Google Apps Improves Microsoft Office Compatibility

By | Dec 21, 2012

Looking to up the ante in their perpetual competition with Microsoft, Google Apps now offers streamlined compatibility with Microsoft Office files through the integration of Google's Quickoffice tool into their office app suite. The new, easier to use Quickoffice technology was reported on by CNET earlier this week.

IT executives at midsize businesses now have another point to consider when weighing the Google Chromebook as a valid option against purchasing Windows 8 computers for their company. Being able to easily edit Word and Excel files on a Chromebook or a mobile device is a likely winner for Google's fledgling office suite.

A Closer Look at Google's Apps and Quickoffice

Quickoffice is essentially a conversion technology around the Microsoft Office suite. Google acquired the product earlier this year with the eventual hope of competing with Windows 8 on tablets, including the new Microsoft Surface. A Google spokesperson describes their hopes for the technology:

"Today, consumers, businesses, and schools use Google Apps to get stuff done from anywhere, with anyone and on any device. Quickoffice has an established track record of enabling seamless interoperability with popular file formats, and we'll be working on bringing their powerful technology to our Apps product suite."

As part of the improved integration announced this week, Google is offering the Quickoffice tool on the iPad free of charge to existing Apps users. This includes the ability to open and edit Office documents stored on the cloud-based Google Drive directly from an iPad.

Additionally, Microsoft Office documents now reportedly look better in Apps and Quickoffice post conversion, with graphics and charts, especially, showing improvement.

Apps' Better Compatibility with Microsoft Office a Consideration for the Midsize IT Professional

Easier access to Quickoffice means easier editing of Microsoft Office documents on a variety of platforms, which makes the tool worth exploring for the midsize technical professional. It also nicely leverages cloud-based technology and its advantages of mobile access as well as improved file security.

In addition to the current availability of the iPad Quickoffice app, Google announced that iPhone and Android versions are soon to be released. When combined with the prospect of Apps runnning on a Chromebook, the ability to edit Office files on a wide range of mobile devices means companies know their archive of documents won't be orphaned should they decide not to upgrade to Windows 8.

IT executives at midsize enterprises need to take this into account when formulating their mobile and desktop device strategies for 2013.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.