In my last post I wrote about how to configure and use Google Apps for your domain. Office Live is the direct competition to Google Apps from Microsoft. Both of them have free versions and premium versions targeted for different sections. Even though the two services are targeted towards similar audiences, there are some very specific differences. Lets do a comparative study of the features.
Microsoft Office Live Basics: Basics is the free version from Microsoft Office Live. The free version has the following features,
- Microsoft Office Live Basics includes one FREE domain name for your business.
- Access your mails, calenders, tasks etc. Allows to create 25 free email accounts with your domain and each email having 2GB of space.
- Easy-to-use Web site design tools.
- 500 MB of Web site storage space.
- Web site reports tool to analyze your traffic.
Now coming to the comparison with Google Apps,
- Microsoft Office Live Basics gives you a free domain whereas Google Apps provides domain at 10$ from GoDaddy.
- Google Apps allows you to create unlimited accounts whereas Office live Basics allows only 25 accounts for free version.
- Microsoft Office Live would work well when all users run Windows, have copies of Microsoft Office, and use the latest versions of Internet Explorer whereas Google Apps can run on all OS and browsers (covers most of the popular ones). I tried to register for Office Live through Firefox and got an error message that Firefox is not supported.
- Office Live has an excellent user interface when compared to Google’s basic HTML pages.
- Office Live is available only for US, UK, France, Japan and Germany users, while Google Apps is available throughout the world (I could not register with Office Live because of this).
- A valid credit card is required to complete the sign up process for Office Live. Although they don’t charge any amount for free version, they use it for authentication. Google Apps does not require any credit card for sign up.
- The premium version of Google Apps cost around 50$ per user per year, whereas Office live costs you 19.95$ per month and it allows to create 50 users.
I feel if Office Live is available for all locations, then it would definitely give competition to Google Apps as it has good features and design and also the fact that unlimited accounts from Google Apps may not be useful for common users. The only major worrying fact about Office Live is fact that only Internet Explorer 6 and above is supported.
If you like to add any more comparison, please share it in comments.