Microsoft Office remains the most popular family of productivity software products, and today Google announced a new way for Chrome beta users to view Microsoft Office compatible files inside the web browser itself via a new web extension.
The extension is called simply Chrome Office Viewer, and it's now available as a beta download from the Chrome web store. Once installed, it allows Chrome to view Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files inside the browser, similar to how Chrome can read PDF files. The specific file formats supported by Office Web Viewer are .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt and .pptx.
Google previously allowed owners of the Chromebooks to view Microsoft Office files directly from the browser. This new extension now opens up that support for everyone that uses the beta version of the browser. If you are worried about any security issues with this extension, Google states on the Chrome blog, "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."
As with all beta software, users might find some bugs in this new extension and they are encourage to report those bugs to the company so they can fix them in later editions.
Source: Google | Image via Google