Yesterday, Google announced that the latest beta version of the Chrome browser for Windows and Mac would now be able to open and view Microsoft files directly in the browser – a feature that Chrome OS has included by default for quite some time. To function correctly for users who are stuck on those more “traditional” operating systems, you’ll simply need to make sure that Chrome is at least the beta version, and then install the Chrome Office Viewer extension from the Chrome Web Store.
While Google doesn’t come out and say this in its announcement of this new functionality, it’s obvious that this is another result of Google’s earlier acquisition of QuickOffice. Using the technology that Google obtained from its purchase, it plans to eventually unveil full office suite functionality on Chromebooks, allowing users to natively edit and save files without leaving the existing Office Viewer. Mostly likely, this same functionality would subsequently make its way to the Chrome browser on Windows and Mac, as well, just like the Office Viewer has now.
If and when this happens, the Chrome browser would effectively be the equivalent of Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer, rolled up in one. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
In the meantime, you can check out just the Viewer at the download link below. (Again, make sure you’re running Chrome beta!)
Download: Chrome Web Store[Google]