Microsoft discontinuing Office apps for Chromebook users: Report

San Francisco: Microsoft Corp. is reportedly discontinuing support for Microsoft Office, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook, for Chromebook users starting September 18.

According to TechCrunch, the Redmond, Washington-based company is not abandoning the Chrome OS laptops altogether, but instead of downloading an app, it is encouraging users to go to the web instead. Microsoft has offered its Office suite to Chromebook users via Google Play store since 2017.

“In an effort to provide the most optimised experience for Chromebook users, Microsoft apps (Office and Outlook) will be transitioned to web experiences (Office.com and Outlook.com) on September 18, 2021,” Microsoft wrote in a statement emailed to TechCrunch. “This transition brings Chromebook customers access to additional and premium features.”

Microsoft 365, the company’s web-based service, provides more templates and generally more functionality than the apps. The web approach is also more optimised for larger screens than the app, the TechCrunch report stated.

In terms of how Microsoft wants Chromebook users to get access to Office and Outlook, the plan is for customers to “sign in with their personal Microsoft Account or account associated with their Microsoft 365 subscription”, according to the statement.

Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS—Linux-based operating system. The relatively inexpensive laptops can run Android apps available on the Play store.

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