Google Takes On Microsoft Office Online With Native Office File Editing On Google Apps

Office Google Editing

When it comes to productivity, Microsoft Office is the de-facto standard. Google is trying to fight it out with Google Apps including Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides for past few years. One of the main disadvantages of using these apps is that it didn’t allow native Office file editing, you have to convert to Google document format to do editing. Google today announced that they are bringing native file editing to Google Apps, thanks to QuickOffice acquisition.

Sometimes people send you files and you need to be able to open them, make some edits, and send them back. If they don’t use Docs, Sheets and Slides it can be a challenge. Starting today, you no longer have to worry, because both the web and mobile apps for Docs, Sheets, and Slides let you edit Office files—without conversion—so you can now edit and send back files in their original format.

The updated mobile apps for DocsSheets and Slides come with Office editing built right in, and our new Chrome extension allows you to edit and share files directly from Google Drive, Gmail or from your Chromebook, where the extension is pre-installed. These updates will be available starting today, but may take a couple of days to fully roll out.

Of course, if you want to collaborate seamlessly with others at the same time, simply convert the files to Docs, Sheets or Slides.

So, this brings Google Apps further close to Office Online. Microsoft is also improving their Office Online experience with quick cadence releases, but it would be interesting to see how Microsoft plays out this move from Google.


  • dev

    Microsoft execs are still stupid and without visions. They completely discard Windows as a platform and concentrating to much to bring their services to other platforms just to get some bucks in short term. But what those jerks of execs don’t understand is that they give more and more commitments to their customers to switch over to another OS. If Android (or iOS) get’s more and more users, Google’s search revenue will surpass Microsoft’s profits by many numbers. Then it’s no big deal to build some better competition, provide better support, provide better everything… Nothing ONE Microsoft. Instead we see again product oriented development, but this time for more platforms not just Windows.
    Microsoft’s biggest problem is that the company is simply not able to compete. Regardless against what! So it doesn’t matter if they temporarily avoid platform competition by bringing their services to other platforms. Google will not sleep and make a gift to Microsoft and let them keep their enterprise customers.
    Microsoft has the best engineers that develops amazing stuff, but nothing gets into a real product. Instead some brilliant Microsoft exec will immediately tell us why wee shouldn’t expecting anything in the near future.

    • whatup12

      well, i will say that MSFT is slow to bring things to market. i do think that this is a really important time in their history and they seem slow. ie, google flooding cnn and other sites with ads about google for business, android products being the norm, people looking to chromebooks, etc–ie, msft is on the defense. I love the company, but it needs to be moving faster. Not just talking about moving faster, but moving faster. I do think that this is a long term game, but if the new generation only uses gmail, google apps, android, etc–not much of a stretch for that next generation to skip office all together. ie, if MSFT is out there and listening….MOVE!

      • Bugbog

        Another couple of rants on “Microsoft is Slow” “Microsoft is Behind”.

        Plenty of that going round today. :)

        • whatup12

          i guess…but this one is coming from a msft fan! :).

          • neva

            The problem is most of this comes from Microsoft fans! I’m one myself!
            The problem is exactly that! Microsoft is so worried about getting more people on their services that they may start loosing the users they already have.
            It’s a very bad sign when even the fanboys start to criticize the brand they support.
            I’ve always used Microsoft products. I buy a new laptop for every iteration of Windows since the XP. I buy a new phone for every iteration of the Windows Phone. I use Outlook and Microsoft Office (payed for it what isn’t very common where I live). My mouse is Microsoft branded. I will get a Surface by the end of August and I’m considering a XBox One since it’s announcement.
            I don’t have anything from Apple or Google. The only service from Google I use is Youtube and I don’t even have an account.
            And here am I, considering an Android phone for the first time in my life because of lack of support and development Microsoft provides to their own products…

