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ChromeOS To Add Microsoft 365 Integration
Google is one of the few tech giants in the market that remains committed to playing well with others. In other words, ...
Google is one of the few tech giants in the market that remains committed to playing well with others. In other words, it has chosen not to create a closed ecosystem for its products and services. An example is its decision to add Microsoft 365 integration to its ChromeOS. Google currently has some compatibility with Microsoft files, but its 365 integration upgrade is a welcome change.
What Is the Current Level of Microsoft 365 Integration on Chrome OS?
ChromeOS users currently rely on the Progressive Web App to open and edit Microsoft files. The app runs in browsers and helps to overcome the challenges created by using proprietary file types across operating systems.
While it has bridged gaps between Windows and ChromeOS, it has its shortcomings. For starters, it typically only works with PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents. Also, it does not provide a true native-user experience and some users encounter issues with formatting and file locks.
How Does Google Plan To Improve Its Microsoft 365 Integration?
The company has not yet announced a specific release date but says improved integration should be available this year. Google wants to make it easier for users to access and edit Microsoft 365 files. It will allow ChromeOS users to connect OneDrive to the Files app on the Chromebook. Beta and dev team ChromeOS users will get to test the new integration first in the next few months.
What Are the Implications of Better Microsoft 365 Integration for Business Owners?
When tech companies find ways to work better together, their customers stand to benefit. Here are some positive outcomes for your business.
Reduced Hardware Costs
ChromeOS is a lightweight operating system with minimal hardware requirements to run it. Consequently, even basic specs can provide snappy and responsive devices. According to CNET, this makes it easy to find a decent Chromebook for $200, while you would need to spend at least $700 for comparable specs in a Windows computer. Macbooks are even more expensive.
This implies that Chromebooks cost roughly 28% of a standard Windows PC. Consider a company that needs to provide computers for a team of 5,000 people. The company would spend roughly $3.5 million on Windows laptops but only $1 million on Chromebooks. How much money would your company save from a partial or total switch?
Improved Bring Your Own Device Options
BYOD policies primarily apply to smartphones, but they can also extend to laptops. People who work from home might prefer to use the devices they are familiar with, but not everyone owns a Mac or Windows laptop. Chromebooks became increasingly popular as remote learning grew in the United States and have now become staples for personal use, especially among Android users.
Workers who already have Chromebooks now have more options for using them to complete work assignments. The improved Microsoft 365 integration is just one example. Microsoft has also taken steps for its products to work well on Chromebooks. The most notable example is the creation of Cloud PC capabilities, which makes it easy for workers to switch seamlessly between devices and across operating systems.
Better Collaboration and Customer Service
Workers are just some of the people businesses interact with who may prefer to use Chromebooks. Customers and business partners may also have a preference. Better integration simplifies working with others without worrying about potential file and OS compatibility issues. This improves both customer service and collaborative efforts.
For example, consider the case of a small lab and a large pharmaceutical company. The lab relies on chemicals from the pharmaceutical company for its project and sends data back to the pharmaceutical company via spreadsheets. The ability to easily open and edit Excel spreadsheets can simplify matters for both parties.
What Are Best Practices for Using Chromebooks for Business Purposes?
If you take the leap and switch to ChromeOS, you might lose many of the full features only available on Windows PCs. Some businesses only need some technical Windows features, though, and could save millions of dollars with the change. Before you finalize your decision, consider the following best practices.
Carefully Review Your Business Processes
Chromebooks are only suitable for some business tasks. Suppose your company needs to use a specific Microsoft Office product or Windows-only software. In that case, you should stick with Microsoft PCs. Similarly, the ChromeOS integration might not be enough if workers use more advanced features on any Office app.
Secure Your Data
Microsoft 365 integration provides some security features, such as encryption, but businesses should also consider using a Microsoft 365-specific virtual private network or multi-factor authentication. The good news is that Chromebooks rank among the most secure laptops; security experts commonly recommend themover other options.
Test Several Chromebook Spec Levels
Chromebooks need such minimal specs that even small changes can make significant differences. What will your business operations require? The only way to answer that question is by testing various specifications, such as screen sizes, screen resolutions, processing speeds and local storage.
What Role Does Cloud Migration Play in Microsoft 365 Integration?
Most tech experts agree that cloud computing is the future, so Microsoft 365 integration is only the beginning. Google has so perfected the art form of cloud computing that Chromebooks can now complete most non-browsing tasks offline when configured correctly. Companies running Windows should stay ahead of the competition by leveraging Microsoft's unparalleled cloud offerings. Contact our specialists at Cloudficient to see how we can help your cloud migration.
With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.