Chromebook owners who use Microsoft's Chrome OS Office apps must switch to the web-based platform. The Redmond-based tech giant is ending its support for Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote and Power apps in September, according to About Chromebooks.
Why is Microsoft abandoning its Chromebook-based Office apps? Android Police speculates that the development team got sick and tired of trying to optimize Office software for Chromebooks.
Microsoft ends support for Chrome OS Office apps
The Chrome OS Office platform features Android apps that are optimized for Chromebooks, and so the Microsoft development team needed to put resources into making the small-screen apps compatible with large-screen Chromebooks.
Now it will save those resources and require web-based apps. Microsoft is officially ending its support for Chrome OS Office apps on September 14.
"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," a Microsoft spokesperson told About Chromebooks.
Microsoft is encouraging Chromebook owners to use its web-based Office productivity suite instead. According to Android Police, existing installations should still work (and they can still be downloaded via APK mirror), but the Office apps will likely get yanked from the Google Play store in Chrome OS.
For Chromebook users who want a full productivity suite that runs natively on Chrome OS, About Chromebooks recommended LibreOffice, a free app that is comparable to Microsoft Office apps.