Max Grill ’26 is not even remotely sure what he wants to major in. He is from Philadelphia and loves watching the Phillies, talking about the Phillies, and reading about the Phillies. In his spare time, you may find him engaged in an intense game of Speed Chess. If you want to play him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in the article are the author’s own.
There’s a disease going around this campus.
Now don’t panic –– you probably won’t catch it if you’re safe. You don’t need to wear a mask to avoid it, but if you collaborate with a certain demographic of students on campus, it might slowly spread into your laptop during group projects and take over your browsers before you even realize it. I’ve felt its pressure, but I’m happy to say I’ve come out on the other side unscathed.
Luckily for you, I’m here to bring this epidemic into light. I don’t seek praise or notoriety — I’m just a student, looking out for my fellow classmates who I care very deeply about.
This problem — this sickness — might even live in many of you, so take this as a warning before this gets too harsh.
There is a strong consensus around the College of William and Mary that Google and its associated apps are superior to Microsoft and its applications. Docs over Word. Sheets over Excel. Google Drive over OneDrive. And I’m here to say that this ridiculous theory could not be farther from the truth, and hopefully, with some work, switch students to the right side of this battle with Microsoft.
Now I imagine that some of you Google-defending readers have already come up with a counter to fire back at me, but don’t think I’ve come into this topic without doing some research first. I already know what Microsoft’s first “major problem” is — the whole “nothing ever saves” debacle. Here’s how I imagine people came across this travesty:
You’re in elementary school, and it’s time to use those fancy big computers with all the games! You type out your acrostic poem on Word like your teacher tells you to, rush to click out of the app, and hop on to Cool Math Games to play some Run. Then, when it’s time to read the work of art you’ve created for your class’s poetry reading… oh no! It’s gone! You think, “How can I ever trust Word? This won’t ever save my stuff,” and the first time you use Docs, you’re sold.
It doesn’t have to be just like that, but I imagine there is one similar aspect in everyone’s independent Microsoft horror stories.User error. Luckily, Microsoft apps (and you) have gotten smarter and better at making sure documents, projects or graphs don’t get lost.
Just like Google uses Google Drive, Microsoft uses OneDrive. Once someone’s OneDrive is paired with an account, every file opened on any Microsoft application also connected to the same account will automatically prompt you to save it somewhere, and even suggest that it be saved to your individual OneDrive. Those files can be accessed on any device and be shared to anyone with an email.
Boom — every major complaint against Microsoft has been dismantled. But I’m not here to tell you why Word, PowerPoint and Excel are just as good as their Google counterparts. I’m here to show why they’re better.
To do so, I turn to the quality of each app.
A problem arises for Google already. If you haven’t noticed, there are no downloadable apps for Google applications. Every time you want to jot something down on Docs, slow down for a second -–have fun opening your web browser first! I want an app that I can just click on and open — like any Microsoft app has — and can be accessed even if the internet connection is disrupted. Trust me, Doc users, I’ve seen your pain when the internet crashes. I was sitting in psychology the other day when my friend Isabelle’s laptop couldn’t connect to the Wi-Fi. I watched her click on every button imaginable on her laptop as a warning message floated over her Doc, preventing her from typing a single word on the page. I laughed. Hard. If only she was typing on Word…
Google users can actually access documents offline, though — they just have to download a browser extension, mark files to be available “Offline” before said file is used, and then cry when they realize they forgot to mark a different file that they really needed but now can’t use. Easy-peasy!
Let’s say a Google-user’s application of their desire is finally open. Here’s what I challenge them to do — open its Microsoft counterpart and compare the apps visually. Whether it’s Word, PowerPoint or Excel, every app simply looks more user friendly than what Google offers. Things are better labeled and easier to understand. There is color on each heading. There are even graphics to help find certain areas you may want to edit.
On top of that, Microsoft offers better features too. For this example, I turn to PowerPoint and Slides. I made two identical presentations, one on each app. They each had a title slide labeled “Title” and one single slide of content, on which I put one bulleted point and a picture of a dog. PowerPoint immediately suggested ten plus formats I could use to make my slide look better. Google offered zero ideas and accepted my ugly slide. Microsoft wants you to succeed! Google wants to laugh at artistically challenged people like me. Sad.
I know that the College just made the switch to Microsoft this year. I also know that most upperclassmen probably think that I’m just some freshman who never got to experience the bliss of living in a Google-filled society on campus. I sympathize with their discomfort towards scary Outlook and OneDrive — it’s a big change!
It’s not. I lied, similar to how people who say Docs is better than Word are lying to themselves.
At the end of the day, I am just a kid with an opinion. I’m more than open to hearing any pro-Google’ers out about why they think I’m wrong. Just send me an email over Outlook, and I’ll be happy to get back to you.