Microsoft Whiteboard Vs Miro: Which Wins For Collaboration?

Jon Manderville
August 4, 2023

The right tools can make all the difference when remote working and brainstorming. Speaking from experience, I often pondered the choice between two leading tools in the Market - Miro and Microsoft Whiteboard. Let me share some personal insights so you can make an informed choice.

Specifically, this post will touch on these key areas:

  • How much would it typically cost to get started?
  • How easy is it to get started and begin to use
  • What are the features like - specifically for use when collaborating with others
  • How easy is it to invite others in and also share afterwards
  • How can you integrate the output with other services
  • What the mobile experience is like

If you have other considerations when looking into these products, I'd invite you to let us know via the Academy. We'd happily do a live comparison to help you. 


A first stop many choose to make in a decision-making process - to either eliminate quickly or continue looking into solutions - is cost. 

TL;DR -  One has at least SOME cost overhead, but that is only the M365 licence. One can be totally free to use.


Miro Adopts a tiered pricing model, offering different plans to accommodate team sizes and needs - ranging from a limited free version to a full-scale enterprise package. 

  • The free or Basic plan is good for individual use or small groups of teams. However, it offers a limited scale for larger team groups with only three editable boards. Some of the advanced features - like private board sharing, custom templates, and guest editing are absent from the free plan but there is still a wealth of opportunity at that level (which we will explore shortly).
  • The Starter plan, priced at $8 per member per month, is ideal for smaller organisations. It offers unlimited boards, guest editing, private sharing, and several other features not included in the free plan.
  • The Business plan is geared towards larger sets of teams or businesses with multiple divisions where collaboration is a core need (such as with lots of Scrum teams or interconnected departments). The price is currently $16 per member per month. This plan offers advanced user management and Single Sign-On (SSO), handy for larger organizations needing higher-level security and control. It's also essential if your team scale or dynamics require more workspaces and more boards for collaboration.
Miro Pricing 2023


Unlike Miro, Whiteboard is bundled with Microsoft 365 licences, so you may already have it. You can avoid this and get it as a standalone for $6 per user, but that makes little sense given all the other tools you get under the Microsoft 365 licence -  making even the entry-level licence (Business Basics) worth it. For around $5 per person monthly, you get access to Whiteboard and a host of Power Platform tools to help your business. 

  • Out of the box, you have unlimited Whiteboard boards, which is a significant advantage over Miro's free plan.
  • In terms of features, however, Whiteboard remains quite basic compared to Miro for structured thinking and mind mapping. It has sticky notes, pens, colors, shapes and a limited set of templates.
  • It is very good at supporting drawing on the canvas; however, the tools at your disposal to unlock collaboration creatively are far more limited than Miro.

My take on cost alone is if you're a small team or can work creatively with limited workspace spaces (each canvas is infinite for each board so you can split up the areas if you wanted to share a single board), I would 100% reach for Miro at this point, but that is because I've lived with both for some time and know I can get a lot more value for my efforts with Miro.

Access And Navigation

The only real difference in the initial onboarding experience for Miro and Whiteboard is that Miro is not a Microsoft service.

For Whiteboard, you can click on the Microsoft 365 App navigator and go right to the Whiteboard app. Theres also a downloadable version you can use. 

Miro needs you to create an account - this is the same for anyone planning to use a Miro Board.

That said, it's not a complex process to get into Miro, and the rewards (in my opinion) lie in the depth of features you can use. Even a glance at the images below shows you that Whiteboard only has a few options to choose from, whereas Miro potentially offers a lot flexibility.

Miro User Interface
Whiteboard User Interface

Miro's drag-and-drop user interface was a quick win for me. Once you get used to moving around, using the Map to find areas where your content is stored, zooming and also Frames (more on that in a moment), you will be able to unlock huge flexibility and have plenty of space and tools to keep you engaged, supported and above all able to collaborate easily. 

Whiteboard, on the other hand requires little 'getting-used-to'. It feels simple if a little limited. In terms of zoom and positioning for your workspace, the whole navigation and feature interface to me feels a little clunky.

There are fewer options to explore with Whiteboard. Functionally, it is complete in allowing notes to be added and moved around a board. You can use colour and you can create spaces on the canvas to work within but overall, that's about it. 

If you want to go free-form and freehand with drawing (like a real whiteboard), it feels far more that this is where Whiteboard's strength lies. 

However, more often, I'm looking for collaboration. My needs are for an app to help structure thinking and enable workspaces where others can think, interact and collaborate clearly. In this sense, Miro is a clear hands-down winner due to the features and out-of-the-box templates it can offer. 


Building on that thought, when it comes to scribbling, sketching, and storming your brain, the size of the canvas and the available tools matter. You don't want to feel boxed in when the ideas start flowing. Equally, you don't want to be left with a mess when you have all been working together so hard. That's where Miro and Whiteboard differ significantly.

