Is Windows Office Compatible With a Chromebook? Small Business

| Human Resources

| Officers

Chromebook's low price comes from a basic hardware set that supports a bare basics operating system. This configuration gives you a responsive computer at a bargain, but has one major downside, you can't install programs other than Google Chrome to the hard drive. This makes using full versions of Microsoft Office on Chromebooks impossible. You can, however, work on Office documents using either Microsoft's free Office Web Apps or the productivity apps that come with Chrome.

Chrome OS Part of what gives Chromebooks their speed is the minimalist Chrome OS. The system features the Chrome browser, through which you conduct all of your actual computer usage. There is a desktop and directory system like a traditional operating system, but these are only for storing files locally. Chrome is the only application on your Chromebook. The only other applications you can run are Web-based apps you run through Google Chrome.

Office Web Apps You can't install Microsoft Office on a Chromebook and using Microsoft's Office on Demand, full online streaming versions of Office suite applications, requires Windows. You can, however, use Microsoft Office Web Apps. These are versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that you can use online through Chrome. These are available through Microsoft SkyDrive, Microsoft's private cloud storage service. A basic SkyDrive account is free, but you will need to create an account. These Web apps, however, are not as fully featured as paid versions of Microsoft Office

Working With Files You can use the Office Web Apps to work on files in your SkyDrive. You can download files from your SkyDrive account to your Chromebook's directories, and upload files from your Chromebook to your SkyDrive. However, the Office file has to be in your SkyDrive before you can open it with Office Web Apps.

Google Docs Chrome comes with Google's productivity programs, collectively called Google Docs, as Chrome apps. These programs can edit files which their Microsoft counterparts created and save files in Microsoft Office formats. As Chrome apps, they also have the benefit of being able to run and let you work when your Chromebook does not have an Internet connection. SkyDrive, however, is a Web service that you cannot access without an active Internet connection.

Tomasz David
Tomasz David

Leave a Comment