Microsoft have now launched their free Office web apps as Chrome & Chrome OS app launchers. Joining the existing Chrome & Chrome OS app launchers for OneDrive & Outlook.com launchers for Word, Excel, PowerPoint & OneNote, all but Excel are available by searching for the relevant app in the Chrome web Store, for anyone who wants the PowerPoint launcher here’s the Chrome web Store listing (courtesy of OMG Chrome).
The Microsoft Office web apps work like Google Docs, Google Slides & Google Sheets by auto saving your document while you work, the only difference is that the Microsoft Office web apps look exactly like the Microsoft Office 356 Suite with exactly the same UI as the full Office 365 Suite, the only difference is that the File Menu is slimmed down slightly with the lack of a manual Save & Save As.
The Office 365 web apps look more professional compared to the Google Office suite due to the more complex UI, but they both do the same tasks with ease even though the Google Office suite offers the ability to work Offline where as the Office web apps are purely online only.
Google was the first to launch Office in the cloud when it Launched Google Docs (now Google Drive), closely followed by Microsoft with office web apps. Naturally Google Drive was the only installable web apps on Chrome OS although Microsoft Office web apps was available through Live.com and now Outlook.com websites, when RollApp recently launched it gave Chrome OS users the ability to use the full & not modified for Cloud Computing LibreOffice suite (with installable web app launchers), now Microsoft join in late to the party bringing their 3 web apps to Chrome OS as installable web app Launchers, Word, Excel, PowerPoint & OneNote join the already available Outlook.com & OneDrive web app launchers.
Can Microsoft entice none Office 365 subscribers to Office Online or will the small amount of free storage on OneDrive compared to the 15GB of free storage space on Google Drive & the offer of 100GB of free Google Drive storage on top of your standard free storage for 2 years for anyone who buys a Chrome OS device be enough to keep Chrome OS users with Google Drive.
I’ve got Google Drive, LibreOffice on RollApp & the Microsoft Office web apps installed on my Chromebook, but other than giving LibreOffice via RollApp a go for articles on the Blog I tend to use Google Drive exclusively (probably due to the extra 100GB of free storage space for 2 years & it’s integration with the Chrome OS Files App), but I’ll probably give the Office web apps a try as I used to use them before I started using Google Drive (Docs as it was known as at the time).
Microsoft must really see Google Drive as serious competition to launch Office web app launchers for Chrome/Chrome OS, but for Chrome OS users it brings more choice to the table.