Microsoft Office apps for Android are now finally available on all Play Store-compatible Chromebooks. Until now, the Office apps for Chromebooks were mainly limited to Google’s latest PixelBook device. The news was first reported by Chrome Unboxed.
No official confirmation yet
For the Chrome OS, the Android app support came in last year. At the time, Microsoft did make available its Office Suite apps for some of the compatible devices, like the latest Pixelbook and the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA. However, other Play Store-supported Chromebooks did not get the Office Suite apps, until now. Also, it was frustrating for some Chromebook users as sometimes the apps would show up, but soon disappear without warning, notes Android Authority.
However now, Chrome Unboxed has confirmed it is able to install the Office Suite apps on all the devices it checked. As of now, there is no comment from Google and Microsoft over the development. Thus, it is not known if the Office Suite apps are available for every Chromebook product.
“So, like we do, we checked every Chrome OS device we have and can confirm they all show every Office app in the Play Store ready for download. Again, we don’t have an exhaustive list at this point…,” said Chrome Unboxed.
Earlier this year, when MSPoweruser asked Microsoft about the Office support for Chromebooks, the company said, “While Google Play on Chrome OS is in beta, we are partnering with Google to deliver the best experience for Chromebook users and plan to make the apps available on all compatible devices by general availability.”
A big win for Chromebooks
Microsoft Office Suite apps coming to Chromebooks is a big win for the latter. Microsoft’s Office products are the most widely used productivity tools, and missing out on them would have surely cost various Chromebook manufacturers some sales. Along with the manufacturers, Chromebook users would also be happy with the apps even if they were satisfied with G Suite. Now, their Chromebooks will be compatible with the occasional Office file they receive.
Support for Microsoft Office apps, makes Chromebooks a realistic alternative to PCs running on the Windows and Mac OS. The ability to run Android apps was already the biggest strength of the Chrome OS, now the addition of the missing apps makes the OS even more competitive.
Preferential treatment to small devices
Microsoft Office will be available free on devices like ASUS’ Chromebook Flip (with a 10.1-inch display), but bigger devices will require a subscription. According to Microsoft’s rules, devices bigger than 10.1 inches – running on Windows, iOS, and Android – will need an Office 365 subscription to enjoy the ability to edit, print, or create documents, notes The Verge.
Last year, Microsoft revealed that machines with a display at or below 10.1-inches would be classified as a “true mobile device.” The same rule applies to the iPad Pro. The smaller iPad Pro enjoys free access to the Microsoft Office apps, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro needs a subscription. Personal subscriptions to Office 365 cost $6.99 per month, or $69.99 a year.