Google Chat

Google Chat vs Microsoft Teams: When Is The Right Time To Use Each?

Explore the differences between Google Chat and Microsoft Teams with a detailed feature comparison, pricing analysis, and practical guidelines to help organizations choose the right platform based on their specific needs and preferences.

While there are some major differences between Google Chat and Microsoft Teams, we appreciate there’s a time and a place for both.

In certain organizations, the choice may be removed or it may not make business sense to deviate from one core set of workplace apps.

That’s why this isn’t just a simple “which platform is best?” post.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview and comparison of each platform's unique features and point you in the right direction when choosing Google Chat vs Microsoft Teams.

Google Chat vs Microsoft Teams feature comparison

FeaturesGoogle ChatMicrosoft Teams PricingGoogle Chat is a part of Google Workspace. 

The pricing plans for Google Workspace are: 

Google Chat unique features

Google Chat is a feature-rich messaging platform. As part of the Google Workspace Suite, it offers integration with other Google apps like Gmail, Calendar, and Drive.

Although Google Chat is available as a component of Google Workspace, it acts as a standalone app and a Gmail integration. This makes it easier for you to keep track of messages coming in and out from other platforms. 

Some unique features of Google Chat are: 

  • Support for up to 28 languages 
  • In-built spell check and grammar check
  • Add bots to chat rooms or chat with them on your own 
  • Integration with other Google services, like Calendar and Drive
  • Google Chat allows for the creation of up to 8,000 member chat rooms
  • Ability to search for specific messages and files using the Google search function 
  • Option to use AI-powered smart suggestions for quick replies and automated workflows

Microsoft Teams unique features

Microsoft Teams is a comprehensive collaboration platform that offers a wide range of unique features. It provides an all-in-one solution for team communication, file sharing, and project management.

From its integration with other Microsoft Office apps to its advanced security and compliance features, Teams has everything you need to streamline communication and improve workflow. 

Some unique features of Microsoft Teams are: 

  • Native integration with Microsoft Office Suite 
  • Easy transition from chat to video/voice calls 
  • Schedule and join meetings directly from Outlook
  • Support for multiple organizations and guest access
  • Schedule and record meetings, as well as playback recordings
  • Space to send yourself messages, links, and documents
  • Support for third-party apps and services through the Microsoft App Store

Google Chat vs Microsoft Teams pricing

Google Chat and Microsoft Teams offer a generous amount of functionality to users at no cost.

Both individual users and small teams have access to video meetings, chats, and core collaboration features for free. 

You can also connect with up to 100 people for up to 60 minutes on both platforms without any charge. 

That’s not all.

Both platforms provide a reasonable amount of cloud storage options for users. Google Chat offers a whooping 15GB of cloud storage per user, while Microsoft Teams provides 5GB of cloud storage per user.

The paid plans vary depending on business size, custom requirements, and how much you want to use each platform for. 

For example, you can use Microsoft Teams as your core phone system to make calls to the outside world (as opposed to internal calls only). Here, there are several options to get your teeth into.

For more detailed information on this pricing, check out Microsoft MVP, Tom Arbuthnot’s, free briefing, Understanding Microsoft Teams Phone.

For base pricing, Microsoft Teams has a slight advantage over Google Chat. For instance, the cheapest paid plan in Microsoft Teams is $4 per month per user, while Google Chat's cheapest plan is $6 per month per user.

While Microsoft seems to have the fairer price, comparing the plans more closely shows that Google Chat offers more value for the slightly higher price. 

For example, Microsoft Teams' cheapest plan includes 10GB of cloud storage per month, while Google Chat's cheapest plan includes 30GB of cloud storage per month.

While Microsoft offers 1TB of storage space per user for its Microsoft 365 business basic plans and above, cloud storage space is unlimited for Google Workspace Business Plans. 

In this case, you will have to decide if you would prefer a cheaper plan with less storage or a slightly more expensive plan with more storage. 

