STUBBORN AS its reputation often seems, Microsoft is not a company beyond reason when it comes to working with rivals.
But one thing that up until now that has been fairly disastrous has been its support for individual Office applications on Google's Chromebooks.
It seems a fairly odd omission given that Google's online suite of productivity apps is in direct competition with Office 365 and that, in certain sectors at least, the Chromebook has been a massive hit, and with some Chromebooks dropping to around $100 in US Black Friday sales, there's a chance there's going to be even more of them around.
So good news for all then as it appears that whatever was causing issues has been fixed and you can use individual Office apps on Chromebooks that support Google Play, which is a vast improvement on the web service you've been limited to via the Chrome browser.
The Chrome OS app for Office 365 has always been there, as web wrapper - essentially just pointing at a web address, but there have been multiple issues with making the Android version work properly and in most cases, people get guided towards G Suite.
Although there's been no official word from either party, Chrome Unboxed has been tinkering with the various offerings and it appears that they are all now working as they should.
Since long before the demise of the Windows Mobile platform, Microsoft has been keen to leverage the huge popularity of Android and almost all its apps have been available in Android versions for some time, in what we affectionately refer to as the "chest-burster" strategy.
But Chrome and Android are not proving complete bedfellows. Even where a Google Play runtime has been added to a particular model of Chromebook, it doesn't mean that every app will work and it has been mostly down to developers to adapt.
It appears at some point, the switch has quietly been flipped.
Speculation is growing that a new OS called Fuschia is earmarked to be the successor to both Android and Chrome, thus unifying the two platforms into a viable Windows rival. µ
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