The Google Pixelbook is a grand, but pricey, device but, as our own Chris Davies realized, it was a grand device hobbled by a not so grand operating system. While Chrome OS has matured quite considerably compared to its early days, there’s still a distinct lack of apps and features that keep some from calling it a proper laptop. One of those, for better or for worse, is Microsoft Office. And, for better or for worse, that has now changed with the availability of Microsoft’s Android Office apps on all, not just some, Chromebooks.
Microsoft has long lost its monopoly over the office suite business but, let’s face it, it still has a lot of market clout. Despite what Google and, to some extent, Apple do to push their own productivity suites, sooner or later a need for an MS Office program will surface. And not having Office available, even indirectly via something like WINE for Linux, is always going to be a handicap.
The arrival of Android apps on Chrome via Google Play Store presented a solution around that. And, in a way, it was. Only problem: Office Android apps weren’t available for all Chromebook models. Worse than the staggered rollout Google Play Store on Chromebooks itself, Office for Chrome OS was even rarer.
Although there’s still no official statement confirming it, Chrome Unboxed’s data gathering seems to suggest that the rollout is, finally, universal across all Chromebooks. At least those that support Android apps officially. The question now is whether it’s too little too late to make a difference for Chrome OS. Microsoft Office is, after all, just one part of being able to sell Chrome OS a noteworthy OS.
VIA: Chrome Unboxed