Table of contents
- Google Meet and Microsoft Teams – similarities
- Problems with Google Meet and Microsoft Teams comparison
- Google Meet vs Microsoft Teams – limitations
- Microsoft Teams vs Google Meet – availability
- Google Meet vs Microsoft Teams – ease of use
- What to choose – Meet or Teams?
Videoconferencing is a safe and convenient compromise between a face-to-face meeting and an impersonal phone or chat. This indirect communication method has steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Now that many companies have implemented hybrid or remote work for good, videoconferencing software has become one of the essential tools for employees. Let’s take a look at what video conference solutions are offered to business owners by the two largest office software suite developers – Google and Microsoft – and how their applications perform when showcased against each other.
Google Meet and Microsoft Teams – similarities
It should not surprise anyone that the two most popular videoconferencing applications have a lot in common. A particular set of features is essential for any video calling software to serve its purpose in a business environment. The commonalities between Microsoft Teams and Google Meet are:
A free version for private users
Both applications have a free variant for individual users who set up a Gmail or Outlook mailbox. This feature is also crucial from the perspective of business owners. When contacting clients, freelancers or employee candidates, it is often necessary to organise a video interview. So it’s vital to choose an app that is familiar and convenient to as many people as possible.
Both Google Meet and Microsoft Teams can be run in a browser on devices with Windows, Mac, ChromeOS, Linux, and mobile applications for iOS and Android.
Video meeting recording
Both of the applications make it possible to start recording a videoconference at any time of the conversation, provided that all participants agree to it. Meeting recordings are saved in the cloud (Google Drive for Meet and SharePoint or OneDrive with Teams), from where they can be safely shared with people who were away.
Google Meet and Microsoft Teams allow users to share video from their cameras and the captured desktop or application image. The sharing options for both apps are slightly different due to the diverse nature of office tool ecosystems.
Teams runs in a Microsoft 365 environment that relies heavily on local programs, so it allows you to share the entire screen, a window of a specific application, a file, or a presentation directly from PowerPoint Live.
On the other hand, Google Meet gives users slightly more universal options because all Google applications run in the browser. It allows users to show other participants the entire screen, a browser window or a browser tab. In addition, each Google Sheets, Docs or Slides file has a special button in the upper right corner that allows users to share it in a new or ongoing conversation immediately.
Another vital element of team video meetings is the ability to create shared notes. Why brainstorm when most of the spontaneous ideas could go to waste? Meet and Teams give users convenient tools to record the most important findings.
Google has paired Meet with the simple, light and intuitive Jamboard app. Interestingly, Jamboard is not only the name of a virtual whiteboard but also a physical device designed for modern offices and classrooms.
MS Teams gives you a choice – you can take notes in Microsoft Whiteboard or Freehand by InVision. Both tools allow the shared creation of mind maps and notes using coloured shapes, cards, or hand drawings.
Not everything can be expressed verbally. We’ve all had telephone conversations during which we would give anything for the possibility of sending a link or text. During meetings on Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, you always have access to a text chat, which allows you to share any content with your interlocutors. Chat operation and complexity differ somewhat in both applications. The chat in Teams is a comprehensive tool for group communication that works independently of video calls. In contrast, the lightweight chat built into Meet is used for the ongoing exchange of information and is not saved after the meeting.
Background images and animations
During the first months of social isolation in 2020, many users started participating in video conferencing from the comfort of their own homes. Remote lessons and team meetings flow more naturally when all participants have the camera turned on and can use gestures or facial expressions for communication. However, there the issue of privacy emerged. Like it or not, we were forced to invite interlocutors to our living rooms and thus share additional information about our lives.
Videoconferencing applications from Google and Microsoft offered a simple remedy – the ability to set a background that dynamically adapts to the user’s body movements and always hides everything behind them. AI-supported algorithms continuously analyse the camera image and precisely distinguish the person from the environment.
All data on Google Meet and Microsoft Teams is encrypted during transmission and at rest. Most security options are turned on by default, but administrators can tighten them further.
Global cloud infrastructures used to build Google and Microsoft’s web applications meet ISO security standards. Companies that process employee and customer data with these office software suites are equipped with all the administrative tools required to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Check out the article Google Workspace and legal compliance to learn more details.
Problems with Google Meet and Microsoft Teams comparison
Although listing the shared features of these two videoconferencing applications is easier than listing their differences, it won’t help you choose the best tool for your business. It serves as an assurance that you won’t be disappointed no matter what decision you make. In both cases, you get access to all the essential features and security controls.
Comparing Meet and Teams is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. While both applications enable clients to achieve the same goals, they are fundamentally different in structure and their role in the office software ecosystem.
Microsoft Teams is a complex collaboration platform
Microsoft Teams isn’t just for videoconferencing. It is a significantly more extensive application that combines the following functionalities:
- video communicator,
- chat rooms,
- space for file sharing,
- and a calendar.
Teams continues to function as part of the Microsoft 365 suite, and the platform cannot be purchased separately. Although it syncs with the OneDrive cloud drive and Outlook Calendar, it is a separate collaboration space. You only need this one program to plan, conduct and summarise an online lesson or team meeting.
