The extension, which is available for Windows and Mac, is a free download and can be used to quickly create Office files online and offline. As Microsoft starts to focus more on cloud-based computing with Office 365, enabling users to access these services quickly and from anywhere is a key part of the plan.
Microsoft making a Chrome extension suggests the company is increasingly willing to work on whichever platform is most popular, even those belonging to other companies. According to the research firm Gartner, Chrome is rapidly overtaking Internet Explorer in key markets – such as enterprise – and Microsoft is shifting strategies to accommodate this.
Microsoft’s latest browser, Edge, doesn’t support extensions, and it probably won’t until summer 2016. But the fact Microsoft services work on other browsers means users will be able to switch over easily – albeit at the expense of Edge’s market share.
Office Online is available free for non-enterprise users, who need an Office 365 account.