In my experience, Miro initially feels like stepping into a vast, open field. Still, it very quickly offers excellent ways to set guardrails for your collecting thinking in the form of templates, to help create structure. It also offers great features to access your information afterwards in simple productive ways.

It has a virtually infinite canvas. I've often found myself zooming in and out, exploring different areas of the canvas, and appreciating the seamless journey from one area of thought to another. It IS possible to get lost though. You can easily create one area for thinking at one zoom level and then another in an entirely different space and lose where you began. 

Pro Tip : In Miro, use Frames on the infinite canvas. You can then use them like bookmarks to go right to the correct area on the board, whatever the scale of your work looks like. 

One significant advantage I also found with Miro was its diverse range of pre-built templates. Whether I was mapping a user journey, constructing a SWOT analysis, or running a retrospective, Miro had a template ready. I found it incredibly helpful in structuring thoughts and staying organized, especially during large brainstorming sessions.

However, while you can use Miro's preset templates in the free version, the ability to create your own custom templates is locked behind the paywall. This could be a hurdle if you're looking for a certain degree of personalization and reusability in your brainstorming sessions without shelling out cash. That said, its not hard to create a custom space with the look and feel you need. It just happens that you would have to re-create in another board. 

On the other side of the spectrum, Whiteboard provides a substantial canvas, but it can't quite match the limitless feel of Miro’s. If your projects are more compact, or you prefer a more bounded space for your ideation, Whiteboard won't disappoint.

It's got a simplicity that some might find refreshing. But if you're likely to need sprawling, interconnected thoughts, you might find yourself craving more elbow room.

Whiteboard also offers some templates, but I found them to be fewer in number compared to Miro. They still cover basic needs, but you might need more variety after a while.

One area where Whiteboard shines, in my experience, is in its drawing tools. If you or your team enjoy a more hands-on, artistic approach to brainstorming, you'll love what Whiteboard offers. It feels like a physical whiteboard, with pens, highlighters, and a ruler. You can sketch, doodle, and get those creative juices flowing.

Sharing Your Work

Sharing boards, collaborating with teams, leaving comments - it's all a breeze with both Miro and Whiteboard. But again, for me, a completely open Sharing option means Miro wins by a small margin here for my needs.

Miro's free version can be shared quickly. Granted, it doesn't allow guest editors. This meant I had to upgrade to allow non-team members to make edits.

Whiteboard, in contrast, is a bit more forgiving in this aspect, but if Im working in the context of my licences, guest editors would need a guest account on my tenant to be able to collaborate. This is doable but far more advanced in terms of setup than simply having the right licence and clicking a sharing link (as you can in Miro).

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A key consideration when choosing a collaboration platform is how well it integrates with other tools you use. Both Whiteboard and Miro offer integrations with popular productivity and work management apps, but there are some differences in implementation.

Whiteboard - as part of Microsoft 365  - has native integration with core Microsoft apps like Teams, SharePoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Within Teams, you can access your Whiteboards right from a team channel or meeting, enabling seamless collaboration. Whiteboard allows you to embed tables and charts from Excel directly into boards.

With the Power Platform capabilities, Whiteboard can also tap into business data for more dynamic and interactive boards. You can bring in visualized data from Power BI to track KPIs or display data-connected diagrams.

Miro has robust integration with Apps like Slack, Jira, Trello, and more via its API and using Zapier. There are over 750+ app integrations available. Within Slack, you can share links to Miro boards and get notified of updates. You can also bring Miro boards into Teams using the "add an app" capabilities for Teams channels. 

For visualization tools, Miro has an integration with Lucidchart for building diagrams and charts. Miro also offers an embedded frame to display Tableau analytics directly on boards.

When it comes to Google Workspace, Miro may have more seamless compatibility via its G Suite integration. This allows easy access and sharing of boards from Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Docs and Sheets.

So while Whiteboard aligns more closely with the Microsoft ecosystem, Miro offers broader integration across apps. Evaluating existing vs required integrations will inform which tool matches better with your tech stack and workflows.

Mobile Experience

With distributed teams and remote work on the rise, collaboration tools need to deliver a robust mobile experience. Both Whiteboard and Miro provide apps for iOS and Android to access boards on the go.

Microsoft Whiteboard’s mobile app enables viewing, editing, and collaborating on boards from your phone or tablet. You can add sticky notes, make ink annotations, comment, and join collaborative sessions. It connects to the cloud automatically to keep boards in sync across devices.

Miro’s mobile app also allows full editing and collaboration features. You can create new boards, add shapes, type text, draw, paste images etc. Miro also states its mobile app has 100% parity with web, allowing any workflow on the desktop.

When it comes to ease of use, Miro may have a bit more intuitive mobile experience with its visually based interface tailored to touch devices. The canvases translate well to smaller screens. Whiteboard’s UI was originally designed for larger surfaces like office whiteboards.