Of course, these are the basics when it comes to pricing. If you’re comparing pricing for a chat platform, this is often enough. If you’re comparing an all-in-one collaboration platform, there’s much more to consider.

When to choose Google Chat vs Microsoft Teams

When deciding whether to use Google Chat or Microsoft Teams, it's important to consider the specific needs of your organization and how the features of each platform align with those needs. 

If you are stuck trying to decide on which of these platforms to choose, follow the guide below to make your decision-making process much easier. 

Choose Google Chat when:

 1 - You already use Google Workspace

When it comes to communication and collaboration tools, choosing the one that integrates with your current workflow is key. If you're already using Google Workspace, choosing Google Chat can be a smart choice.

This means no logging in and out of multiple platforms or struggling with compatibility issues- saving you time and effort 

With Google Chat, you can also quickly switch to Google Meet for meetings at no additional cost.

2 - You want more cloud storage space

Many would agree that when it comes to cloud storage, more is always better. And in this case, Google Chat offers a clear advantage over Microsoft Teams.

Google Chat offers a generous 15GB of cloud storage per user for free—three times that of Microsoft Teams’ 5GB. This can be crucial when you need to store large amounts of data such as images, videos, and documents.

Additionally, Google Chat's cloud storage is part of the Google One subscription, which allows you to expand your storage up to 30TB with a single account, depending on the subscription plan. This is useful for enterprises with multiple teams with different storage needs.

3 - You want a simple and easy-to-use platform

Google Chat is a simple and easy-to-use platform that focuses on messaging and file sharing, while Microsoft Teams offers a more comprehensive set of features, including video conferencing, screen sharing, and integrations with other Microsoft Office apps.

If you run a small or mid-sized business and don’t need a robust employee engagement platform, Google Chat is your best bet. It has a simple UI similar to that of Gmail and many employees may find it easier to navigate. 

Choose Microsoft Teams when: 

1 - You already use the Microsoft productivity suite 

If your organization already uses Microsoft across the board, Teams may be the ideal choice. Microsoft Teams integrates with other Microsoft products, such as Office 365 and SharePoint. 

This allows for easy collaboration and file sharing within the Microsoft ecosystem. 

For example, you can easily access and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents directly within Teams, without having to switch between multiple applications. Additionally, SharePoint is used to store and manage files, and they can be accessed directly within Teams.

Microsoft Teams has a wide range of third-party integrations that can further enhance its capabilities and increase its value to your organization. You can integrate various third-party apps with Teams like Trello, Asana, and Zendesk to manage projects and customer service. 

2 - Employee engagement is a primary concern

Studies show that employees who feel connected to their coworkers and have a sense of belonging are more engaged and motivated to do their best work. With Microsoft Teams, keeping employees engaged and involved is much easier and more exciting. 

For instance, Viva, which is a set of tools for Microsoft Teams, focuses on employee engagement and well-being. It includes features such as Viva Insights, which uses artificial intelligence to provide insights on employee engagement and productivity.

Viva Topics helps employees discover and connect with relevant content and experts within the organization. 

This tool helps you keep track of which employees are actively engaged and which might be feeling left behind. 

Additionally, Viva Learning allows employees to easily find and access learning resources, and Viva Connections provides an easy way for employees to connect with the right people and resources in the organization. 

3 - You require smooth chat-to-voice/video transitions 

If your team relies equally on text and calls for collaboration then Microsoft Teams is the way to go. It is a comprehensive platform that includes built-in support for voice and video calls, as well as screen sharing and recording.

Google Chat is more focused on text-based communication and does not have built-in support for voice and video calls. Transitioning between chat and voice/video calls in Google Chat requires switching between two different apps.

With Microsoft Teams, you can move from text-based communication to more personal, face-to-face interactions without having to leave the application or open a separate program. 

So there you have it. Both Google Chat and Microsoft Teams are market-leading chat platforms. 

Which one will you opt for?

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