Google and Microsoft don’t always take pains to make sure their products work great together—Google originally declared Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser “not supported” by the Google Drive web apps; Microsoft is always trying to make you use Bing—but it looks like Google’s ChromeOS will start working a bit better with the Microsoft 365 service later this year.
Google says ChromeOS will add a “new integration” for Microsoft 365, making it easier to install the app and adding built-in support for OneDrive in ChromeOS’ native Files app. This should allow users to search for and access OneDrive files the same way they get to local files, or files stored in their Google Drive account. The integration will be added in “the coming months,” and users in ChromeOS’ dev and beta channels will be able to access it before it rolls out to all ChromeOS users later this year.
ChromeOS users can currently access OneDrive and other Microsoft 365 services through their web interfaces or Android apps installed via the Google Play Store, but they don’t integrate with the built-in ChromeOS Files app the way that Google Drive does. This integration will help close that gap for people who, for example, use Google products at home but Microsoft products at work or vice versa.
Unlike iOS and Android, where Microsoft has given up on being a competitor and is now focused on providing apps and services, Microsoft is trying to enlarge and maintain its foothold in ChromeOS while simultaneously trying to defeat it. The Surface Laptop SE and Windows 11 SE are built to compete with ChromeOS hardware and software (respectively), and they try to offer some of the same admin tools and management features that have made ChromeOS so popular in schools.
For people all-in on Microsoft 365, Windows will continue to offer the best integration with Microsoft’s cloud products. Aside from native versions of Word and other don’t-call-them-Office apps, Microsoft is also testing a revamped version of the Windows 11 File Explorer with even deeper OneDrive and Microsoft 365 file-sharing integration.