Google turns on native Microsoft Office file editing by default in latest Chrome OS build

Google turns on native Microsoft Office file editing by default in latest Chrome OS build

After adding native Microsoft Office file editing to the dev channel for Chrome OS less than two months ago, Google has now turned the feature on by default. The change means Chrome OS users on the latest build of the company’s browser-based operating system can now edit Microsoft documents out of the box.

As before, the progress was first noted by developer and Google open-source Chromium evangelist François Beaufort. He points to a Chromium code review that explains the change:

Enable Quickoffice Editor by default.

Flipped the existing About:flag around such that edting is enabled by default, and the flag is used to return to a regular viewer. Made the manifest naming clearer so it’s easier to see what is what. In updating the manifest have set the version number of the component extension to be correct.


The technology being used here is based on Google’s QuickOffice acquisition in June 2012. The expectation is thus that Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will all be supported soon in the stable build of Chrome OS (although in June the original flag only supported Word and Excel editing).

In April, Google rolled out a beta release of its new Chrome Office Viewer extension, which lets users view Microsoft Office files directly in the browser on Windows and OS X. The Office Viewer extension was ported straight from Chrome OS, suggesting Google could end up merging it into Chrome altogether one day.

The dev channel for Chrome OS is updated once or twice weekly. Since the feature is now on by default, as opposed to just a flag, we expect it to show up in the beta channel before the end of the year, then eventually the stable channel, and maybe even the Chrome browser one day.

See also – Google makes Quickoffice on iPad free for Apps customers; iPhone, Android versions coming soon and Following iPad release, Google rolls out free Android and iPhone versions of Quickoffice for Apps customers

Top Image Credit: T. Al Nakib

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