          • whatup12

            i hear yah. similar here, upgraded every version of windows since 3.1, bought my mom a surface rt and one for my wife (though MSFT never charged her for it though we bought it through their online store!), skydrive, Hotmail/outlook, office 2013, etc. my first smart phone was a wp7 (other than this xianjiang that i bought in hong kong which was a bad joke), and a blackberry i used to have to carry on call for work, etc. That said, my wife wanted a cheap phone on virgin mobile a few years back and we got her a Samsung android and she hated how laggy it was. she is now happy 925 user. i have played around with some android phones and still like windows phone better…however, it is clear that i want more from MSFT than ever. and as you correctly noted, this is from a long time fan. getting new users on board is going to require serious advances and serious tech–and they need to deliver. they have the capacity and are a great company…but they need to deliver and build on successes like cortana (Take it to most of the world), integrate it into windows, etc. Get people excited about windows again as for now, it is just what people seem to “upgrade” from when they want to spend more money. ok, rant over.

          • perfectalpha

            After seeing what Google announced today, it just re-affirms why I am sticking with Microsoft for the time being (even though Microsoft does piss me off too btw). If you look at everything Google announced today, it was pretty half assed if you ask me.
            One thing that nobody really calls Google out for is having TRUE native experiences on these devices. Bringing Android apps to Chromebooks is a cool feature, but I am seeing a bunch of phone apps. No good if you ask me.
            Then Chromecast casting, again, no scaling. It is just rough seeing folks beating off to these features on other sites, and they’re genuinely half assed. I really like Google Now, but it isn’t good enough to stay on that platform for either.

      • LexicoRed

        You are right in your perspective about the speed of Microsoft. This is why they need to find greater focus on the things that matter and their true strengths. It is time for them to get out if the hardware.

        • dev

          You must be kidding! Business is simply hard. No one will make you a gift for free. What worked in the past must not necessarily work today.
          One of the biggest problems of Microsoft was ALWAYS that the OEMs are holding it down. At the end no one of the OEM was supporting Microsoft, but instead they’ve blackmailed to preinstall Windows 8 on their devices. Why? Because it’s bad? No, but Googles search business brings them actually more money than Bing. This is why Bing is crucial to Microsoft, because they can give OEMs a choice to earn Money with Bing instead of Google.
          Microsoft needs own hardware to build their visions today that OEMs should adopt tomorrow.
          They are simply to slow for anything.

    • pirate78

      I am not sure that I understand what you are saying. Are you stating that Microsoft will make more money closing their services to be used just on their own operating system? Because that seems foolish if you ask me. It would only isolate from people that need their documents to work on multiple platforms…which is a lot of people…LOTS! Enterprise and regular Joe’s like us. I would hate to not have access to or be able to edit my office documents just because I happen to have an Android phone as my only source of access to the web, for example. I think being open like that is a good thing for us.

      Are you perhaps upset at the fact that Microsoft is developing (lets say Touch Office) for Android and Apple and the people that bought the Surface 2 (as I had) have to wait? Ok, while this is annoying, I do have access to full version of office already. It is not “touch office” but gives me access to the full functionality of the office. So I can wait…but still begrudge them a little for the delay.

      I guess I’m trying to understand why you are so angry at Microsoft when the article was talking about Google adding Microsoft documents compatibility (allowed by Microsoft) in their services. How is this bad for Microsoft? Should Microsoft go after Google for giving people a convenience that should not be afforded them. Wouldn’t it make them just like Google?

      …or maybe i’m missing something:)

      • VISU

        I think what he is trying to say is that MS is doing more & more on competing platforms i.e. ios & Android. There is nothing wrong with this approach, you have to go where the users are..
        But, they are doing this in detriment to their own platform – Win8.1 & WP8.1. Have you seen the Skype app on WP8/Win8, it sucks compared to whats on ios/android. MS office Modern app is much better on iPad than on WP. There is no modern version of app for windows, i know its coming.. but when…
        We have been hearing of just wait… best things are coming to Windows platform…but its been 4 years & i have yet to see any proof of that.

        • whatup12

          skype does suck on wp8! i use it a lot, but it totally sucks!

