Microsoft Will No Longer Support Office Apps for Android on Chrome OS

Posted on August 25, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Chrome OS, Chromebook, Microsoft 365, Office, Outlook.com with 23 Comments

Microsoft will prevent Chromebook users from using the Office apps for Android, and it will push the web experiences instead.

News of this change was first reported by Kevin Tofel at About Chromebooks.

“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,” a Microsoft statement explains. “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.”

Tofel is concerned about this change because the Office web apps don’t offer some of the functionality found in the Android apps, including offline support. I can certainly understand that issue, but I see this change as a good thing: Today, Chromebook users face a lot of confusion in choosing between the Android and web versions of the Office apps, neither of which is a true superset of each other. By offering Chromebook users a single way forward, Microsoft is uncharacteristically simplifying matters.

Of course, this assumes that Microsoft updates the Office web apps to include missing functionality, the key bit being, wait for it, offline support. Anyway, there’s your deadline: September 18.

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Microsoft Will No Longer Support Office Apps for Android on Chrome OS”

  1. ringofvoid

    I'd really like it if they'd make the individual Office Apps available to install as PWAs. PWAs with offline support would be even better.

    • will

      I think this is "Coming Soon" with the next generation of PWAs possibly starting with the "One Outlook" web app that might show up later this year.

    • hrlngrv

      You mean FREE apps which could run OFFLINE on ANY hardware?


      Dream on.

      • ringofvoid

        I was actually thinking more about Microsoft 365 customers. "Installing" Google's web apps makes them feel like native apps and they offer offline support. It would be nice if M365 customers could have the same experience with Word, Excel etc. Great web app experiences are useful regardless of the platform.

  2. rmlounsbury

    I have been using a Pixelbook as my daily driver and to be honest I think this change is generally welcome. As Kevin mentioned, the biggest problem you are going to run into is the offline bit which you can't do via the web apps today. Also, it would be ideal if you could plug OneDrive into the Files app on Android/ChromeOS (similar to what Apple allows with their files app -- though it still needs the OneDrive app). But that is entirely up to Google.


    Oddly enough, I did notice on a Surface Duo the Play Store no longer offers me the individual Office apps. It only surfaces the new "Microsoft Office" app. The individual apps on the Duo say they are no longer available for the device. It seems that eventually Microsoft deprecates the individual apps for all devices and pushes the all-encompessing app on mobile and web only on ChromeOS.

  3. blue77star

    Honestly, never knew this was a thing in iOS.

  4. harrymyhre

    This was a shock to me.

  5. mikegalos

    Seeing that the whole point of a Chromebook is to replace a personal computer with a smart terminal attached to a central server much like the old terminal/mainframe days this makes total sense.

  6. waethorn

    So no Android apps. What about the idea of making an HTML app and compiling it as a native app so as to benefit from platform integration? Is that concept dead now? (PS: Electron sucks)


    Isn't it about time that Microsoft make a decision and stick to it??


    Of course, why change now?

  7. bettyblue

    Wait, what, you mean Microsoft/Google are locking this down. Can you side load on Chrome OS, as in get apps from another store? How about pay for them via a different payment vendor? If not drop the government hammer on them RFN!!!! After all we do not want a business calling the shots on the products and services they provide!

  8. anoldamigauser

    Offline support for the Office Web Apps and OneDrive is important for all devices, not just Chromebooks.

    • hrlngrv

      Isn't there already offline support for OneDrive? That is, can't one work with local files under %USERPROFILE%\OneDrive while offline? And any changed files under that directory would sync with OneDrive in the cloud when online again? From another perspective, if offline, one can't actually use OneDrive in the cloud because one's offline.

      • anoldamigauser

        Not on Chromebooks, but perhaps that is more because Google.

        • hrlngrv

          Fair point. There used to be a Chrome OS storage subsystem for OneDrive as there still is a Chrome OS storage subsystem for Dropbox. I don't believe the one for OneDrive was from MSFT, and whoever the developer was may have landed a real job and thereby lost the free time to be able to maintain it.

  9. codymesh

    good move...the web apps were always far superior on laptops than the Android app anyway

    • hrlngrv

      Maybe not Excel. There were some things the UWP Excel mobile app could do which the Excel web app couldn't, e.g., enter traditional array formulas, which may be moot given spilled formulas these days.

    • wright_is

      Except outlook online doesn't support multiple accounts. I use 3 accounts, outside of the Outlook.com address, for example.

  10. bart

    Is this also (in anyway) related to Android apps on Windows 11? Otherwise the free office on screens up to 10 inch won't work anymore...?

  11. spiderman2

    you get what you paid for, a web OS

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