back to article Avoid nasty plugins with this extension, says Google

Google's ongoing attempts to harry Microsoft by nipping at the heels of the cash cow that is Office have thrown up some new irritants, and a new definition of "additional software". Chrome Office Viewer is one of the ad giant's new tricks and allows those who use Beta versions of Chrome to open Microsoft Office documents …

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software downloads

'Until then user are still required to endure the productivity-destroying and frankly degrading process that is software downloads' - you mean going to the chrome web store and clicking 'install' on the extension?

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Trollface

Re: software downloads

You ever go to the Chrome Web Store? It's like being told to go to the Windows Store. Except instead of scrolling horizontally, you scroll vertically. On the plus side, both of em have that "sandbox" thing going on.

My cats just love sandboxes!

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Anonymous Coward

That sounds useful if I only want to read the document

I can copy the directory path from Windows Explorer and paste it into Chrome. Then click on the appropriate file in the resultant directory listing. That should save the time taken to load full fat Word.

It already works with .txt and .pdf files (and it's nice how Chrome automatically prepends file:///).

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Re: That sounds useful if I only want to read the document

That should save the time taken to load full fat Word.

Dunno about Word, open office opens in around 1.4sec from SSD (i.e. no disk cache) on a 3years old laptop (core duo). So the entire copy-paste human time will take a lot more than just double-click the file.

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Silver badge

Re: That sounds useful if I only want to read the document

Not tried Word Viewer (from MS)?

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Childcatcher

Re: That sounds useful if I only want to read the document

Not tried Word Viewer (from MS)?

That was my first thought, too. One advantage, I suppose, is that this should provide the same functionality on non-Windows boxes. It might also be a step (or at least a feint) toward offering the ability to edit from within the browser.

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Anonymous Coward

Benign news today, but is there a more sinister plot afoot?

Ouch! This should be interesting. MS has been taking its punches lately, and nearly every week on here, there's a new debate about whether MS is losing market share. However, people have been criticising alternatives to Office such as the LO and Open Office suites for their lack of interoperability, arguing that MS will always have Office and its corresponding revenue.

Yeah well, maybe not if Google starts making more shots across the bow... It would take a Google to sink MS in the short term. I'm not sure it addresses the Office Power user with VBA Macros galore. But if Google wants it could tackle that problem too. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.... I bet MS would love to go back to a proprietary file format for Office!

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New Tricks?

"new trick is a chat feature baked into Google Drive that allows users to click on a file to initiate a chat with anyone else viewing it at the time"

Docs has had a chat feature for years.

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i'd be willing...

...to stake a pint on the majority of users for the majority of the time being able to get by fine on nothing more sophisticated than .rtf. It's only the constant pushing of 'upgraded' default document formats that result in people creating their documents in formats that are complete overkill for writing a letter/essay, etc. i.e. a bog standard text document with maybe some bold and/or italic styling.

In other words, if push ever comes to shove, the dominance/necessity of .docx could suddenly fade like the morning mist, and become just another specialist format for those who actually need it.

Already millions of words are traded online via email and web pages which never see a 'Word' processor, let alone file format. History show that monopolies are almost always fleeting, however desperately the monopolist tries to sustain their stranglehold.

I'm not about to make any firm predictions, but I do believe it won't actually take very much in practice to end the idea that we somehow 'need' .doc/.docx.

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FAIL

It's borderline useless at rendering even relatively simple Office documents. Weirdly it's not even as accurate as Google docs. If this is really the big G's attempt at toppling the Office monopoly, then I'd say Microsoft have a few more decades before they need worry.

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Anonymous Coward

What about editing?

Microsoft Office Online is HTML5 and runs on any browser plus has the ability to actually edit the documents, so tell me again how innovative Google is.

The only difference I see is that with Google you have to download a tool rather than just be online...

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