The Microsoft Office suite is now officially available to Chromebook users for the first time. The apps have been in testing for more than a year but were previously only available to those with a PixelBook. Now any Chromebook user can get their hands on them.
These are the Android versions of the Office apps, rather than web-based versions — but they have been optimized for notebooks with larger displays. That means you get all the features you would typically expect to see on a smartphone or tablet, but they’ll be much easier to use.
Microsoft’s larger-screens-must-pay rule applies here. That means if you have a device with a 10.1-inch display (like the ASUS Chromebook Flip) you get to use Office for free, but anything larger than that requires an Office 365 subscription to do anything other than view Office documents.
As things stand, Office apps are already showing up on a number of Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung. However, they should be compatible with all Chromebooks now, so it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be able to download them if you can’t already.
The leap to Chromebooks should boost Office 365 subscriptions for Microsoft, particularly with Chromebooks rising in popularity in recent years. In 2016, Chromebooks actually outsold Macs in the U.S. for the first time ever.