Only two weeks after Office landed on iPad and about eight weeks since it made it easy to find through the launch of Office.com, Microsoft is chasing users wherever it can find them -- and in this case it's Chrome Web Store, right in the middle of Google’s own stomping ground.
It also appears to have quietly retired its Scroogled campaign.
It would probably be a bit silly to overestimate the real impact of this, given that users were always able to access Office apps through the Office.com in the Chrome browser. But with a new CEO on board, any sign of changes in the way Microsoft is doing business should be paid attention to.
Office and Chrome
Microsoft itself is not making a big deal about this, and mentioned the move almost as an afterthought in a blog post that appeared late yesterday about improvements to already existing and forthcoming Office apps.
In fact, unless you had read right down through the post, you wouldn’t have noticed anything. There, at the bottom, Kaberi Chowdhury, technical product manager for Office Online, mentions that the main business Office apps are now available with Chrome.
Office Online works great in all browsers, but for those of you who use Chrome, you can now add Word Online, PowerPoint Online and OneNote Online to your Chrome App launcher to create new Office documents online with a single click from your desktop. As easy as that. Excel Online will be coming to the web store shortly.
The result is that, as of this update, users can launch most of the productivity suite's web apps in the Chrome browser, or Chrome OS, just by clicking on a shortcut.
This means that Word Online, PowerPoint Online and OneNote are now all offered as Chrome Apps, with Excel on the way. And unlike Office 365 apps that cost over $100 per year for even the Home subscription, these ones are free.
Microsoft Online Excel Updates including 'Tell Me' function
Is this further evidence that Microsoft is starting to pursue users -- and potential customers -- wherever they may be? Considering how long it took Microsoft to release Office for iPad, it would certainly seem that way.