That’s right folks. Your Chromebook is now a real laptop. According to Microsoft, anyways. Their definition of a “real laptop” includes having Microsoft Office. Well now thanks to Microsoft, you can add Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote to your Chromebook via the Chrome Web Store.
Annoyingly, you won’t find an “Office” app, you will need to add each app separately. Luckily tho, once you’ve added them, you can group them all into the same folder since ChromeOS now allows this feature.
Unlike Office for iPad, you do not need an Office365 account to use these apps, so no subscription fees necessary. You do need some kind of account though. I created a new, free outlook.com email address (please feel free to send any hate mail to email@example.com I totes promise I’ll check it every day) and upon doing so, I was immediately able to start creating a Word document.
So this is pretty cool, I guess. I’ve edited Word documents on my Chromebook in the past tho, and it didn’t go well. If you happen to have a OneDrive account, you already had the ability to edit Word documents on your Chromebook via onedrive.com. In fact, there’s even a OneDrive app in the Chrome Web Store already. Problem is, the online Word app doesn’t render documents already created in Microsoft Word any better than Google Drive does. So it was a wash in the end.
But if you’re looking to avoid the arduous task of uploading the .docx that your jerk friend (probably over the age of 40 who refuses to get on board with gDocs) sent you, converting it into a gdocs file, then downloading it as a .docx file before emailing it back, then the Office apps for the Chrome Web Store might make your life a little easier.
As un-impressed as I am with the app itself, I am quite impressed with Microsoft’s decision to add the apps to the Chrome Web Store. There are also rumors that Microsoft may be doing away with the Scroogled campaign, although I’m not convinced.
Could this be a kinder, gentler Microsoft? Or are they just finally getting with the program now that they have a mentally stable CEO?
I’m excited to see what the future holds for this company.