Chromebooks fell short of being an all-rounded device without the support for Microsoft Office apps. In case you’re wondering, these 2-in-1s run on Chrome OS, and do not come with Office support. Just a year ago, Chromebooks received Play Store, and it was assumed that Office apps would be available as well but that didn’t happen. Chrome Unboxed now confirms that Office apps are now available on all Chromebooks.
It is reported that Microsoft has been working on making Chromebooks compatible with Office Suite. During the process of doing so Office apps would show up on some Chromebooks, and work for some users but disappear again. Chrome Unboxed confirms checking every Chrome OS device possible, and confirms seeing Office apps available on Play Store for download. Some of the confirmed devices include the Samsung Chromebook Pro, Pixelbook, Acer Chromebook 15, and Acer C771. Note that the Google Pixelbook and Asus Chromebook Flip C302 come pre-loaded with Microsoft Office.
Chromebooks will now get access to the Android versions of Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, among others. In terms of usage, only those devices with screen sizes below 10.1-inches will get free access to Office apps. Microsoft Office apps for Android is available for free only for devices not extending the 10.1-inch display size. Chromebooks not included in this circle will have to purchase subscription to Microsoft Office suite.
While Microsoft Office may not be required by regular Chromebook users, it is a necessity and is widely used by organizations and schools. For Chromebooks compelled to get subscription to Office Suite, schools and business organizations have subscription bundles thereby confirming access already available.
In terms of hardware, two new Chromebooks are expected to launch at the upcoming CES 2017. Samsung is expected to launch an upgraded Chromebook Pro, which will be equipped with the much-needed backlit keyboard. Another manufacturer will most likely be Asus with a successor to the Asus Chromebook Flip C302. The new Chromebook models are expected to be powered by a Core m7 processor paired with a whopping 16GB of RAM.