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Google Adds Microsoft Word, Excel Editing To Latest Chrome OS Build

timothy posted about a year ago | from the assembling-voltron dept.

Chrome 72

An anonymous reader writes "Google has added native Microsoft Office file editing to the dev channel for Chrome OS. The addition means Chrome OS users on the latest build of the company's browser-based operating system can now experiment with editing Microsoft Word and Excel files. The dev channel for Chrome OS is updated once or twice weekly. Since the feature has made it in there, it's likely to show up in the beta channel, and then eventually the stable channel. Today's news that Google is already working on editing, and not just viewing, Microsoft Office documents in Chrome OS is very interesting because of the potential. Maybe by the end of year, the functionality will make it into the Chrome browser, too."

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Editing... (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#44140731)

Does not mean creating, so if you need to change a few numbers without actually needing to make a spreadsheet you are in luck

Re:Editing... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44140831)

Does not mean creating

In this case, it's actually supposed to mean precisely that.

Re:Editing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44140833)

I think the idea is that Google already has means of creating spreadsheets (i.e. google docs).

Re:Editing... (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44140851)

I'm not sure but the article talks about QuickOffice, which like Google Docs is a proprietary product.

Re:Editing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44140875)

Yes, but QuickOffice only works with Microsoft Office documents, a format Google doesn't own. Do you think they would rather see people using QuickOffice to make Microsoft Office documents, or Google Docs to make Google Docs? QuickOffice is just there to provide the support that is neccessary by today's standards, but probably nothing more.

Re:Editing... (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44140887)

Yes, but QuickOffice only works with Microsoft Office documents, a format Google doesn't own. Do you think they would rather see people using QuickOffice to make Microsoft Office documents, or Google Docs to make Google Docs? QuickOffice is just there to provide the support that is neccessary by today's standards, but probably nothing more.

I think it should be mentioned that google picked up quickoffice recently(after quickoffice lost it's big license deals), so they own it.

Re:Editing... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44141279)

Yeah, and editing doesn't mean saving, right? Maybe that's going to be added in some future version, as they haven't specifically mentioned it here.

Re:Editing... (1)

jon3k (691256) | about a year ago | (#44142283)

That should be easy enough to fix, you just need a blank word and excel document you can make copies of.

Google going for the jugular! (2)

kawabago (551139) | about a year ago | (#44140751)

Google is striking at Microsoft's heart. About time.

Yay.. more bloat ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44140789)

Calling it a "browser" seems to be some sort of sorry joke now....

Re:Yay.. more bloat ! (2, Informative)

r1348 (2567295) | about a year ago | (#44140895)

We're talking of Chrome OS here, it's the operative system of the Chromebooks.

Re:Yay.. more bloat ! (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44141441)

Well, if people want it, then they can use it. However, though TFS says "Maybe by the end of year, the functionality will make it into the Chrome browser, too", I really hope it doesn't.

I'm one of those people who are a bit ambivalent about our preferred browsers; I was a late-ish adopter of Chrome (and Chromium) after Firefox, and occasionally I swap back and forth. Currently I'm back with Firefox on my computer, and Chrome on my phone. But if the Chrome browser gets padded out with a WP/spreadsheet package, it's very unlikely that I'll ever use it again.

Re:Yay.. more bloat ! (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about a year ago | (#44141907)

TFA mentions a previously released office document viewer extension for Chrome, so presumably if/when the office editor will also be provided as a Chrome extension rather than integrated.

Re:Yay.. more bloat ! (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year ago | (#44142041)

Well, if people want it, then they can use it. However, though TFS says "Maybe by the end of year, the functionality will make it into the Chrome browser, too", I really hope it doesn't.

Its worth noting that the new editor is, like the existing Chrome Office Viewer, a Native Client app resulting from porting QuickOffice that is installed-by-default on the supported builds of Chrome OS. I would suspect that, if it "makes it into Chrome browser", it will do so as an app on the Chrome Web Store that Chrome browser users can choose to install or not, as they see fit.

Re:Yay.. more bloat ! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44142237)

But if the Chrome browser gets padded out with a WP/spreadsheet package, it's very unlikely that I'll ever use it again.

If you open it in a new window, you can pretend they are separate products.

Common misconception (1)

snadrus (930168) | about a year ago | (#44145589)

Only the download size is getting "padded" & that's automatic in the background. Unless you request the editor, that DLL, it won't load. Ram & Start-up should be unaffected.

Re:Yay.. more bloat ! (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#44142395)

Uhm...

Maybe by the end of year, the functionality will make it into the Chrome browser, too."

Re:Google going for the jugular! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44140801)

Google is striking at Microsoft's heart. About time.

The old monopoly is dying, long live the new monopoly!