          • Zumxaw

            Why use it then?????

            I never under stood why people use inferior services or devices when better tools are available.

          • whatup12


          • Mac94582

            FaceTime works great!

          • whatup12

            skype is stellar service that works across platforms rather than being locked down to one company (i have world subscription and represents a great deal for me!). however, the app does need serious improvement on wp8. quick question: can you initiate group call on facetime on the iPhone app?? i know that this is just one function, but really want this to come to wp8 so that i can continue to use this for work.

          • Mac94582

            gotomeeting works good for that. Skype got so bad for customers running Mac I had to switch and have not look back. Sounds like it now happening to windows (I don’t even have it on my Window machines…have not gone to OSX yet!)

            I work with high end clients and almost all have iPhone so FaceTime is the usual.

          • whatup12

            I was talking about windows phone not windows machines. and not going to get baited into useless win vs mac discussion–it is clear how we both feel about this. But will say that high end clients must exclude all places of higher learning, governments, etc which rarely use iPhone as go to device. And I will also say that never has any one asked me to use facetime for a work meeting and me have to decline based on my use of windows machines. This may happen in the future, but has literally never happened. I do appreciate you answering the question about whether iPhone app can initiate group call on facetime and seems that the answer is no. I still want this feature on windows phone, but at least good to know that it isn’t standard on ios.

          • Mac94582

            Not sure why you think win is useless but I find it to be my machine of choice (LOL don’t let my name fool you!)

            Yes group is not standard on iOS but like I said gotomeeting works well for me. Though if you are a WP user I don’t think there is an app for it yet, just iOS and android but this has not been an issue for any of my clients, a good number in those fields you pointed out. I think if I was working with IT dept you would be right.

          • whatup12

            Thanks–i also use gotomeeting and indeed, we do have windows phone app! there is no doubt that we have less apps than android/ios, but clearly you would be surprised how many are there (cisco webex also, etc)

          • NGM123

            Works fine on my Surface

          • whatup12

            works fine on my surface 2 as well! i just meant on windows phone it is missing a lot of functionality like initiating group calls, etc.

  • Zicoz

    Can’t wait to see some of the fucked up documents this will result in.

  • dev

    The point is that Microsoft is too slow to bring anything. They are talking about unified application development for ca. a decade. Just remember back on the Zune and XNA. They are talking every time about it, but they simply don’t deliver. It is unbelievable that we can’t run applications across Windows 8, RT and Phone and still have separated stores.
    Without any doubt Microsoft is a key pioneer in developing operating systems. They were a key pioneer in evolving 3D applications, because of Direct3D. But know they discard everything. They have had unlimited potential with their assets, but they do nothing. For not many years ago Steam was very frown up. Microsoft could easily merge gaming under Xbox brand, even if PC and console are separated. But instead you have a stupid store with stupid apps. Where are the games? Actually Steam is so a big competitor that gaming on PC is already lost. The next big threat is Mantle. Even if there exists already design papers how to fasten up Direct3D FOR YEARS, Microsoft simply didn’t anything. Now they want to release Direct3D 12 next year, too late. If Mantle is swapping over to mobile (Android) Direct3D is doomed, gaming for Microsoft is doomed…
    The next big opportunity would be to build a cloud rendering System that game engines could integrate and partially offload some rendering stuff. They could bundle it with Azure and Direct3D, but I guess there is nothing coming. Instead others like Bethesda simply execute.
    Everywhere at Microsoft they have very valuable assets with big opportunities, but somewhere at a level they are screwing things completely up.

  • LadyCroom

    Anyone who is thinking about switching from Microsoft to Google Docs — Stop. Stop now and run away as fast as you can. If you need to manage docs more complex than a cake recipe, Google will have you tearing your hair out. They’ve tried to replicate Word functionality and come up with a “lite” knockoff. Switching to Google is like replacing your car with a tricycle. I could fill a book with the Google downside, so I won’t even start. Get thee behind me, Google!