Microsoft will discontinue support for its native Android Office apps on Chromebooks starting September. The company advises users to switch to its web-based Office.com and Outlook.com apps by September 18.
Microsoft will not stop offering native Office apps for other Android platforms beyond that date.
This restriction is only for Chrome OS, as explained by Kevin Tofel on the AboutChromebooks.com. The restriction means that Chromebook users will have to sign in with their personal Microsoft Account (MSA) or an account associated with a Microsoft 365/Office 365 subscription.
Tofel said that some Chromebook users have been hearing about the plan to move them to the Web versions of Microsoft’s apps since June this year, which corroborates a Windows United report.
On August 13, Microsoft made changes in its support page under “How to install and run Microsoft Office on a Chromebook,” to reflect the coming shift.
The page now says that the Android versions of OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Office are “currently not supported on a Chromebook.” The updated page advises Chromebook users to access the apps from office.com.
Attack of the Microsoft
Before the change, the same Support page told Chromebook users to install the native Android versions of Office apps from Google’s Play Store.
The only public explanation the software giant has offered for this change to the web versions of its apps is that it provides the “most optimized experience for Chrome OS/Chromebook customers.
One cannot help but wonder whether this is just another attempt by Microsoft to compete with Chrome. Meanwhile, Insiders on the Dev channel have run into problems attempting to shift to the Beta channel, amid an announcement by Microsoft that it plans to release experimental versions of Windows 11 that may be buggier than the current stable release.