There has been an update to this article. you can find the up-to-date report here.
Recent reports from Chromebook users are saying Microsoft’s Android versions of their Office Apps are no longer compatible with Chrome OS devices. An early morning post from our friends over at Chrome Story broke the news and further investigation inside the Chrome OS community and a check of our own devices have confirmed the report.
Microsoft Office applications such has Excel, Word and PowerPoint have been free stand-alone apps for Android users since June of last year. These applications are fully functional to create, edit and share Office files. The Android Apps are most certainly viewed as companion applications for users who also utilize Microsoft Office in a desktop environment. For this reason, Microsoft’s offering of free mobile apps was a mark in their favor to help push their product.
The implementation of Android Apps on Chromebooks may very well have changed the road map for the Office suite of applications. Microsoft Office has long been a major source of revenue for the company and being able to access these applications for free in a “desktop” environment would be detrimental to bottom-line of the product.
So Are Office Apps Gone For Good?
What direction Microsoft will take with Office on Chromebooks is yet to be seen. There have been no official announcements and as of now it certainly appears Chrome OS users will have to find an alternative to access Office products.
The good news is the majority of these applications are now available in an online format at Office.com. If you are still interested in having an offline, installed application, Microsoft offers a number of options from student, personal and business; for a monthly or yearly subscription.
That very well may be why we are now seeing the Android Apps unavailable for Chromebooks. While some would believe Microsoft is attempting to cut Google’s legs out from under them, more likely they are calculating how to leverage their Office software for Chromebooks that will prevent a loss in software revenue.