Chromebook Users Will Lose Offline Microsoft Office Support Soon

By Bill Toulas / August 26, 2021

The millions of users of Chromebook devices may soon lose access to the invaluable productivity tool that is Microsoft Office, as there are reports that claim the tech giant is looking to pull the software from the Chrome OS. If that happens, Chromebook owners will only be able to access the suite on its web app form, but obviously, this means that these users won’t be able to work on their documents without an internet connection.

This may not sound like a big deal for most people who spend are 24/7 in near proximity of a WiFi router, but when considering the variety in usage scenarios that involve inexpensive laptops like Chromebooks, it becomes evident that such a move would have a significant impact to a large number of people. It will just strip out the versatility of the device, making working offline and in remote, oftentimes serene locations like parks or camping spaces impossible.

This move has been rumored for a while, starting in June 2021, but Microsoft has now confirmed that it’s happening on a tech news portal dedicated to Chromebooks and even gave a date for when the plug will be pulled. Reportedly, this will happen on September 18, 2021, so the time is already running out. After that, customers will be able to access Office either through their personal Microsoft Account or their Microsoft 365 subscription.

It is also worth noting that the Office web apps aren’t without their issues in terms of functionality and stability, so the problem isn’t only the lack of offline access but also a messy implementation that yields errors here and there. Microsoft may make strides on that front in the upcoming months, but the landing to a new platform will be rough for Chromebook users.

If you are looking for an alternative office suite that can run on virtually any Chromebook device and offer full support for offline work, look no further than LibreOffice. Microsoft and Google have entered a new era of classes, and the former wants to adopt a more restrictive and aggressive approach with the release of Windows 11, so we’re seeing proprietary OS ecosystems becoming increasingly isolated. Instead of trying to adjust to an ever-tightening scheme that perforces the form of the way you work, free yourself by using fully interoperable open source tools.

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