Skip to main content

Facebook Messages will have Office integration; should Gmail start getting worried?

Example showing one-click PowerPoint integration with FacebookOnly a handful of users have been granted access to Facebook’s new messaging system, but details continue to pile up. Microsoft announced in its blog today that users will be able to send and receive Microsoft Office files – specifically Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This is a fairly crucial tool for the site’s step toward full e-mail services. While maintaining this idea of “modern messaging” and keeping the service focused as a conversation between two people, it’s important Facebook address some of the more professional capabilities of e-mail, and complete access to Office documents helps it retain a more practical function.

“If you have Office installed on your computer, you will be able to download, edit and save attachments to your computer, ” Microsoft claims. And of course, anyone not privileged enough to have the full installed version of Office will be able to utilize its Web Apps for free.

When you receive an attachment, the Facebook message will come complete with simple “View on Office.com” or “Download” icons – similar to how Gmail allows users to access documents.

Microsoft also announced that this tool will be extended to Facebook’s Group application, so users will be able to share Office files with specific, customized groups of their Friends.

Aside from fortifying Facebook’s capabilities, Office integration is also significant because it may signal that Facebook and Microsoft are teaming up to edge Gmail out. It’s unlikely Microsoft sees Facebook’s messaging system as a strong competitor to Outlook. Outlook has a clearly carved niche with the corporate and institutional world, and it’s doubtful Facebook’s emotionally-charged campaign for its e-mail provider could put a dent in it. The social networking site is competing for Web-based e-mail consumers, and is no threat to Microsoft (seeing as Hotmail accounts for a small margin of its profits).

So once again, it looks like the pressure is on Google. And with Microsoft Web Apps as an answer to Gmail’s Google Apps, Facebook is looking more and more like a product that could give Gmail a run for its money. Mark Zuckerberg can say all he wants that this “is not e-mail” and that it won’t rival Gmail. As he said yesterday, Facebook’s messaging system is the introduction to a new way of thinking about e-mail, more or less implying it’s a game changer. If Facebook is successful and, as Zuckerberg claimed, users like what the site’s messaging function is doing, they’ll start preferring this type of conversational Internet communication. And if they do, Gmail is going to find itself either clinging to traditionalist users or jumping on Facebook’s bandwagon to mimic its system.

Then again, maybe Google has this all under control with its long-rumored social networking endeavor.

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
Dell XPS 14 or XPS 16? Here’s how to know which to buy
The Dell XPS 14 open on a wooden table.

Dell XPS 14 Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

Dell upended its XPS laptop lineup, downsizing the XPS 17 to a new 16-inch model and the XPS 15 to a new 14-inch machine. At the same time, it pulled design cues from the XPS 13 Plus (now called the XPS 13) to create ultramodern and sometimes controversial new machines.

Read more
This Samsung curved monitor is $100 cheaper for a limited time
A Samsung 27-inch G65B Curved Gaming Monitor on a white background.

If you’ve already got a sweet gaming rig, you really need to add on a similarly great monitor. One of the best brands to consider is Samsung and its highly regarded Odyssey range is featuring in a Walmart sale at the moment. Currently, you can buy the Samsung 27-inch Odyssey G65B QHD Curved Gaming Monitor for just $299 so you save $100 off the regular price of $399. One of the best monitor deals around at the moment, it’s sure to provide you with a more immersive gaming experience all without breaking the bank. Here’s what else you need to know before you buy.

Why you should buy the Samsung 27-inch Odyssey G65B QHD Curved Gaming Monitor
Samsung makes some of the best curved monitors you can buy today so you’re in safe hands with the Samsung 27-inch Odyssey G65B QHD Curved Gaming Monitor. It's particularly ideal if you've just bought one of the best gaming PCs.

Read more
HP is having a sale on 1440p monitors — up to 66% off
The HP E27u G4 QHD USB-C Monitor on a white background.

HP has a big sale on 1440p (aka QHD) monitors with plenty of great monitor deals to tempt you into an upgrade. Whether you want to replace your existing monitor or you’re looking to add a new one to create a dual or even triple monitor setup, this is where you need to go. We’ve picked out two highlights in the sale which are sure to delight anyone kitting out their home office. Check out our picks below but bear in mind that these deals are strictly limited and will end soon.
HP Z24m G3 QHD Conferencing Display -- $170, was $509

With an integrated conferencing 5MP webcam, speakers and mic, the HP Z24m G3 is designed to simplify your setup and be one of the best monitors for your home office. It has a QHD IPS panel with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 400 nits of brightness, 90Hz refresh rate, and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. A 5ms GtG response time is pretty useful while there’s the choice of using a HDMI 2.0 port or to opt for a DisplayPort instead. There’s also a USB hub with four USB-A ports and a USB-C port too. Designed for convenience, it’s all squeezed into a 4-sided borderless frame so it looks good on your desk while being highly practical. Finally, there’s HDR400 support for deeper blacks and more vibrant colors.

Read more