It looks as though Microsoft Office is finally available on Chrome OS. It isn’t available on every single Chromebook, and you may still need an Office 365 subscription to take full advantage. But still, this brings to an end one of the major reasons some people reject Chromebooks.
Chromebooks are amazing devices. They’re small, light, fast, simple, affordable, and versatile. And they’re growing in popularity. The only thing holding Chromebooks back is the programs that aren’t yet compatible with Chrome OS. Which, until now, has included Microsoft Office.
Another Reason to Consider a Chromebook
For the uninitiated, Chromebooks are simple laptops running Chrome OS. Which is essentially just the Chrome browser with a simple menu system underneath. This means that Chromebook users need to find online alternatives to the programs they’re used to using on Windows.
However, that all changed when Google updated Chrome OS so that it supported Android apps. And so all new Chromebooks, and some older ones, can now run Android apps. Unfortunately, this hasn’t included Microsoft Office, which was limited to only working on a select few Chromebooks.
Now, as reported by Chrome Unboxed, Microsoft Office has started appearing on the Google Play Store for many more Chromebooks. The assumption has to be that Microsoft is rolling Office out to all compatible Chromebooks, so if yours isn’t one of them it should just be a matter of time.
These are obviously the Android apps, and not the full-fledged versions you’ll have used on Windows. The Microsoft Office suite is also only free to use on devices with screens smaller than 10.1 inches, so people with larger screens than that will need an active Office 365 subscription. Still, despite these caveats this could make the Chromebook a more attractive proposition.
Why Microsoft’s Silence Is Deafening
At the time of writing Microsoft hasn’t announced Office is available on Chromebooks, or even confirmed the story. So it’s entirely possible there’s still a twist to this tale. It’s more probable, however, that Microsoft just doesn’t want to shout this from the rooftops because of the threat Chrome OS poses to Windows 10. And making Office available on Chrome OS solidifies that.
Do you own a Chromebook? If so, does it support Android apps? Is Microsoft Office listed on Google Play as compatible with your device? Will you now start using Office on your Chromebook? Or do you prefer another office suite? Please let us know in the comments below!