Re:Google going for the jugular! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year ago | (#44140803)

Not so fast! All MS has to do is to tweak Google's targeted file formats. It's worked in the past... don't see why it won't work yet again.

Re:Google going for the jugular! (3, Insightful)

Knuckles (8964) | about a year ago | (#44140937)

Re:Google going for the jugular! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141107)

That doesn't mean anything, Microsoft is not compliant with the standard.

I'm not kidding, MS dumped a bunch of lame "documentation" on the comitteee then when the committee tried to tidy up some of the incredible amounts of stupidity in it, MS just ignored them. MS has the most compliant implementation, but no full implementation exists.

Re:Google going for the jugular! (2)

Knuckles (8964) | about a year ago | (#44141257)

That doesn't mean anything, Microsoft is not compliant with the standard.

I'm not kidding, MS dumped a bunch of lame "documentation" on the comitteee then when the committee tried to tidy up some of the incredible amounts of stupidity in it, MS just ignored them. MS has the most compliant implementation, but no full implementation exists.

I know all that, but that does not change the fact that they can't change important parts of the specs willy-nilly, like the guy I replied to suggested.

Re:Google going for the jugular! (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#44142995)

However, MS can and do, willy nilly ignore any part of the spec they want to.

Re:Google going for the jugular! (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44143045)

DoSpacingLikeWord95

How does that work again?

Re:Google going for the jugular! (1)

zmahk31 (33160) | about a year ago | (#44141315)

If Google gets this onto enough devices, then little by little they will dictate the de-facto standard for OOXML, i.e., how it's "really" supposed to work and render beyond the ECMA paperwork, and Microsoft will have to make sure that their programs will be Google compatible. Google might just have enough market share to fully commoditize word processors and spread sheets, something that OO/LO started but did not get beyond the tipping point.

Re:Google going for the jugular! (3, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year ago | (#44140819)

I don't understand. What does this do that Google Docs/Drive doesn't already do?

Will this get us pixel-perfect wysiwyg editing of Microsoft Documents?

Somehow, I doubt it. Google Docs/Drive doesn't even get that right for PDF documents. I doubt it will get that right for Microsoft Word Documents, which by design are much much worst than PDF documents.

Re:Google going for the jugular! (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44140855)

It's interesting if it's part of Chromium since that would mean it's open source. Google Docs is unfortunately proprietary, so it's kind of useless if you want to use free software.

Re:Google going for the jugular! (1)

Lennie (16154) | about a year ago | (#44142953)

That was my first thought too, but I don't see it in the Chromium code base.

The change that is refered to in the article is just enabling the use of the application. Which might mean probably it's just available in ChromeOS (and later in Chrome).

Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong place...

Re:Google going for the jugular! (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year ago | (#44142059)

Will this get us pixel-perfect wysiwyg editing of Microsoft Documents?

Probably not; heck, even Microsoft Office isn't pixel-perfect wysiwig.

OTOH, QuickOffice, which is what Google is porting to NaCl to do this, is a higher-fidelity editor for the Microsoft Office formats than import-to-Docs, edit, export-as-Office.

Re:Google going for the jugular! (4, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about a year ago | (#44142369)

I don't understand. What does this do that Google Docs/Drive doesn't already do?

Will this get us pixel-perfect wysiwyg editing of Microsoft Documents?

Somehow, I doubt it. Google Docs/Drive doesn't even get that right for PDF documents. I doubt it will get that right for Microsoft Word Documents, which by design are much much worst than PDF documents.

This is Google. They like to make redundant products where they'll get the main concept right but half a half-assed implementation which gets improved for a few iterations before it's abandoned and eventually taken off the market for a somewhat inferior alternative with more social networking features and less core functionality.

Re:Google going for the jugular! (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | about a year ago | (#44141921)

Or adding bloat. Good grief, I want a web browser to be a web browser. This is why we can't have nice things. Because as soon as someone gets a great product, they have to keep screwing with it until they ruin it...FIREFOX...GNOME.

How about using the right tool for the right job??? Imagine that. A web browser to browse with, and a bloated office product to edit bloated office files.

Re:Google going for the jugular! (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#44143957)

Yeah let's replace one monopolistic pawn of the government for another. I'm sure that will end well.

Not just for the web anymore (4, Funny)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44140753)

Seems google is inventing Gemacs?

Re:Not just for the web anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44140867)

ObPity about the editor.

Re:Not just for the web anymore (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year ago | (#44140877)

Can't wait for the yVi release

Re:Not just for the web anymore (2)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#44141373)

Umm, you're aware this is about Chrome OS the operating system, not the web browser, right? TFT.

Re:Not just for the web anymore (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year ago | (#44142363)

Umm, you're aware this is about Chrome OS the operating system, not the web browser, right?

Actually, its about a Native Client extension for the Chrome browser that is currently only available for (and bundled with) the dev channel of Chrome OS.

