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A cloud abroad in Paris: a comparison of Google Docs and Microsoft Word Online

A cloud with built-in productivity tools is a convenient way for multinational companies to share resources—especially when a team in one country sets up the account and teams in other countries aren’t penalized with longer wait times because of it.When you’re collaborating in real time on a document, minor lags of even a couple seconds are noticeable and can cause problems. Delays not only frustrate and annoy everyone involved, they may tempt users to abandon coediting entirely. Going back to emailing the file around makes it harder to keep track of changes.Google Docs made collaboration a smooth and seamless experience, with changes one user made showing up very quickly for a second user. Google Docs also experienced no functionality issues in our hands-on testing. Collaborating with Microsoft Word Online was more difficult, with wait times up to 61 times as long as Google Docs—totaling almost a full minute of waiting. There were situations where Word Online couldn’t handle the amount of text or the size of the images we used, producing error messages in over 30 percent of our test runs. These delays and functionality issues can cause problems for multinational corporations with offices around the world.

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