Would Google Apps or Outlook Exchange Be Better For Startups?


Google Apps is now frequently compared to Microsoft's Outlook Exchange email solution. Which one would be better for usage in a startup?


asked Sep 22 '10 at 11:07
150 points

11 Answers


I've used Google Apps for all of my businesses. I don't see any reason to not use it. You have better things to worry about than managing an email server. Get the Google Apps, spend a couple minutes to set it up and move on to something more important.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 11:12
Kyle West
708 points
  • +1. It's hard to imagine what a small startup needs that Exchange does and Google doesn't. You can always switch later! – Jason 14 years ago
  • +1 "move on to something more important" -- it really is amazing that something as critical as email can be taken care of so simply. – Bstpierre 14 years ago
  • I actually like exchange, but think to start a business google apps is the best way to go, at least to start. – Percent20 14 years ago
  • What about it is illegal for most businesses to use google apps outside the US because it does not follow data retention laws and privacy laws (which exist outside the US) of for example all of europe. – Net Tecture 12 years ago


I don't think you can really go wrong using Google Apps. You can always change to something else later. However, I would recommend NOT registering your domain through them and having them set it all up for you. I did this and it's a painful process to switch registrars if you want to later.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 13:30
Joe Philllips
221 points
  • ;) Except you can loose court cases because google apps does not follow the legal frameworks in place for most of the world. – Net Tecture 12 years ago


Google apps is an excellent tool for a startup, but let me also plug Google Voice (which is NOT Apps capable at the moment, unfortunately). I've found Voice to be unbelievable useful in allowing me to have a stable "business" phone number AND a private cell phone while only paying for and carrying my personal cell.

answered Sep 24 '10 at 00:37
Don Greer
51 points


Google apps comprises a great suite of software for your company.

  • The Calendar allows you to schedule meetings
  • You can share and collaborate on documents
  • Gmail takes care of your email needs

Those are the essentials for a small company.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 13:20
163 points


Your question is unfocused. Your question is similar to this one: Which would be better for me to drive- a red car or a blue one?

We need a lot more information from you before we can help you.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 11:13
Gary E
12,510 points
  • I think it is safe to assume "small startup" here. – Leonardo Herrera 14 years ago
  • I think what Gary E means is that the poster should provide more details about the functionality that is required from these products in order for us to be able to provide a more focused answer. A cost-benefit analysis of sorts could then be produced for example. – John Sansom 14 years ago


I'm not sure if by Exchange do you mean "Hosted Exchange" or do you mean installing and maintaining your own exchange server. Assuming you mean hosted exchange (and possibly the entire Business Productivity Online Suite ), it comes down to two things. Google has a free offering that in many cases is sufficient for small businesses. If you're comfortable with Google's applications then I see no reason why you should pass on free.

Microsoft's BPOS is $10/user/month. With it you get

  • Hosted Exchange
  • Hosted Sharepoint
  • Microsoft LiveMeeting (a web conferencing solution)
  • Microsoft Communication Services (a private IM/Telepresence solution)

If you need to use a web conferencing tool and/or the Communication services, Microsoft is a better fit (google doesn't have a similar offering currently). If you can do without, go with Google.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 16:51
Mike Brown
121 points


We have over 30 people on Google Apps for email and calendar. We don't use docs. Works great with Outlook with the Google Sync plugin, works with everyone iPhone, Palm, Droid, etc. Cheap (and free if the free version is good enough). You have more important things to worry about. Just do it.

We use GoDaddy for domains. Not the cheapest, but I have been using them for years and it works.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 13:53
659 points
  • There have been plenty of negative reviews about GoDaddy. I'm quite interested in how your experience is with GoDaddy. Are they fine to use? – Jfw 14 years ago


IMO, the best feature of Google apps is the GMail web-based email client.

The user experience is better than using Outlook. There are a lot of very useful features, for instance searching, tagging and the priority inbox.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 22:00
128 points
  • can you organize meetings between more than one person while checking their schedules? – Dassouki 14 years ago


Google Apps is much more than just email. It is a rapidly evolving suite, which in my opinion caters to all aspects of a startup. We started using Google Apps Standard and now use the Premier edition with more than 25 users

Some advantages

  1. Breeze to set up, no hassles, no maintaining servers
  2. Brilliant Email based on Gmail. Additional security and Spam protection with Postini Services (Included with Premier Edition)
  3. Out of the box mobile synch, supports all popular email clients
  4. Google Apps like Docs, Spreadsheets, etc are very good, especially for collaboration. No need to mail files, or work on multiple copies
  5. The killer feature in my opinion is the Google Apps Marketplace. For a startup, you would be surprised at what you might need tomorrow. With the Google Apps marketplace, you can extend your Google Apps in a snap, no installation required. You want billing software, add on Freshbooks, you need CRM add Zoho and thousands of other tools which you would need in your business. This scalability is unparalleled
  6. Easy management and reporting using the APIs available in the Premier Edition

There are so many things which would suit your needs. I would suggest trying out the Standard Edition, which I believe would take care of most of a small startup's needs

answered Sep 27 '10 at 22:01
688 points


Google Apps is always adding features to their email offering via the "Labs." These features are often great for increasing productivity and efficiency.
Some other great things that come with Google Apps:

  • Chat: for quick, short questions and instant responses, you've got Google's chat feature right there.
  • Tasks: You can manage tasks, create multiple task lists, and add tasks to your calendar.
  • Calendars: create as many calendars as you need, share with whom you want and how you want. New features also get added here regularly.
  • Create email groups: Do you get support requests by email? Create a Group for the email address [email protected], and any emails that get sent to that address will arrive in the inbox of team members that you have defined as part of the group. Can be used for inter-department communication, and other things.
  • Share contacts within the company: you can make contacts shared across the whole team.

I'm a fan.

answered Dec 4 '11 at 06:04
Miriam Schwab
121 points


Hands down, Google Apps wins over Outlook if you are a small startup. Apart from the numerous integrations with other Google services, the exciting things Google keeps adding to it's e-mail like 'Priority Inbox', 'Forgotten Attachment Detector', etc. can be used. No separate application, browser-based - my vote is for Google Apps!

answered Sep 27 '10 at 22:08
482 points

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