Google quietly reached a major milestone in its battle with Microsoft to rule the workplace
- Google's G Suite - which encompasses Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other productivity tools - has surpassed 2 billion monthly active users, according to Axios.
- Google's G Suite boss Javier Soltero did not say how many of those users are paid, or how many use services beyond Gmail.
- But Google did say in 2019 that 5 million businesses are now paying for G Suite, while Microsoft's Office 365 suite for businesses now has 200 million monthly active users.
- Even so, the milestone suggests that Google is becoming a more formidable challenger to Microsoft when it comes to office productivity tools.
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Microsoft may be the dominant player when it comes to workplace software thanks to its Office 365 suite, but Google is quickly gaining traction. The search giant recently said that its G Suite product, which includes services like Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Meet, has surpassed 2 billion monthly active users, according to Axios.
Google's G Suite boss Javier Soltero shared the news with Axios on Wednesday, but did not say how many of those 2 billion users were paid, or how many use anything besides Google's popular Gmail email service. Google said roughly one year ago that 5 million businesses are now paying for G Suite, which pales in comparison to Microsoft Office 365's 200 million monthly active users of its version for businesses.
As part of his effort to build up G Suite since joining Google in 2019 after spending four years at Microsoft, Soltero has been focusing on boosting features like search and making Gmail more conversational, according to Axios. Google is also trying to make it easier to integrate between apps, as Soltero told Axios that he Google still has "work to do" in that area.
But Microsoft has also been making improvements to its workplace productivity offerings. The company released a service called "Project Cortex" at the end of last year, which is like a search engine for more easily finding information between Microsoft applications.
Regardless, the milestone suggests that Google is becoming a more serious challenger to Microsoft's Office. Google has already made its tools stand out against Microsoft's thanks to its focus on artificial intelligence, Raul Castanon-Martinez, a senior analyst at 451 Research, previously told Business Insider's Ashley Stewart.
In the future, Google intends to extend that work by bringing its Smart Compose feature, which makes suggestions when typing in Gmail and Docs, to appear in other Google services, Soltero told Axios.
"Google has built differentiation based on its key strengths with cloud-native capabilities and AI, so it's important for Microsoft to step up its game," Castanon-Martinez previously said to Business Insider, adding that Google's G Suite is "rapidly gaining ground."
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