Chromebook users have reported that some Microsoft Office (opens in new tab) tools no longer appear to be supported on their Chrome OS devices, which are pushing them towards web apps instead.
As reported by Windows Central, some Chromebook (opens in new tab) users who tried to launch certain Office apps on Android were greeted with this message: “Go to Office.com: This version of the Office app is no longer supported. For the best and most recent experience with this device, go to Office.com”
This prompted some to speculate that Microsoft could be favoring its web apps, especially as the non-web services don’t always provide a smooth user experience on Chromebooks, and often use more system resources compared to their web counterparts - which also don’t take up any storage (opens in new tab) space on the device.
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On the other hand, there’s the problem of being able to use the web apps while offline, and managing locally stored documents through a web app.
Consolidation, not migration
However, About Chromebooks’ Kevin C. Tofel writes (opens in new tab) that this pivot into web apps probably isn’t happening, at all.
Although bringing up individual apps, for example Excel, will result in the popup message seen above, the apps can still be accessed through the central Office app.
“Instead, I see Microsoft consolidating its Android apps to a degree because it would rather people use all of its Office apps, not just a single one such as Excel, for example,” Tofel said, before adding that Microsoft combined some of the main Office apps into a single suite in 2020.
Furthermore, individual Office apps can still be installed as PWA, it was said.
At the moment, not all of the users are being redirected, and Microsoft is keeping quiet on the matter.
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Via: Windows Central (opens in new tab)