with features, it has features that most businesses would need. And Office online isnt exactly a walk in the park either.

Gungel said,
But why use GDOCs if everyone can use Office Online for free as well. It's simply much better.

While I agree with you on most of it, Spreadsheets is way better than Excel online... I hate to say it but its true.

Kalint said,

Um yeah. Google specifically said that while Office is vastly superior with features, it has features that most businesses would need. And Office online isnt exactly a walk in the park either.

Went to my OneDrive and looked at the various Office Online apps, esp. Excel and I'm not sure what you mean. Everything seems to be simple and works. Why do you consider it not a "walk in the park"?

I do find Google Doc spreadsheets more usage than Apple iCloud Numbers but I like the Excel online version the best.

Rann Xeroxx said,

Went to my OneDrive and looked at the various Office Online apps, esp. Excel and I'm not sure what you mean. Everything seems to be simple and works. Why do you consider it not a "walk in the park"?

I do find Google Doc spreadsheets more usage than Apple iCloud Numbers but I like the Excel online version the best.

Google scripting with Sheets is very powerful. I dont think Microsofts Excel has near the power that Sheets does. As far as simple things and layout, Excel Online is better I think =).

techbeck said,
Last I heard, you needed a 365 sub in order to edit documents on Office.

AND you have to keep paying year after year to keep editing them. No matter how bad Google Docs are I would never use a "subscription" service to be able to edit my own documents. I'm not allowing Microsoft to control what I can do when (and even if my documents are available/safe and not handed over th the NSA on their cloud)

dvb2000 said,
AND you have to keep paying year after year to keep editing them.

Scroll up. You don't. Plus the whole cloud thing isn't going to be better anywhere else either, at least with Office you don't have to use it at all.

dvb2000 said,
AND you have to keep paying year after year to keep editing them. No matter how bad Google Docs are I would never use a "subscription" service to be able to edit my own documents. I'm not allowing Microsoft to control what I can do when (and even if my documents are available/safe and not handed over th the NSA on their cloud)
What's sad is you have no idea how childish you really sound. Educate yourself.

Scabrat said,
While I agree with you on most of it, Spreadsheets is way better than Excel online... I hate to say it but its true.
It is true that the feature set is broader with Google Docs in some respects. MS has been quickly adding features to the free web apps and one must think it will be near feature parity at some point.

With GDocs, that's the entire feature set. With office, the sky is the limit with full office. When it comes to business the price is amazingly reasonable with Office 365 Pro Plus or even up to the enterprise level. With home users... it's so incredibly cost effective it's kind of silly. $9.99/m for 5 installs or 6.99 if you are just one user. Office 365 for education is also a no brainer.

techbeck said,
Last I heard, you needed a 365 sub in order to edit documents on Office. Dont need to with GDOCs. Unless things have changed.
No you don't. Put an office document on Onedrive and open it in the online Office app. Works just fine.

This childish idiocy really didn't work well for Apple, that's why they dropped it. How much lower will Microsoft stoop before doing the same?

NastySasquatch said,
Pretty sure Apple has tons of market share off the backs of those commercials.

I'd be interested to see the evidence you have that shows it was those commercials responsible for the popularity of their products.

Javik said,

I'd be interested to see the evidence you have that shows it was those commercials responsible for the popularity of their products.

As someone else posted shoe me proof it wasn't. Their commercials had a point and were mostly correct. People took notice and went to apple.

Who else remembers though how much apple ripped on every PC being just a beige box and we've got colours, then laughed when microkia turned that around on them with Lumia ads years later. Its all good stuff not childish, just tongue in cheek. Just like the older ones were people just don't remember much before the mac vs PC commercials.

Those were childish and dumb.

I believe that to be absolutely true. To the best of my knowledge nothing can even closely compare with Microsoft Office in all of its various guises in my opinion so far.

I can believe it too. We recently started migrating more and more into our Google environment at work.

And i ######ing hate it.

The interface in google groups is just ######ing atrocious, Google Drive feels like a damn mess too. Hangouts? meh, give me MOC.

The only good thing is Gmail. but the rest can ###### off.

I hate it.

da00 said,
I can believe it too. We recently started migrating more and more into our Google environment at work.

And i ######ing hate it.

The interface in google groups is just ######ing atrocious, Google Drive feels like a damn mess too. Hangouts? meh, give me MOC.

The only good thing is Gmail. but the rest can ###### off.

I hate it.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are 12 step programs or DocsAnon meetings to go through to provide support for those suffering from Google Docs at work.

I've never heard anybody in love with the experience that actually have to use it for more than just e-mail.