In terms of real-time collaboration, Whiteboard leverages Microsoft’s fluid framework for a fast and responsive co-editing experience on mobile. Miro also states its mobile experience enables seamless real-time collaboration.

Both apps are free to download and use, providing the core viewing and editing features. Overall, Whiteboard and Miro offer robust mobile apps that mimic the desktop experience for on-the-go collaboration. For non-complex use cases like reviewing boards, Miro’s visually oriented design may feel more natural on phones and tablets. But for active ideation and creation, either app enables full capabilities.

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Pro's and Con's

I've not gone into detail on every feature of the 2 platforms. Instead, I'd like to encourage you to spend 5 mins with each tool to make your own judgement based on your needs.

However, I will offer a TL;DR:-

Miro offers WAY WAY WAY more features and is packaged behind a much more intuitive User Interface than Microsoft Whiteboard. That said, there is a learning curve to be aware of.

If drawing is all you need, along with a few Post-it notes, opt for Whiteboard. 

However, if you want to timebox exercises with timers, focus attention on workspaces, and use shapes or templates to draw people's attention to where you are on a board, or you want to make the workspace appealing and easy to use, then Miro is for your Team. 

Here's a brief summary of what I would consider to be the Pro's and Con's of each tool: 

Microsoft Whiteboard

Here are the Pros anc Cons of Microsoft's Whiteboard


  • Tight integration with Microsoft 365 apps like Teams, Outlook, OneNote
  • Real-time collaboration powered by Fluid Framework
  • Great pen and touch capabilities for freeform drawing
  • Accessible pricing options including free version
  • Strong adoption among Microsoft-stack organizations
  • Integrates with Power BI and Power Platform for data visualization
  • Robust mobile apps on iOS and Android


  • Less intuitive interface compared to Miro
  • Limited pre-made templates compared to competitors
  • Lacks some advanced diagramming features
  • Mostly geared towards Office 365 ecosystems
  • Analytics and usage insights are basic


Here are the Pros anc Cons of Miro


  • Wide range of templates and shapes for visual collaboration
  • Very intuitive and visually engaging interface
  • Deep integrations with apps like Slack, Jira, Trello via API & Zapier
  • Advanced features like board linking, public links, presentation mode
  • Great for agile workflows like design sprints and ideation
  • Better support for diagrams and charting
  • Usage analytics for optimization


  • Can get pricey for premium plans
  • Steeper learning curve than Whiteboard
  • Mixed reviews on mobile app experience
  • No integration with Microsoft 365 ecosystem
  • Maximum 25 collaborators on paid plans

Pro Tip: In Miro, set up a canvas area to work on with sections, then lock the background to create a framework inside which people can pop post-it notes without messing up the canvas.

Use Templates and Lock Them In Place

5 Checks To Help You Decide

As mentioned above, the features you value are very much about what YOUR needs are. To truly make an assessment at this stage, I would encourage you to get a Free miro plan and experiment AND try Whiteboard inside your Microsoft 365 licence. 

You might be like me and straight away be biased towards Miro for its flexibility, sophistication and great features, but equally, you may be happy with what Microsoft offer with their simpler feeling Whiteboard. 

To help you choose from here on, how about these as prompts for your experiments:

Content Export - Try exporting your content to PDF files so you can share it quickly

Support, Security - How easy is it to share content, invite people to boards and also lock down the boards and frames you create

Creating Structure - Set up a template for a meeting where you invite people to share ideas. How easy was this, and what tools are on offer to help you timebox an exercise, limit where people can change items and see what others are writing in real-time?

What's it like to work together - Can you see what others are writing?  Respond and zoom to their locations?  Can other people highlight their thoughts in a group session and bring their ideas to YOUR attention?  These are all aspects of Collaboration that may bias you towards either Miro or Whiteboard so why not take each for a test drive. It wont cost a penny.

Run a trial event - If you are working with an Agile team, maybe run a retro with each and let the team share how they felt about each. Its also a good team builder to help the group pick their own tooling for the job. For more traditional project work, try each out with a short brainstorming session or post release review. See how they work for real for you and the team. 

Use these links to get to where you need to be, and try spending 20 mins inside each with a teammate. 

Miro (you will need a free account to explore)

Go To Whiteboard (you must be logged into a Microsoft 365 account)

The Verdict

Here's my two cents. if you need a comprehensive toolbox, a really intuitive UI an infinite yet mouldable canvas, and one where you can structure and direct thinking (yet still leave space for creativity) Miro is your best bet.

If you lean towards a more open-ended, artistic freehand approach with your team, consider giving Whiteboard a shot.

Keep in mind your decision is based on your needs, so DO try each before making a choice.

And hey, once you've taken these platforms for a spin, drop a comment. I'd love to hear about your experiences!

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