We broke their back gentlemen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44140769)

We broke their back gentleman!
--State by German submarine captain on sinking Allied shipping, U571

Being able to edit Microsoft documents in chrome means backwards compatibility, which means end of office monopoly (or at least forced upgrades). M$ starts bing, tries to hurt Google, Google puts proprietary editing into chrome, gentle multi-billion dollar shot back at m$.

Even better: Change MS Office's default format (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year ago | (#44140785)

If I were Google, I'd bankroll efforts to develop software that would change MS office's default file formats to "something sensible", in addition to championing efforts to have this capability enabled in every office installation. That would surely produce interesting responses.

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141023)

If I were Google, I'd bankroll efforts to develop software that would change MS office's default file formats to "something sensible", in addition to championing efforts to have this capability enabled in every office installation. That would surely produce interesting responses.

What is more sensible than the Open XML standard (ISO/IEC 29500)? If you still are under the impression Microsoft's implementation is lacking you are not up to date. Office 2013 use it as the default format and fully confirms to the standard, even the optional "strict" profile.

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141099)

What is more sensible than the MS Office Open XML standard (ISO/IEC 29500)?

An open format.

Office Open XML is an XML mapping of the Microsoft Office binary format. It's less open than a Pyongyang bank on beloved leader's birthday.

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141715)

> It's less open than a Pyongyang bank on beloved leader's birthday.

Oh yeah, it's sooooo closed that "SoftMaker Office 2010 is able to read and write .DOCX and .XLSX files in its word processor and spreadsheet applications. LibreOffice supports reading and writing Office Open XML files. OpenOffice.org from version 3.0 has been able to import Office Open XML files. Version 3.2 improves this feature with read support even for password-protected Office Open XML files. The Go-oo fork of OpenOffice.org could also write OOXML files. KOffice version 2.2 and later was able to import Office Open XML files. Other office products that offer import support for the Office Open XML formats include TextEdit (included with Mac OS X), iWork, IBM Lotus Notes, Abiword, WordPerfect, Kingsoft Office and Google Docs." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_29500

Care to try again?

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141793)

Try round-tripping a document and get back to us, shillboy.

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44142967)

Oh, so something needs to work perfectly for it to be considered "open" now? I guess HTML, CSS and Javascript aren't open then because try writing a standard document and running that through every browser.

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44145545)

Wow, you really are retarded...

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (1, Offtopic)

theskipper (461997) | about a year ago | (#44142305)

It would have taken less time to understand the ac's point than to type all that drivel. Mavis Beacon would be proud though.

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44142007)

What is more sensible than the MS Office Open XML standard (ISO/IEC 29500)?

An open format.

Office Open XML is an XML mapping of the Microsoft Office binary format. It's less open than a Pyongyang bank on beloved leader's birthday.

The ISO/IEC Strict Open XML standard does not rely on Microsoft-specific data types.

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#44142409)

If you read the ISO spec, you'd realize it's not really open (it makes references to MSO's former binary format, which isn't open).

Also, MS's implementation diverges from the ISO specs (not sure about 2013, though. I didn't even know 2013 was out).

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44143857)

If you read the ISO spec, you'd realize it's not really open (it makes references to MSO's former binary format, which isn't open).

Also, MS's implementation diverges from the ISO specs (not sure about 2013, though. I didn't even know 2013 was out).

Have you read the ISO spec for the Strict version? And, yes 2013 is out and conforms fully with the ISO spec, including Strict.

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141061)

Right. So those dozens of thousands of Google OS users would force those mill hundreds of millions of Microsoft Office users to taste their own medicine.

Really interesting, if not very limited, resposes would be produced.

TL;DR; Your view is biased. The world doesn't revolve around SF and Chromebooks.

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (2)

blarkon (1712194) | about a year ago | (#44141171)

Google would clearly prefer to drop billions into stuff like balloon internet as opposed to fighting the endless war on Microsoft Office.

Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44145769)

If I were Google, I'd bankroll efforts to develop software that would change MS office's default file formats to "something sensible", in addition to championing efforts to have this capability enabled in every office installation. That would surely produce interesting responses.

Google would clearly prefer to drop billions into stuff like balloon internet as opposed to fighting the endless war on Microsoft Office.

And why would Google do this?

Balloon internet means millions of people get Internet access. These people are essentially blank slates to imprint the Google brand to, and millions of new potential ad-viewers with whom Google can make money from.

Microsoft Office users? They already for the most part use Google. There's no extra money to be had making office formats "sane".

Unless you can convince people that sane office formats will let Google sell more ads, they won't bother. Perhaps if the sane office format showed Google ads every time you opened them?

