Google says it’s planning to add Microsoft 365 integration to ChromeOS later this year making it easier for users to install the app and open files. ChromeOS already supports the Microsoft 365 and OneDrive Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), but there’s a promise of “new integration later this year on ChromeOS, making it easier to install the app and open files.”
This new integration will include a guided setup to install the Microsoft 365 app and connect OneDrive accounts to the ChromeOS Files app. This OneDrive integration will also see documents in the Files app moved over to Microsoft’s cloud storage when they’re accessed within the Microsoft 365 app. That’s a lot better than OneDrive users having to use the current Android or PWA apps that don’t integrate into the Files app on ChromeOS.
Google says more details on the integration will be shared “in the coming months,” with ChromeOS testers in dev and beta channels able to access the integration a little early. The search giant has shared an early screenshot of how the integration will appear in the Files app in ChromeOS, prompting users to set up Microsoft 365 on a Chromebook.
It’s rare to see Google collaborate with Microsoft outside of the Chromium browser, particularly when it involves moving files and documents to a rival cloud storage service. It’s also surprising to see Google promote Microsoft 365 directly inside its own OS, as the company offers its own Workspace (formerly G Suite) productivity web apps.
Microsoft first attacked Google’s Chromebook laptops in a commercial nearly 10 years ago as part of the company’s “Scroogled” campaign. The software maker has been consistently wary over Chromebooks taking over the lucrative role of low-cost Windows laptops in education and businesses. Chromebooks have since become incredibly popular with students in the US, causing Microsoft to again demonstrate its fears over ChromeOS in 2017.
Microsoft has also launched Chromebook competitors in recent years, with Windows 11 SE laptops arriving last year to take on Chromebooks in schools. Google has been working to bridge the gap between Chromebooks and Windows-based laptops by partnering with Parallels to bring better Windows app support to ChromeOS. Chromebooks can now run Windows and Android apps side by side.