Microsoft and Google are two of the biggest technology companies around - so it’s hardly surprising that both have entered the video conferencing (opens in new tab) space. Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab) is the offering from the Redmond-based firm, while Google Meet (opens in new tab) is the solution developed by the firm originally known for its search engine services.
Not too long ago, the communication and collaboration (opens in new tab) field was a more gentle environment, one in which many different services could happily co-exist. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic made face-to-face interaction more challenging, more and more organizations have been forced to rely on digital solutions. As such, competition between services has ramped up significantly.
The good news is that both Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab) and Google Meet represent good examples within the video conferencing field. However, with their respective developers adding new features all the time, this is a dynamic ecosystem. For businesses and individuals looking to weigh up the respective merits of each solution, there are many things to consider.
In the following guide, we’ve collected all the information you need to decide whether Microsoft Teams or Google Meet is right for your business, comparing plans and pricing, features, security, and more.
Plans and pricing
Both Microsoft Teams and Google Meet are pretty generous when it comes to their free plans. Both allow you to use basic versions of each platform for an unlimited time and that will probably be sufficient for individuals that simply want to video call friends or family from time or time, or even sole traders that have infrequent video conferences.
For larger companies, however, the limitations that are built into the free versions of both Teams and Meet may feel a little restrictive. For example, the free version of both platforms only allows for up to 100 participants in a meeting at any one time. While this may sound like a lot, it basically rules out company-wide meetings for medium and larger organizations.
Microsoft Teams' pricing structure is tied into the company's Microsoft 365 plans. Microsoft 365 Business Basic, for example, is priced at $5.00/£3.80/AU$6.90 per user per month and comes with 1TB of OneDrive storage as well as access to Teams. Microsoft 365 Business Standard, meanwhile, is priced at $12.50/£9.40/AU$17.20 per user per month and also comes with desktop versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. While Microsoft 365 Premium adds additional features for $20.00/£15.10/AU$27.50 per user per month.
In particular, the ability to add up to 10,000 participants to a meeting with Microsoft 365 Premium is likely to appeal to large enterprises. However, even Microsoft 365 Business Basic increases the time limit from 60 minutes to 24 hours, which saves firms from the embarrassment of having to abruptly finish a call because they are using the free version.
Similar to Microsoft Teams, Google Meet is only offered for free as a standalone version but users can opt to pay for Google Workspace, which will provide additional Meet functionality and grant access to other Google tools.
Google Workspace Standard costs $6 per user per month and increases the number of licences that businesses can use to 300. Google Workspace Standard, meanwhile, costs $12 per user per month and raises the allowed number of meeting participants from 100 to 150, while Google Workspace Plus, which costs $18 per user per month, takes this figure up to 250. The Enterprise version is priced on a bespoke basis, but adds noise cancelling features and enhanced support.
For any business choosing to pay for Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace packages, the most useful feature will certainly be integration with other applications. In terms of core features, however, there isn’t much to separate Meet and Teams.
Some of Google Meet’s features include an audio and video preview screen, screen sharing, meeting host controls, and live captioning during meetings. In addition, users can access customizable backgrounds and connection quality adjustments that leverage AI capabilities.
Microsoft Teams features, on the other hand, also include screen sharing and customizable backgrounds, but the option of more than 250 app integrations probably means that most businesses will get more from using Teams than they would Google Meet. It just seems to offer more collaboration potential.
For paid users, Google Meets offers complex meeting IDs that add extra protection against brute-force hacking attempts. Teams, meanwhile, offers fantastic security for businesses to employ internally. For example, team owners have a granular level of control, where they can act as administrators and restrict the actions of other users. Considering most data leaks occur because of the actions of internal staff, this feature is a welcome addition.
While Microsoft Teams and Google Meet both offer all the usual channels for customer support, there are a couple of small differences. Teams certainly has a great community of support around it, mainly comprising other users who are happy to lend a helping hand whenever you encounter issues. Conversely, Meet offers video tutorials and a free online course for users. If you prefer to self-learn, this is a great advantage of Google Meet.
Deciding whether Google Meet or Microsoft Teams is your best bet will likely depend on the size of your organization. If you’re a sole trader or small business, the simplicity of Google Meet will be difficult to improve upon. However, if you’re a larger company in need of more advanced collaboration features, or you already extensively use Microsoft 365, you’ll be better off going with Microsoft Teams.