Can it read mail yet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44140843)

Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail.
-- Jamie Zawinski

Re:Can it read mail yet? (0)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#44141359)

Except this is an operating system, (Chrome OS), we're talking about. Or at least its application bundle.

Re:Can it read mail yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141429)

And by definition, operating systems cannot include applications. Google needs to prepare for its next anti-monopoly trial if it is going to start bundling app-like functionality in its OS.

Re:Can it read mail yet? (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year ago | (#44142109)

And by definition, operating systems cannot include applications.

That's a very odd definition. Given that basically every OS ever sold has included applications.

Google needs to prepare for its next anti-monopoly trial if it is going to start bundling app-like functionality in its OS.

Every OS has always included bundled apps. That's not an anti-monopoly problem.

It is an antimonopoly problem if you engage in unfair competition by bundling apps for which there is an existing competitive market with a monopoly OS as the centerpiece of a broader pattern of anticompetitive practices (e.g., prohibiting resellers from including competing apps or removing the bundled app, etc.) designed to extend to the OS monopoly into the market that the bundled app is in.

People who don't really understand what happened in the Microsoft-bundling-IE cases often generalize incorrectly from their misunderstanding of the issues in that case.

One more nail to MS' (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#44141039)

coffin

Re:One more nail to MS' (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141069)

You seem eager to replace your old master by your new master. Why?

Re: One more nail to MS' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141147)

This is what boggles my mind. A zero privacy saas model where google can drop support for your device whenever. Where is tuppe666 to tell us how great this is!

Re:One more nail to MS' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141819)

Open source, open formats.

Re:One more nail to MS' (1)

Lennie (16154) | about a year ago | (#44143005)

Which this seems to be non of them.

This particular solution isn't an open format and the implementation doesn't seem to be open source software as far as I can see.

Maybe eventually it will be.

Re:One more nail to MS' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141335)

But still, as bizarre it may sound, in the current world situation you get the best privacy using Microsoft products. The include the least amount of datamining.

Re:One more nail to MS' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44142421)

Bullshit!

Haven't you been reading the news?

Re:One more nail to MS' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44141559)

No, it's not.

This is a GOOGLE PROJECT. That means it will be at best a half-assed implementation with all sorts of frustrating and pointless self-imposed limitations that keep it from being a serious threat to MS.

Google has the human and monetary resources to become a very serious competitor to MS in any product area(s) they choose, but they don't do it. I have no freaking idea why, but it's undeniable. The number one thing I'll be watching to see if Google decides to really compete will be what they do with Android. Right now, they have the basic platform for a genuinely good OS, but on tablets and laptops/desktops it's still far too hobbled by its original design aimed at phones with tiny screens. If Google splits Android into "small screen" and "big screen" versions, with the latter having multiple open, overlapping windows, it will be a sure sign they're aiming for Windows' market share. If they keep the current basic design on larger devices, then it will be just another example of them doing far less than they could.

Eggs, too, as in eggzadurate. (1, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44141653)

Excel editing! This is impressive -- I created a spreadsheet in Excel of my shopping list (hot dogs, buns, tp) yesterday and when I saved it it was over 2 gigabytes. If Chrome can handle that, wow!

Re:Eggs, too, as in eggzadurate. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44142965)

For the clueless, certain global cell format changes force Excel to instantiate all the virtual cells way off to the ends of the Earth, resulting in hundred+ MB saves.

MS word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44142573)

lots of job recruiters ask me to send them my resume in MS Word. sometimes I accidentaly send them an ODT file. Opps.

and for some reason I thought microsoft word documents and excel documents were proprietary in that no other program was allowed to open them. don't know where i got that idea from.

i use OpenOffice.org / OpenDocument ODF. I hardly save files in Microsoft format any more. someone sent me a .rtf. I was like, what's an rtf? don't you mean rtfm?? lol

Different header on page 1, or no go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44142617)

Until they make it so that I can have different headers on the first page of my document, Chromebook is off of my list of possible purchases. This is REQUIRED for anyone that needs to use the APA writing format.

Re:Different header on page 1, or no go! (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#44143053)

Save it as two documents.

Woot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44143991)

If Mozilla did this, they would get nothing but flack. I'm guessing Google just has all of the luck. Go Google!

ms word is a mediocre word processor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44144191)

Word is not a good word processor. So why care about interoperability.

Word cannot even do justified text properly, because it doesn't have automatic hyphenation. So most users make ugly ragged-right documents. Word is capapble of screwing up references, including the TOC. You actually have to manually "re-generate" the TOC to keep it correct. It is not fully automatic, for some reason. Headings can end up on the bottom of a page. So when editing large documents, you have to look through them to check for such mistakes. Tedious work that ought to be automatic.

It doesn't have to be like that. Lyx have none of these problems, there is no need to put up with it. Leave word and move on...

I For One, Welcome NSA Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44147241)

I really do !

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