Google Drive vs. Microsoft OneDrive

I have been using OneDrive for a while now as our cloud service. However, complaints have forced me to reconsider. Here is a quick summary of my thoughts on the subject.

OneDrive pricing.

15 GB Free
100 GB $1.99/month
200 GB $3.99/month
1 TB $6.99/month (includes Office 365)

Google Drive Pricing.

15 GB Free
100 GB $1.99/month
1 TB $9.99/month (includes Google Apps)

They both offer office apps, but the full Microsoft Office suite is much more powerful and has both online and offline versions. With that said, Google is still 50% more expensive at the 1TB level.

Price Winner: Microsoft

Displaying Pictures/Videos
I have alot of photos online. I used to use Picassa, but it just didn’t the one feature I needed – folders! I organize my photos by year and then by month. Tags aren’t always good enough. I loved the Picasa photo editor, especially the red-eye removal, but without folders it just wasn’t going to work for me. Recently, Picasa has been merging into Google+. Actually, it’s pretty confusing what is happening there. I don’t use Google+, so I just don’t know what to think about their solution. With Picasa, YouTube, Google+ and Drive it is hard to understand what Google is doing. It feels like a lack of leadership/coordination to me.

On the other side, Microsoft does a great job of creating a nice interface for pictures. It has lightboxes and plenty of options. No red-eye removal, but the experience for viewers has been pretty good. My only complaint for Microsoft has been the lack of proper codecs to display DivX videos. It can display simpler formats, but I usually compress my videos using the DivX converter so they take up less space.

Display Winner: Microsoft

Sync Stability
If Microsoft had this part of the system under control, I would just give them the crown. It’s a better UI at a better price. However, the sync stability has been a nightmare. They are trying to embed this into the operating system, but honestly, they just fucked it up royally. Constant sync errors and confusing UI makes me worried about losing files constantly. The error icon is constant and the solution (re-open the file) is sketchy at best. Microsoft Office asks me the question, “Do you want to keep the server version or yours?”. This would be fine if they gave me a way to DIFF the two versions. How the hell should I know which is the right version?! They were supposed to be sync’d. No one else is editing!

You can see how Sync problems are by far the most infuriating issue. The importance of a stable sync can not be exaggerated.  Google’s sync, seems to be much more elegant. The progress of the sync is much clearer. It also asks you if you mean to delete on both the server and local. (Microsoft is unclear when this happens). The speed seems ok so far.  I have to test it more, but right now…

Winner: Google

Sharing and Identity Management
They basically have the same sharing model. However, Microsoft wants you to use their Microsoft account and Google wants you to use their Google account. (Duh!) So it comes down to which one of those accounts is more prevalent in people’s lives, especially me and my family.  The answer is: We all use GMail. None of us use Microsoft. My phone is Google, my watch is Google.

Microsoft has tried numerous times to improve their email client, but ultimately, I keep having spam problems. Using GMail (and most recently Inbox) eliminates spam from my life. I’m not switching. Also, the Microsoft Phone is still DOA, so I am not buying that either.

Winner: Google

Summary – Split Decision!
So for now, I switched all of my normal files to Google Drive but left all of the photos and video at OneDrive. There are fewer sync problems with photos because I am not actively editing them.  I will experiment with the photos at Google, but the extra storage expense is making me wary.

I hope this comparison helped you in some way. I’m just trying to educate, engage and entertain.  Not always in that order.

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