Science

It looks like Microsoft's Office suite is now available for all Chromebooks

It looks like Microsoft's Office suite is now available for all Chromebooks

We checked every Chrome OS device we have and can confirm they all show every Office app in the Play Store ready for download. Although there's been no official announcement, research by Chrome Unboxed suggests the wait is now over for Chromebook users wanting to use Office.

Over the past few years, Chromebooks have become much more than cheap laptops running a glorified version of the Google Chrome browser.

Earlier this year, when MSPoweruser asked Microsoft about the Office support for Chromebooks, the company said, "While Google Play on Chrome OS is in beta, we are partnering with Google to deliver the best experience for Chromebook users and plan to make the apps available on all compatible devices by general availability". Microsoft has finally released Office more widely, according to unconfirmed reports from users today. While the Android apps don't match all the functionality of the desktop versions, they have all the basics and support syncing through Office 365. Before now, users have been relegated to Google Docs and other Google apps - as well as a handful of Android apps and/or Chrome apps for all their document needs. Chromebooks have also been massively popular in schools, where many districts continue to use Office products.

Since long before the demise of the Windows Mobile platform, Microsoft has been keen to leverage the huge popularity of Android and nearly all its apps have been available in Android versions for some time, in what we affectionately refer to as the "chest-burster" strategy.

Of course, Chromebook users haven't been completely devoid of productivity apps until now. Anything larger than 10.1-inches and the subscription fee kicks in. If your Chromebook has a display that's 10.1-inches or smaller, you can use these Office apps in all their document-editing glory for free. The same rule applies to the iPad Pro.