Google Meet is a simple piece of a larger puzzle
Google Meet is just a videoconferencing application – simple, functional and convenient for everyone. Even someone who rarely participates in video calls won’t have any issues quickly understanding the principles of using this application.
Scheduling meetings, text conversations, and file sharing occur outside the Google Meet app – in a separate Google Calendar, Google Chat, or Drive window. All Google Workspace tools are browser-based and perfectly integrated, and opening them takes only a few seconds. As a result, each application is as simple as possible and plays a vital role in a complex ecosystem.
However, that doesn’t mean Google Workspace users always have to open five separate browser windows to attend a meeting. Chat, files, shortcuts and schedule information are aggregated where every employee looks at least once a day – on Gmail. As a result, the work email box becomes the centre of internal and external communication.
Google Meet vs Microsoft Teams – limitations
The maximum meeting length in both applications is 24 hours. After a full day, the videoconference room is automatically closed, but there is nothing in the way of restarting it and continuing from where you left off.
Meet and Teams differ mainly in the limit on the number of meeting participants. One Microsoft Teams room can accommodate up to 300 people simultaneously, regardless of the package. In Google Meet, the capacity of the virtual video conferencing space depends on the service variant:
- Google Workspace Business Starter – max. 100 participants.
- Google Workspace Business Standard – max. 150 participants,
- Google Workspace Business Plus – max. 500 participants,
- Google Workspace Enterprise – max. 500 participants.
Microsoft Teams vs Google Meet – availability
Teams – on the web and locally
In its classic version, Microsoft Teams is a program installed on the computer’s hard drive. If you want to use the full functionality, you have to deal with a stationary mode of operation. Fortunately, even when you’re temporarily away from your computer, you can use Teams in your browser. All you need to do is log in to your work Outlook account to access the platform’s web version.
Like all other Google apps, Meet was designed from the ground up to be cloud-based and browser-based – so the tool’s full version is with you wherever you have access to an Internet connection.
Now that every office worker has a compact, high computing power device in their pocket, anyone can join meetings on the move – while walking or riding the bus. Both Teams and Meet have their mobile versions available for free download from the App Store and Play Store.
The average user ratings for these Android apps are 3.9 for Meet and 4.2 for Teams. On iOS, Google Meet wins out with an average of 4.6, while Teams is not far behind, reaching 4.5 stars (as of 28th of December 2021).
Joining a phone call for free of charge with Meet
In each Meet variant, the user can join a live conversation via the regular telephone network. A unique phone number is automatically generated when you create a meeting – you can use it completely free of charge. With this feature, even a lack of an Internet connection will not be an obstacle in connecting with your team.
Although Microsoft Teams also offers a telephone connection option, it is a service purchased separately, and its prices depend on the region and type of connection.
Google Meet vs Microsoft Teams – ease of use
If the two popular applications are very similar in most vital functional areas, the user experience often determines the superior one. It is one of the softer and more individual assessment categories because habits and personal preferences impact it. The level of an application’s complexity and small interface details, which facilitate or hinder the given solutions’ daily use, are also significant.
From the user’s perspective, the advantage of Teams is that all files and communication channels are in one place. Paradoxically, this is also the platform’s most notable disadvantage – at least for people who are taking their first steps in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.
Why are inexperienced users having trouble using Microsoft Teams? Here are a few examples:
- It has a complicated interface consisting of tabs, profile settings, channels, chat rooms, a calendar, a search bar, additional applications and team management tools.
- Unintuitive video call room elements. One of the downsides to the UX is that users often confuse the end screen sharing button with the call hang-up button. You may accidentally end your presentation and leave the call room.
- The lack of shared file filtering makes large group document repositories more convenient to handle in other applications.
- Default opening of links in Microsoft Edge, even if the user prefers a different browser. The move is intended to encourage Teams users to use the recent replacement for Internet Explorer, but it only causes frustration in practice.
Google Meet has a much simpler structure, so this app is generally considered more approachable than Teams. If your team members are not used to using Microsoft applications, it will be much easier for you to implement Google Meet in your company.
Google Meet only consists of a waiting room used to adjust the microphone and camera settings and the actual conversation room with a clear button layout. The chat window with callers is invisible by default, and only appears after someone sends the first message. Text conversations inside the room can only be used for ongoing information exchange and are not saved permanently. Nothing distracts the meeting’s participants from what is most important, i.e. the interaction with the interlocutors.
Because Google Workspace applications are constantly online, Google Chrome users can use convenient shortcuts to open documents or start new meetings. Type meet.new in the browser address bar (and similarly for other tools: doc.new, sheet.new, etc.), to instantly create a new call room or file.
What to choose – Meet or Teams?
The answer to this question depends on how your team works. If you work on the go, dynamically, and care about simplicity and speed, then the Google Meet web application will work better. However, if you have a more stationary and methodical collaboration that requires comprehensive solutions, you will benefit from using the Teams platform.
Whichever solution you are leaning towards after reading this article, remember that neither Teams nor Meet exists in a vacuum. You can’t buy them separately. When deciding on either of these tools, you need to consider the convenience of using all the other elements of the Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 office suite.
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