What is the difference between the Google Apps, Office 365 and Apple’s iCloud? Sure, they promise cheap, easy and convenient computing, but are they all they are cracked up to be?
Cloud computing. No doubt you have heard this phrase and you have probably also hear about the cloud-based office applications being offered by Microsoft, Google, and Apple. All promise cheap, easy and convenient computing, but are they really all they are cracked up to be?
The most important thing to bear in mind is that these are relatively new technologies with new features being added on a monthly – and in some cases, weekly – basis. And like any new technology, there are things that will not work as well as a mature desktop application that is installed directly on your computer. If you are an intermediate to advanced user of Microsoft Office, you will quickly get frustrated when you discover Office 365 cannot perform some of the more sophisticated functions such as creating Macros in Excel or the advanced markup in Word.
Google Apps is a good platform for users and businesses that need simple, inexpensive cloud-based collaboration software. However, users who have been using Microsoft Office will have some challenges when converting and exchanging documents from Office to Google – to use a non-technical term, all the documents will look slightly “off” in Google Apps. Users will also need to consider that there is a learning curve when switching from one office productivity suite to another.
Finally, there is Apple’s iCloud. While this is a cloud-based service, it should not be compared to Office 365 or Google Apps since it organizes, stores and accesses media, including music, videos, and pictures. While Apple does have some applications for email and calendaring, iCloud is not designed to replace an office productivity suite.
When it comes to cloud-based productivity suites, the war is far from over. These are new technologies that are changing rapidly. What may be a good choice for a user today could be a second-rate choice next week? So which one should you choose? That depends on your own situation. No two users or companies are alike in the way that they communicate, store and access information and work. Therefore, it’s important to have a relationship with an IT consultant who takes a custom approach to solving your IT needs – not a one-size-fits-all company that will sell you whatever flavor you want as long as you only want chocolate.
For more information about choosing a cloud-based productivity suite for your home or office, contact Gaeltek online at www.gaeltek.com or by phone at 703-652-4685.