Remote team meetings were not new before the COVID-19 outbreak but they have become the norm now. Quite a few software giants have struggled to bring the video conferencing experience close to a usual onsite meeting. To best decide which of the two – Microsoft Teams or Google Meet – would meet your conferencing and collaboration needs, evaluate them holistically. Both Microsoft and Google have padded their products with features above and beyond video conferencing. In this article, we will compare Microsoft Teams Vs Google Meet vis-à-vis:
- Product Evolution
- Ecosystem Integration
- Conferencing Capabilities
- Security Features
Product Evolution: Microsoft Teams vs Google Meet
MS Teams’ main role is that of a team messenger. It allows users to exchange direct instant messages, create group chats, and broadcast information through channels. On top of this, it offers video calling. MS Teams was introduced in 2016 as an alternative to another popular team communication tool, Slack.
As MS Teams was easy to adopt for those with a Microsoft license, it commanded 2 million users just a year after its launch. However, its popularity skyrocketed with the shift to the remote workforce. From 19 million users in pre-pandemic Nov 2019 usage surged to 145 million users in 2021.
Contrary to Microsoft, which launched its video conferencing tool in one leap, Google took its time to shape what we now know as Google Meet. First, it was Google TalkBack in 2005. It enabled instant messages that could be in either text or voice memo form. Then came Google Hangouts. The initial release happened in 2013. Google Hangouts used to be part of Google+, Google’s attempt to create its own social network. Between 2013 and 2017, Google integrated both team chat and video conferencing features into it. But then, in 2017, the Internet giant decided to split chatting and conferencing into separate tools: Google Chat and Google Meet. Both were also tuned to fit into enterprise environments. Google Meet has had more than 100 million downloads.
Ecosystem Integration: Microsoft Teams vs Google Meet
The strength of MS Teams lies in its tight integration with the home team – Office 365’s suite of products. With the renaming of Office 365 to Microsoft 365, the integration with MS Teams has been supercharged. You can share and collaborate on Word docs, Excel files and Presentations, in the Teams chat itself.
Google Meet similarly offers integration with Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). However, it’s more open to external integration with tools such as Slack, Zendesk, and Flowdock.
Conferencing Capabilities: Microsoft Teams vs Google Meet
Microsoft Teams and Google Meet both offer excellent video-conferencing capabilities with 1080p HD-quality video, screen sharing, virtual backgrounds, group calls, and more. Here we examine a few aspects.
Look and Feel
Google Meet has features that allow you to truly feel like you are in an offline meeting. What happens in a room when someone starts to speak? Everyone turns to look at this person. Google Meet does exactly that. It automatically switches the main screen to the person who is currently speaking. Google Meet also offers noise-reduction and intelligent muting, helping all other participants to focus on the speaker.
On the other hand, Microsoft Teams offers captions and transcription features. It also comes with an inline message translation feature that translates messages into the user-specified language.
Google Meet became popular for webinars since it offers wider broadcasting options. In this case, participants do not need to take part in the talk, they can only listen and watch. Google Meet enables you to broadcast your webinars to 100,000 spectators (view-only). You can also dial into a video conference by phone.
Microsoft Teams upped its webinar game with support for up to 1,000 attendees (in an engagement enabled mode) and up to 10,000 attendees in the view-only mode.
With MS Teams and Google Meet, you can record a meeting without using any third-party tools. The media files will be saved in the cloud: OneDrive or SharePoint for MS Teams and in MyDrive (Google Drive) for Google Meet.
Google Meet has a limitation here. MyDrive won’t save them locally if you do not use its synchronization software, and you will have to download the file manually.
Pricing: Microsoft Teams vs Google Meet
Both providers have free plans with a few limitations. The free version of Google Meet allows 100 Meet participants. Microsoft Teams has a free version also includes support for up to 100 people.
Microsoft Teams is included with all Microsoft 365 plans (which start at $5 a user per month). Google Workspace plans that start at $8 per user per month include access to Google Meet.
Security Features: Microsoft Teams Vs Google Meet
Both tools offer meeting encryption and two-factor authentication even for free subscription plans. Paid plans come with advanced security auditing and reporting. Google even offers complex meeting IDs that are resilient to brute-force hacking attempts.
Although both providers save recordings and chats in the cloud, they are still very vulnerable to data loss and lack any backup feature.
The Verdict: Microsoft Teams Or Google Meet?
It depends on your requirements and the platform you are using. Personal use or a small business? Google Meet may be your best bet. If your organization uses Microsoft 365, stick with Teams. Similarly, if your company uses Google Workspace, Google Meet would be your best fit. While Google Meet makes for an excellent video conferencing tool, Microsoft Teams shines when it comes to teams seamlessly jumping on calls via chat.
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