Microsoft has released its Office Online Apps suite for the Google Chrome Web Store, a move that’s likely designed to help Redmond’s productivity software better compete with the widely used Google Docs apps.
The Microsoft apps are already usable via the Google Chrome Web browser, but unleashing them on Google’s Chrome OS app store as well can only help Microsoft’s quest to boost user adoption for Office Online Apps. This is a strategy that runs contrary to the one used by the company for years, which kept anything Office-related on Windows, and Windows only. This also comes weeks after Microsoft held an event to usher in the release of Office for iPad.
Office Online Apps are free, stripped-down versions of the four programs that currently make up Microsoft Office: Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft OneNote. Of course, Microsoft also offers more complete versions of its Office software: Office 365 starts as low as $6.99 per month for the Home version. You can check out all of the Office 365 plans here.
Will this move work the way Microsoft wants it to? Only time will tell, but what’s increasingly clear is that Microsoft has switched gears from a strategic standpoint, and it’ll be interesting to see whether the choice to release Office Online Apps in the Google Chrome OS Web Store can help it cut into the user adoption numbers held by Google’s productivity apps and services.
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