Microsoft and Google are working together to bring Microsoft Office to Google Chromebook devices, and that can only mean great things for users who prefer the platform. It's also good for Microsoft as the company now has access to another market.
However, there's a slight problem with this setup. Here's the thing, if we look at Android and iOS, Microsoft Office is both free and paid. This depends on the size of the display, and from what we've come to understand, similar restrictions will haunt Chromebook users.
Let's Explain The Restrictions
According to the good folks at 9To5Google, any Chromebook device with a screen size over 10.1-inch will require the user to subscribe to Microsoft Office 365. That's a deep blow to anyone with devices rocking a screen greater that 10.1-inches in size.
"Google Play on Chrome OS is in beta, we are partnering with Google to deliver the best experience for Chromebook users and plan to make the apps available on all compatible devices by general availability," explains a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to 9to5Google. "On devices larger than 10.1 inches, an Office 365 subscription is required to unlock the ability to create, edit, or print documents."
At the end of the day, this is not a dealbreaker because Office 365 is affordable, and for those who are wondering, this is not Microsoft targeting Chromebooks because the policy is standard for every platform out there, which also includes Windows 10.
The policy caused for a minor revolt on the ChromeOS sub-Reddit, but for the most part, users seem to understand what this is and that it isn't something new and exclusive to Chromebooks, and that's good.
How Much Does Microsoft Office 365 Cost
Office 365 begins at $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year for the Personal version. The user will get the chance to install the full version of Office on a single Windows computer, use Office 365 on any one tablet or smartphone, and get 1TB of free storage for a single user. When it comes down to the Home version, the feature set is the same with minor differences.
From what Microsoft has to say, Office 365 Home allows the user to install the software on a maximum of five different computers at the same time, five different tablets, and five different smartphones. The 1TB storage will be available to five different users.
Sounds good? Great
Bear in mind that Google Docs is a great alternative for folks who have no interest in paying, period.