Google Workspace vs G Suite: What’s the Difference?

Chances are, you’ve used at least one application or service offered by Google as a part of its Google Workspace ecosystem: be it Gmail (currently the most popular email client in the world), Google Docs (a very popular alternative to Microsoft Word), or other solutions.

Google Workspace as a suite of productivity apps has grown increasingly popular in recent years, with Google offering most of its core apps for totally free and with pretty decent functionality.

Yet, what is the difference between Google Workspace and G Suite? Which one should you get for your business? In this post, we will answer that question, as well as other things you may need to know about Google Workspace and G Suite.

Google Workspace vs. G Suite 

If you are still confused about the distinction between Google Workspace and G Suite (or even with the older designation Google Apps,) the good news is that they are actually one and the same.

To really understand this, we have to take a bit of a history lesson.

Google initially launched Gmail, an intuitive email client powered by Google search technology, back in 2004. Back then, Gmail offered a whopping 500 times larger storage than its closest competitors, as well as an intuitive interface and various unique features, leading to its huge success.

To ride this success, Google started launching Google Apps back in 2006, originally dubbed Google Apps for Your Domain, focused on providing businesses with the ability to use their own branding in their domains.

Around 2006 Google started releasing SaaS applications, starting with Google Docs, which is designed as a cloud-based alternative to the leading word processing solution, Microsoft Word. While this journey hasn’t been easy, eventually Google Docs (as well as Slides and Sheets) gained enough traction, and Google followed it up by launching Google Drive, a cloud storage solution that will later become the center of Google’s SaaS applications, in 2012.

Google then launched Google Apps for Business in 2011 as a suite of web-based applications for businesses, which was later renamed Google for Work before being rebranded to G Suite back in 2016. This is also the period when Google’s applications gained widespread adoption and popularity all around the world.

As a platform, G Suite also reached maturity with the introduction of various new features and solutions, including the introduction of its first hardware product: the Jamboard, a 55-inch interactive whiteboard powered by Google’s services.

G Suite Rebranded to Google Workspace

After the period of success, G Suite was rebranded as Google Workspace in 2020.

However, the new Google Workspace brand is not just a name change, but there are also major changes introduced to the suite of applications, namely:

  • A plethora of enhanced services designed for oganizations with various sizes and in various industries
  • Improved user experience for all solutions, and new ways to get started with solutions tailored to the user’s unique needs
  • Rather than simply a collection of services and applications, Google Workspace is now designed as a deeply integrated product to facilitate better collaboration and communications to improve productivity

Google Workspace is aimed at offering a more streamlined collaboration and communication with a unified user experience to improve productivity.

As of the end of 2021,  there are more than 6 million businesses using premium Google Workspace editions to power their businesses across various industries.

What’s Included in Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)

The majority of Google Workspace services and applications are available for totally free, but there are also paid editions (starting from $6/user/month) offering more services and more features for each application.

By partnering with Google Workspace consulting services like Pythian in upgrading your Google Workspace edition, you’ll get the same pricing as you’d get from Google while also getting 24/7 professional support, personalized training, and custom cloud solutions.

With that being said, all Google Workspace editions include the following services:

  • Gmail: intuitive, collaboration-focused email client
  • Drive: cloud storage and file sharing solution
  • Meet: video conferencing solution
  • Calendar: cloud-based real-time calendar and scheduling solution
  • Docs: word processor solution (Microsoft Word alternative)
  • Slides: presentation solution (PowerPoint alternative)
  • Sheets: spreadsheet solution (Excel alternative)
  • Chat: team communication and collaboration tool
  • Keep: cloud note-taking tool
  • Sites: intuitive drag-and-drop style website builder
  • Forms: online survey solution

Let’s discuss each of them a little deeper:

1. Gmail

At the moment, Gmail is the most popular email client in the world, despite being relatively younger than its competitors, ‘only’ being introduced in 2004.

Gmail now has over 1.5 billion active users, and not without its reasons: it has an intuitive interface, very secure and reliable, and back then offers a larger storage space than its competition.

Gmail, as we know, is available for free, but by investing in paid Google Workspace editions you’ll also get extra business-focused features such as the ability to use your business’s domain name on email address (while using Gmail’s interface), larger storage space, and so on.

2. Docs/Sheets/Slides

Google Docs is Google’s cloud-based word processor, while Slides and Sheets are presentation and spreadsheet solutions, respectively. At the moment, they are the strongest competitors to the wildly popular Microsoft Office solutions (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.)

3. Drive

Google Drive is Google’s cloud storage and file management/sharing solution. You can easily upload any type of file to your Google Drive storage, then share it with others by sharing an URL.

Google Drive is available for free (15 GB), but by investing in premium Google Workspace editions you’ll also get additional features besides more (up to unlimited) storage, including advanced authentication and access control tools.

4. Calendar

Pretty self-explanatory, Google Calendar is a calendar, scheduling, and time-tracking solution, allowing you to keep track of your schedules from multiple devices in real-time.

Premium Google Workspace editions will also offer advanced Calendar features like smart scheduling and online booking functionality for appointment-based businesses.

5. Forms

Forms is a smart online survey solution powered by the same communication/collaboration features and security infrastructure of Google Drive, Docs, Slides, and Sheets, allowing easy sharing and real-time synchronization.

6. Chat

A team collaboration and communication tool, similar to Slack. Offers native integrations with Google Drive and other Google services, so with Google Chat you can easily share, receive, and modify files straight from the Chat interface.

7. Meet

Google’s video conferencing solution, powered by Google’s standards-based SIP/H.323 protocols to facilitate seamless integration with various popular hardware and software solutions.

8. Keep

A simple note-taking solution allowing users to easily record (keep) text, voice, images, and lists while offering native integration with Google Drive, Docs, and other services.

9. Sites

A website creation tool allowing multiple users to collaborate on an intuitive website builder without requiring coding/programming experience. Integration with other Google services and applications to facilitate the creation of engaging websites.

Conclusion

Google Workspace and G Suite are one and the same. G Suite has been rebranded as Google Workspace back in 2020, offering not only a new brand identity but also a better, more-integrated user experience with new features and services.

At the moment, Google Workspace has a very strong presence in the market with various different editions and licensing models to cater to different market segments.

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