Microsoft is expanding the Office ecosystem – this time, in partnership with Google; Microsoft is working on bringing the Office for Android apps to Chrome OS.
The partnership comes after Google announced that the Play Store would be coming to Chrome OS devices – and therefore, most, if not all, of the Android apps with it.
“Office for Android is supported on Chrome OS devices via the Google Play Store,” a Microsoft spokesperson tells 9to5Google. “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.”
It’s not a bad idea; running Android apps that are designed for touchscreens on a laptop could cause a few problems, but if the developers don’t slack – it could turn into an incredibly intertwined ecosystem.
Microsoft has a simple licensing policy for its Office apps on mobile devices – they are free, if the screen size is below 10.1- inch. The condition might sound arbitrary, but there’s a good reason for it; since devices with displays larger than 10.1-inch are usually capable of higher productivity than mobile devices, it makes sense for Microsoft to charge them for the usage of its biggest productivity suite.
Funnily enough, if you simply run an Office app in windowed mode on a Chromebook – it will work, but as soon as you go full screen, it will require an Office 365 subscription. That’s only a problem for Chromebooks with screens bigger than 10.1-inch of course – which is a majority of them.
After signing in with a free Microsoft account, the core viewing, creating, editing and printing experience is free in Office apps for iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile, on devices 10.1-inch or smaller. An Office 365 subscription enables scenarios where consumers want to do things that go beyond the basic freemium experience such as using track changes in Word, Pivot Tables in Excel or Presenter View in PowerPoint.
In Microsoft’s defense – this is their policy in regards to every other platform, and Chromebooks are no exception to it.
You will require an Office 365 subscription to do anything more than basics tasks in the Office apps for Android – and the Chromebooks, thanks to Google’s efforts, are running the Android apps.
Microsoft hasn’t yet figured out how to deal with the variety of Chromebooks available on the market; so, Microsoft decided to disable the ability to download the Office apps for certain Chromebooks, until they are ready with full support for them.
This thing is about money, and Microsoft doesn’t play around when it comes to it. Support for more Chromebooks will be added as Microsoft goes through the process of configuring the Office apps for the different screen sizes, but know that if your device is larger than 10.1-inch – you are going to have a few problems.
Source | Image Credit: Thurrott.com