Laptop makers go Chromebooks as Google Chrome’s Office Extension makes it easy to View and Edit Office Documents

College Students two (2) fave tools: Microsoft Office, particularly Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel and DropBox, especially for those days you forgot to carry your thumb drive. If you’ve got a copy of Microsoft Office that came pre-loaded on your Laptop, chances are it’s now showing you it needs to be upgraded.

You may have tried the advice from my article on extracting Keys from Microsoft Products and have done so to get the keys from someone else’s PC or Laptop that has an active copy to activate yours. But then you may have wondered: Why join the rat-race and use Microsoft Office? After all, if there’s a Cloud -Based alternatives to having a Thumb Drive in the form of Dropbox, now integrated into Yahoo Mail or Google Drive in Gmail, should there also be a Cloud-Based alternative to Microsoft Office?


There is now, dear reader!

You can do so using Google Chrome, the Browser that I truly hate as it’s a memory hog. First you update to the latest versions of Google Chrome or installing the Google Chrome Office Viewer Extension. That’s right; it’s just a viewer, not an editor, and if you’re in Google Chrome right now, just click on the link provided at the end of this article and it’ll take you through the process of installing the Google Chrome Office Viewer Extension from the Google Chrome App Store.

Apparently this capability’s already in Google Pixel, their overpriced clone of the Apple Macbook. This feature throws Google Docs straight into your browser and in turn legitimize the Browser based Internet powered Chrome OS that powers the Chromebook as a viable option to a Traditional Laptop. College and High Schools are a red hot market for Google’s Chromebook, as evidence by the fact that the Chromebook is Amazon’s top seller in the Laptop category.

Finally it all makes sense. This recent Google Chrome Office Viewer Extension, which is available in the Google Chrome App Store, is applicable to the most recent versions of Google Chrome. Laptop makers Acer, Lenovo and now HP since January 2013 are eschewing Windows 8 in favour of building Chromebooks. Suddenly this doesn’t look so good for Microsoft.


It’s part of Google’s long term strategy to introduce ChromeBooks as an alternative to the more expensive and pricier Windows Laptops. Clearly it’s working, as Google reported in February 2013 that some 2,000 schools worldwide are switching to Chromebooks. No doubt the Administrators at these schools are attracted to its speed, the fact it’s in Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and 3G/4G flavours and its lightweight and silent with its SSD (Solid State Drive).

But more importantly, it comes with the familiar Keyboard and Mouse of a traditional Laptop making it usable straight out of the box. It’s got no installed Software aside from the Chrome OS and instead uses Web App or Extensions such as the Google Chrome Office Viewer Extension, so Office Documents are now viewable, if not editable.

As it’s essentially a Cloud-Based Laptop, this makes it a part of the Mobile Computing Revolution powered by smartphones and Tablets now sweeping the United States of America. Thus the learning curve is easier for the older folks in Admin, but its web-connected nature makes it perfect for students on the go and who may like doing their work via Wi-Fi outdoors.

Back to reality, as you may not yet have a Chromebook, despite the “attractive” pricing. For editing, you still have to use Microsoft Office, it would seem. Well, you can always torrent a copy of Microsoft Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2010 from you favourite torrent site. Or, if you’re really queasy about piracy, then you can try one of these Open Source Editing options broken into two (2) Categories:

Installable Software Office Editors

Web Based Office Editors

That’s it. I hope by Google-ing the above (you can use Google Search, right?) this helps you complete your Summer midterm and final papers on time without you having a guilty conscience about pirating Microsoft Office… may want to work there one day.

Here’s the link:

Google Chrome Office Viewer Extension

Microsoft Office 2010 Toolkit

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.