Microsoft is killing its Office app on Chromebooks

Users will still be able to sign in via the web, but they'll no longer enjoy offline access.

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The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 in red.
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We're not sure who or how many people use Microsoft Office on a Chromebook but if that's you, you're in for a downgraded experience. Microsoft will soon kill its Office app for Android on Chrome OS, the company confirmed Wednesday to About Chromebooks. The app will leave the Google Play Store on September 18th, at which point users will need to sign in through the web via Office.com or Outlook.com. As 9to5Google notes, the Office app will still be available on Android phones, even as it vanishes from Chrome OS.

Though signing in via the web app should work in a pinch, it's clearly an inferior experience to what the Android app has offered until now, not to mention what Google's G Suite can do on its native Google-controlled platform. In particular, be warned that the web app offers almost no offline access, something users have enjoyed on the Google Play Store version. 

It's unclear why Microsoft is making this change, except that the company described the move in a statement to About Chromebooks as an "effort to provide the most optimized experience for Chrome OS/Chromebook customers." In a statement, a Google spokesperson said: "We're pleased to see Microsoft offer Chrome OS users a more optimized experience and embrace the open web. People love Chrome OS because it provides a speedy, secure, and simple computing experience and helps them stay connected while they work, study and stay entertained."

Whatever Microsoft's intention, this is likely to give Chromebook users another reason to give the G Suite a try, if they haven't already. Or hey, perhaps they'll ditch their Chromebooks and download the Android app on Windows 11.

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