These days whenever Google announces something, GNU/Linux users keep their fingers crossed that they won’t be excluded again. So here is good news for Chrome users who do deal with Microsoft Office documents. You can now easily view MS Office document in the Chrome browser.
Don’t confuse it with ‘uploading’ documents to Google Drive to open them; Google has created a Chrome extension called Chrome Office Viewer which allows its users to open such files in the brosers directly. What it means is that you don’t need an office suite such as LibreOffice or OpenOffice to open word files. Just click on the file and open with Chrome browser.
Google’s Chromebooks already have this ability (and sadly Google still doesn’t support ISO approved ODF formats in both of its Linux-based platforms Chrome OS and Android) and users can open MS Office files directly in the browser.
It’s not just convenience, it also brings security. Jelte Liebrand, Software Engineer and Document Dynamo, says, “In addition to saving you time, the Chrome Office Viewer also protects you from malware delivered via Office files. Just like with web pages and PDFs, we’ve added a specialized sandbox to impede attackers who use compromised Office files to try to steal private information or monitor your activities.”
That’s good part of this news, the bad part is that this extension is available only for Windows and Mac – GNU/Linux is excluded for now. This is worrisome as it’s more than a year now and there is no indication of Google Drive for Linux and now even Chrome ‘extensions’ are also not available for GNU/Linux.