Re: Cloud suckage
I can't really advise, as I don't know enough about MS' offering from hands-on experience to do so.
I use POP and IMAP access to Gmail, and that is fine (but use "recent:username@domain" instead of "username@domain" when configuring the POP log-in if you want to have more than one PC accessing your inbox).
The Gmail spam filter is pretty good, but it pays to check the web interface for things that are false positives.
Google docs are OK for light stuff, but don't expect any real support even when paying for it. However, judging by other comments here, that also applies to MS...
We went with Google as we had a pressing issue of retiring an ancient email server, and at the time it looked decent enough. The IT bosses kicked up a stink at our autonomous decision, but then they were not ready to do anything for over a year that could have helped.
The other parts of our organisation ultimately went with MS for various reasons, but one key factor was the ability of MS to promise (OK, not the same as delivering!) that all data would be held on EU-based servers to meet our requirements for holding sensitive data (e.g. medical trials).
Yes, I know that is a joke, but it keeps the PHBs happy and avoided the problems of the IT department having to find the proper money for an email server that could offer more than the pitiful 10MB or whatever used to be the typical inbox limit for the 10k or so users.