These days, Microsoft is presumably all about services — about removing we to use and allow to a software, regardless of what height we prefer.
That’s given it’s generally tough to know a involved disaster a company’s formulating with a Android Office apps and their extravagantly unsuitable support on Chromebooks.
Let me behind adult for a minute: Last week, we published a beam to a essential Android apps for Chromebooks. Google strictly took a beta tag off a Play Store on Chrome OS effort with a launch of a Pixelbook this month — a change manifest not usually on a Pixelbook though on any Chromebook with Play Store entrance — and that seemed like a excellent time to consider that Android apps indeed raise a Chrome OS knowledge in a suggestive way.
Not surprisingly, several Microsoft titles done a list — trimming from a core Android Office apps to Outlook and OneNote. we tested them all on both a Pixelbook and a Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA, and they commissioned though emanate and ran like a charm.
Then, after a story went live, uncanny things started happening.
First, countless readers reached out to tell me they were incompetent to implement some or all of a Microsoft Android apps on their possess Chromebook inclination — entirely Play-Store-supported systems like Samsung’s Chromebook Pro and Plus, Google’s second-gen Chromebook Pixel, and Acer’s Chromebook 14 for Work. Some folks couldn’t implement any of a Microsoft apps, while others could implement some of a titles though not others (with baffling combinations, too, like on a aforementioned Acer complement — that apparently allows users to implement Word, Excel, and Outlook though not PowerPoint or OneNote).
Then something even foreigner happened: Someone told me they’d had a core Office apps commissioned and using on a Chromebook Flip C302CA, usually as we did — though when they uninstalled one of a apps by mistake, they satisfied they couldn’t reinstall it. The app was now flagged as being “incompatible” with their laptop.
I tested this on my possess Flip unit, and certain enough, something altered really recently: Despite a device carrying been on Microsoft’s whitelist for Office app support since a launch this summer, a Chromebook Flip C302CA is unexpected and inexplicably now “incompatible” with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The Play Store won’t even show them if we hunt from a device itself and won’t let we implement them if we try pulling them adult from an outmost browser window.
What in a universe is going on here?!
Digging deeper into Microsoft’s Chromebook chaos
If all of this sounds infrequently familiar, it should. As it turns out, likewise bizarre things started function with Microsoft’s Android Office apps and Chromebooks last November. Back then, a Microsoft orator explained it thusly:
Our devise has not changed. Office for Android is upheld on Chrome OS inclination around a Google Play Store. While Google Play on Chrome OS is in beta, we are partnering with Google to broach a best knowledge for Chromebook users and devise to make a apps accessible on all concordant inclination by ubiquitous availability.
Well, theory what? It’s been a year. Google Play on Chrome OS is now out of beta. Yet a shenanigans continue.
Here’s a many bewildering partial of all: Having a Android Office apps broadly accessible opposite Chrome OS would evidently be a positive thing for Microsoft — something that’d fit ideally into a stream devise of posterior service-oriented users opposite all platforms. The association has even configured a apps to be entirely organic usually for users with active Office 365 subscriptions on inclination with 10.1-in. screens or bigger, that includes roughly all Chromebooks.
So in other words, no one’s removing any freebies. If anything, a apps’ accessibility on Chrome OS would usually offer as an additional inducement for people to allow — given such a subscription would move a full local Office knowledge to a Chromebook device.
And lest we consider this whole unfolding is in any proceed normal, I’ve nonetheless to confront a singular other Android app that has device-specific restrictions for Chromebook compatibility. In my experience, if an app works with Chrome OS — that many do, aside from titles that inherently need phone-specific hardware or environments to work — afterwards it works with any Play-Store-supporting Chromebook. This arbitrarily elaborating mixed-bag proceed is both surprising and illogical. It creates a bad and treacherous knowledge for users and creates Microsoft demeanour — well, I’ll let we fill in that blank.
I asked Google if it had any discernment into what was going on with this situation, given it was presumably “partnering” with Microsoft to work on these apps during a Play Store beta duration final year. A orator sent me a following statement:
We wish to safeguard that business have entrance to their favorite apps and games on all Chromebooks, by Google Play. We wish to continue to work with Microsoft to make Office accessible on all other Chromebooks soon.
“We hope.” Hmm.
I’ve contacted Microsoft and followed adult mixed times via a week to try to get an explanation. If/when we accept any serve info about what’s function or when it competence be resolved, I’ll refurbish this page with details.
In a meantime, if you’re looking for a desktop-caliber and Office-compatible modifying apartment for your Chromebook — over what’s accessible in a web-based module like Google Docs or Microsoft’s possess singular Office Online offering — your best gamble is to go with a third-party Android Office choice like OfficeSuite Pro.
And if we are able to implement Microsoft’s Android Office apps on your Chromebook now, for a adore of Goog, hang onto ’em. Avoid uninstalling a programs or resetting your device during all costs — given as Microsoft continues to remind us, it can’t now be counted on for consistency, rhyme, or reason.