Google Docs and Microsoft Office Live Workspace

Google Docs and Microsoft Office Live Workspace are both free, online document storage sites. This post will take a look at the differences and similarities between them.


Google Docs

Google Docs

Any file regardless of format can be uploaded to Google Drive, although not all file types can be viewed in the Google Drive viewer. The following documents can be viewed in the Google Drive viewer:

  • Image files (.JPEG, .PNG, .GIF, .TIFF, .BMP)
  • Video files (WebM, .MPEG4, .3GPP, .MOV, .AVI, .MPEGPS, .WMV, .FLV)
  • Text files (.TXT)
  • Markup/Code (.CSS, .HTML, .PHP, .C, .CPP, .H, .HPP, .JS)
  • Microsoft Word (.DOC and .DOCX)
  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.PPT and .PPTX)
  • Adobe Portable Document Format (.PDF)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Tagged Image File Format (.TIFF)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • TrueType (.TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)
  • Archive file types (.ZIP and .RAR)

When uploading to Google Drive you can convert some file types to editable forms as long as they are below their specific file size. These formats and size limits are:

  • Documents – Max Size 2MB: .doc, .docx, .html, plain text (.txt), .rtf
  • Spreadsheets- Max Size 20MB: .xls, .xlsx, .ods, .csv, .tsv, .txt, .tab
  • Presentations- Max Size 50MB: .ppt, .pps, .pptx
  • Drawings- No Max Size: .wmf
  • OCR: .jpg, .gif, .png, .pdf

When converted these documents can be edited by multiple people at the same time, with changes to the document visible by all users it is shared with in real time (or close enough to it). The documents are opened and edited in essentially striped back online versions of the Microsoft Office applications.

Folders in Google Drive can be stored hierarchically much in the same way they are on your desktop computer. When files are deleted they are placed in the Google Drive recycle bin and can be restored.

(Information retrieved from


Microsoft Office Live Workspace

With Microsoft Office Live Workspace there are two ways you can access your SkyDrive. The first is much like Google Drive through a browser. Through this method of access any type of file can be uploaded that is under the size of 300MB. The second way is that of downloading the SkyDrive app which automatically syncs your files between the app on your desktop and your SkyDrive. Any files uploaded through the app can be up to 2GB in size (every user gets up to 7GB of free space).

In Microsoft Office Live Workspace it is not possible to edit files online and in turn not possible for multiple users to work on the same file together. Instead when a user begins editing a file which is of a file type supported by the Microsoft office suite it downloads to the users computer and opens up within the actual Microsoft Office application. While that user is editing it no one else can access or make changes to it on the drive. Once the user is done editing the file it is saved and uploaded.

Microsoft Office Live Workspace allows you to store your folders hierarchically much like Google Drive.

I personally prefer to use Google Drive due to the fact that I am able to work on the same document with other people synchronously, which is 100 times easier than one person editing a file then passing it to another then another and so on so forth. Although this does come at the cost of not having the full functionality of the actual Microsoft Office Suite, which at times can be rather annoying, but I can always just download the file and finalize on my desktop.

One Response to “Google Docs and Microsoft Office Live Workspace”
  1. gregc132 says:

    Good comparison and choice justification

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