Reports started circulating over the summer that Microsoft was thinking about killing support for the Android Office apps on Chromebook. While news on that front was quiet for a while, it turns out Microsoft is indeed ending support for those apps.
Microsoft Ending Chromebook Support for Office Apps
Starting next month, Chromebook support for Office Android apps will end. Unfortunately, this means that Office on the web will be the only way Chromebook users will take advantage of Office and everything it offers.
Here’s the statement from Microsoft’s PR: “In an effort to provide the most optimized experience for Chrome OS/Chromebook customers, Microsoft apps (Office and Outlook) will be transitioned to web experiences (Office.com and Outlook.com) on September 18, 2021. This transition brings Chrome OS/Chromebook customers access to additional and premium features. Customers will need to sign in with their personal Microsoft Account or account associated with their Microsoft 365 subscription. More information is available here.”
As you might expect, Office on Android isn’t going away for smartphones and tablets. Because Chromebooks have larger screens than those devices, the apps aren’t optimized for them. With that in mind, this move makes sense for Microsoft.
Some users claim that the Android Office apps aren’t great on Chromebooks already, so this change shouldn’t negatively impact too many people. In addition, the Office web experiences have improved substantially over the years, so this might be a good move for everyone.