On Tuesday, Google announced a new plug-in for Microsoft Office for Windows which enables Google Drive compatibility. But this begs the question: why didn’t Google partner with Microsoft on this as Dropbox and Box have done?
I would guess the answer to that question is political in nature: Google and Microsoft don’t exactly work well together, let alone actually partner. But if you do like to use Microsoft Office on a PC desktop with Google’s cloud storage service, this should do nicely.
“Using the new Google Drive plug-in, people using Office for Windows can now open their Word, Excel and Powerpoint [sic] documents stored in Drive, then save any changes back to Drive once they’re done,” Google technical program manager Darrell Kuhn writes in a post to the Google Drive Blog. “If you’re working on a document, spreadsheet or presentation that’s on your computer, you can also save that file to Google Drive, directly from the Office apps. This is especially useful for sharing files with teams, or for accessing your files across devices.”
The plug-in comes after a related update to Google Drive from late 2014 which lets you open your “favorite desktop applications”—i.e. Microsoft Office—directly from Google Drive on the web. Just right-click a document and choose Open With and then the appropriate application.
According to Google, the plug-in will work with Office 2007. But it won’t actually install on Office 2016, which, granted, isn’t complete yet.