What you need to know
- Many Chrome OS users utilize Microsoft Office Android apps.
- Microsoft is taking those apps out of the equation.
- The company asks that Chromebook-bound Office fans use the web versions of its apps instead.
If you're a Chromebook-equipped fan of the Office Android apps and enjoy your offline Excelling and Wording, bad news: Microsoft's pulling the plug on these options. The company decreed that Chromebook users will have to roll with the web versions of Office and Outlook if they want to keep enjoying the products.
The news came about as the result of an About Chromebooks reader pinging the site's Kevin C. Tofel about a notification they received while trying to use Office apps on their Chromebook. Tofel followed up with Microsoft and then received the update that's spurred this article. In a statement to About Chromebooks, Microsoft said the following:
"In an effort to provide the most optimized experience for Chrome OS/Chromebook customers, Microsoft apps (Office and Outlook) will be transitioned to web experiences (Office.com and Outlook.com) on September 18, 2021. This transition brings Chrome OS/Chromebook customers access to additional and premium features. Customers will need to sign in with their personal Microsoft Account or account associated with their Microsoft 365 subscription. More information is available here."
You may be thinking, "an end to Office for Android?" Well, no worries there, at least for now, according to sources who spoke with Tofel. This change seems to affect Chrome OS users exclusively, meaning all those who love using the Office and Outlook apps on their Android phones can continue to do so.
For those who need a quality offline Office solution on their Chromebook, this change could be a sizeable problem, although details are limited and big-picture ramifications of the app shakeup remain unclear.