Google updated its Drive cloud storage and productivity service to let Gmail users edit Microsoft Office documents they receive without leaving the company’s email service. Users who get an attachment can now click on the “Edit” button to immediately tweak the Office document using Google Docs.
In addition to the quick editing, today’s update also includes support for 15 new Office file types, including macro-enabled files, PPS, and PPSX files. The features do require Google’s Chrome browser and a special extension, however.
It’s a move that’s designed to pull people away from Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools, which remains the gold standard for getting work done in many enterprises. Google’s web-based tools have been around for quite some time, but haven’t managed to pick up the same sort of massive market share Microsoft currently holds.
In particular, this change is a significant one for businesses that already pay for the Google for Work service, which offers domain owners the chance to operate their company’s own Google Apps services, including Gmail and Google Drive.
Using these tools creates a copy of the document in Google Drive, so people who get a lot of use out of it may end up naturally migrating to Google’s productivity service, and away from Microsoft’s offering.