I'm getting a new computer soon, so I'm using that as motivation to try to upload all of my documents to Google Documents and not purchase a new license of Microsoft Office. Recently Google added the ability to upload any file type to Google Docs. So in addition to all the Microsoft Word and Excel documents I have, I can also upload assorted image and sound files, and even zip files and executables.
There are some big advantages to storing your documents "in the cloud" instead of on your computer.
1. You can access them from any computer with an Internet connection, anywhere. Not to mention any capable phone.
2. You don't have to worry about losing documents if your computer crashes and you haven't made a recent backup
3. Google Documents is free, so you can avoid buying a Microsoft Office license.
Some people worry about being able to access your documents if Google goes down, but I consider that less likely than my own computer going down.
Still, there are some definite disadvantages:
1. You need an Internet connection to view your documents. This isn't usually a problem unless you're trying to work outside or in some restaurant without wireless.
2. Privacy - Google technically does have access to the contents of your documents, if that bothers you
3. Google Documents lacks many features of Microsoft Office
So the first two disadvantages I listed aren't that big of a deal to me, but the more I've used Google Docs, the more I've missed a few key features found in Office.
First off, although Google Documents has its own revision tracking for changes made withing Google Docs, it did not successfully import Microsoft Word's revision tracking last time I tried it. This can be a real problem if you are sent a Word document with revision tracking as you'll have no way to view it. I've read that Open Office can interpret Word's revision tracking though. So if that comes up again, I'll plan to install Open Office just for the sake of reading the revisions.
Second, when typing a regular document, Google Docs does not give you any indication of where the page breaks will be. So let's say you're typing a letter and you want it to fit on one page, there's no way to tell when you've reached a full page while you're typing. The only thing you can do is use Print Preview, which will convert your document to a PDF to show you how it will print. This gets pretty annoying when you're trying to trim out words and lines to see if it gets down to one page and have to keep going to Print Preview over and over. Apparently I'm not the only one bothered by this.
And the third issue I've found is that the charts in Google spreadsheets are not as robust as the charts in Excel. I've always been pretty impressed with how easy it is to create an Excel chart, and customize it. The first time I made a chart in Google Docs, it took me some time to figure out how to get both the data and labels on there. It seems that the columns have to be adjacent, so I had to make a dummy column of labels. And at least for the pie charts, there weren't as many options for how to label them. But Google's do have a clickable "pop-out" functionality that's pretty nice.
If you've already made the switch from Microsoft to Google for your documents, let me know how it went! Thanks!