Editorial note: After publication I was corrected and learned that Google can be used offline. The editorial is incorrect in that regard.
About a month ago I dumped my Google for Work account and decided to upgrade my Microsoft from a personal account to a business account.
Here are some reasons why I turned away from Google Apps and returned to Microsoft Office this month:
- I spend a significant amount of time offline. Where I live and work we do not have high speed internet so I must rely on spotty and sometimes intermittent cellular data signal. In order to remain productive during those times, I look for software that keeps working offline and automatically syncs when a signal is re-established. It is important to me to have fully functional installed software on my PC. This is the factor that ultimately governed my decision. (After the original publication of this blog I learned that Gmail also offers an offline platform).
- I never really got the hang of Gmail as opposed to Outlook. Although I’ve used both for more than a decade, I never really felt as confident or productive with Gmail.
- When communicating with clients or regulators, I feel more comfortable citing Microsoft’s security policy than Google’s policies. Granted, I do not know enough about the topic to really be conversant in the details, but I like what I read from Microsoft.
- It seems Google took control of my web site domain in a different and more extensive way than Microsoft. I found that to be intrusive.
- Most of my clients in the legal, nonprofit, construction and financial services industries use Microsoft Office. This graphic illustrates the point (I don’t know the source of the graph).
There are plenty of things I liked better with Google Apps, especially integration with third party applications. What I dislike with both of them is level of service available. The transition back to Microsoft has not gone smoothly and I will likely blog about that later. As a practical matter, I need to hire outside support for either platform.
It might sound like my transition was a successful venture, but that is not the case. It was a disaster that I describe in another blog post.