Friday, June 26, 2015

Google Drive vs Microsoft OneDrive head-to-head review

Google Drive vs Microsoft One Drive head-to-head review



Verdict 
Google and Microsoft offer reliable, fast, easy to use storage clouds with clients that run on a number of different operating systems. Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive both raise the bar for cloud storage but we feel Microsoft offers the best deal with its OneDrive service. Microsoft's OneDrive comes with more free storage space, offers the same feature set as Google and costs significantly less if you want to go beyond the 15GB capacity. While both Google and Microsoft offer document creation and editing facilities, Microsoft's Web Apps brings the familiarity of Office's user interface. Users that have grown up on Word, Excel and Powerpoint will feel right at home and firms may find this could reduce time spent on training and support. Winner - Microsoft OneDrive
Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive (nee SkyDrive) have been around for a few years now. We take a look to see which service will best suit your business needs.

Capacity and pricing

Google account holders automatically get 15GB of storage for Google Drive at no extra charge. From time to time, Google does promotions giving away free storage. Sometimes these are permanent (such as 2GB for free when carrying out a security audit on user accounts) or are time-limited (such as offers that come with new phones or downloading certain Google apps). This capacity is split between Drive, Gmail and Photos, so may not always be as much as you think, especially if you have had Gmail for any length of time.
Microsoft's also offers 15GB. This can be increased by 3GB when enabling photo uploads and by a further 5GB more in 500MB increments when refering friends. Both firms offer considerably more space for a fee.
Google prices its storage in dollars. 100GB costs $1.99 per month and 1TB costs $9.99 per month. You can even get 30TB for $299.99 per month - but this is aimed more at the enterprise.
Microsoft offers 100GB for £1.99 (not quite as good value as Drive when exchange rates are considered. 200GB costs £3.99 per month and 1TB costs £5.99 per month but also includes an Office 365 subscription. Microsoft becomes better value the more storage you use.
Unless you need terabytes of cloud storage space, a scenario which seems unlikely for a single user account, it is difficult to see why you would want to spend extra getting Google Drive over Microsoft OneDrive. There was no difference between performance during testing and the only advantage Google Drive has is the extra storage space.

Set-up

Downloading and installing Windows clients for Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive is trivial. Users need to configure the location of the folder that is set to synchronise with the respective service.
Both firms have opted for a minimal approach on their storage clients which is no bad thing as it leaves users simply having to deal with a folder in Windows Explorer. Users can upload, open, edit and save files to the elected Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive folder as if it was stored locally on the system.
Although this 'less is more' approach results in ease of use, we would have liked to see the option of synchronising backup of local folders with Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive folders. The ability to set sharing permissions on the Windows client is something which would be very welcome, though OneDrive includes a Public folder with preset sharing options.

Compatibility

Away from Windows, Microsoft's OneDrive is supported on Mac OS X, iOS, Android and Windows Phone or available through the web browser.
Google Drive can be accessed via Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OS X.

Extra functionality

Although Google and Microsoft have opted for minimal desktop clients, when using both services through a web browser the firms have gone to great lengths to offer document editing applications. Google Docs is part of all Google accounts while Microsoft makes its Office Web Apps available to OneDrive users.
Microsoft's decision to incorporate parts of its Office user interface will mean users should feel right at home.Neither Google Docs nor Microsoft's Office Web Apps match the features found on Microsoft's Office suite, but they do have enough features to create simple documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Microsoft's decision to incorporate parts of its Office user interface will mean users should feel right at home.
In our view neither Google Docs nor Microsoft's Office Web Apps should be a deal breaker when it comes to deciding between Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. Both are competent programs which allow users to do light work on documents without the need to have fully fledged office suites installed.

Deployment considerations

Enterprises looking to deploy Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive need to consider the device make-up of the organisation.
With Google and Microsoft favouring their own mobile operating systems, enterprises need to judge what mobile devices they intend to deploy in the coming years to staff. Although this is now less of a consideration now that both firms have realised that customers live in a heterogenous world and apps have to work with the multitude of operating systems out there.
Even though Microsoft is pushing its Windows Phone operating system hard with its line of phones from its purchase of Nokia, Google’s Android is the market leader. There are a number of desirable smartphones and tablets using Android, meaning users taking advantage of bring-your-own-device policies are likely to opt for devices running Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android.
Both Google's and Microsoft's services are offered on a multi-tenant public cloud. Deep consideration should be made on what type of data, how sensitive it is and the possible legalities of it being stored outside the UK before migrating to Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.
It is also important to note the fact neither service offers automatic data encryption and with smartphones and tablets having access to accounts, safeguards on user accounts and user's devices need to be put into place.

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