The level of hate some people have for Microsoft Word is alarming and hilarious. But the amount of vitriol people spew over Google Docs is about the same.
Instead of wading into that cesspool of disgruntledness, we’ll stick with answering the burning question: Is Google Docs better than Microsoft Word?
The answer is, as with many things, “it depends.”
Let’s cover the most important (and most argued over) features of Google Docs and Microsoft Word: accessibility, collaboration, UI (user interface), price, compatibility, functionality, and customization.
Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word by Feature
Google Docs: You can operate Google Docs on any computer or browser, except for BlackBerry phones (condolences to that one person still using a BlackBerry, wherever you are). Since it’s cloud-based, you won’t need to stick with a specific device to access in-process documents. But if you don’t have access to the internet, you’re out of luck (though there are offline features). However, you won’t ever lose a document or the changes you made (saved in real time) unless an asteroid hits Earth.
Microsoft Word: You’ll need to be working from a computer with a Windows or Mac operating system. While it’s great to be able to access your documents from a single place regardless of internet access, that also means you have to have that same device to work with, every time. You run the risk of losing documents if your hard drive goes wonky or your OS goes on strike and a file isn’t recoverable. Enabling auto save can compensate for this risk.
Our Take: Google Docs wins on accessibility unless the zombie apocalypse happens.