Chrome OS: Chromebook users looking for an alternative to Google’s set of editing tools can now turn to Microsoft Office, which is finally available on Chromebooks. The suite of office apps – Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Outlook – has been available on macOS, iOS and Android devices, but Chromebooks have been left out of the picture until recently. Depending on your device, however, it could cost you a few bucks for what most would consider essential features.
Image credit: Maurizio Pesce/Flickr
You’ll Need a Compatible Chromebook
Office’s availability on Chromebooks is helpful, especially considering how popular the inexpensive laptops are in the education and business market. However, not every Chromebook is capable of running Microsoft Office.
Since they’re Android apps, you’ll need a Chromebook that can download apps from the Google Play Store. Google maintains a list of Play Store-friendly Chromebooks, so check whether or not your model is listed. Recently released Chromebooks, such as Google’s Pixelbook, support the apps, according to Chrome Unboxed, who discovered the availability of the apps.
Bigger Chromebooks Require a Subscription
According to Microsoft, devices with screens larger than 10.1-inches require an Office 365 subscription (starting at $10 per month) in order to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations. Of course, Google’s own Docs, Slides and Sheets office suite apps don’t require a subscription.
Granted, you get more than access to creation and editing features in Office. The subscription includes 1TB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage, as well as the desktop versions of Microsoft’s office suite. But hey, who wants to pay a monthly fee to edit some documents?