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Google Chrome gets ability to view Office documents inside browser

Beta plug-in offers alternative to Office apps

Google has ported the Chrome OS's useful ability to view Office Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files in the Chrome browser for the first time, its develop blog has announced.

It might seem like a small feature for the users who will already have the ability to do that either using Office itself of Microsoft's own free viewers, but the new (beta )plug-in enables this to do done directly in the browser without launching a separate program.

The in-browser design also allows Chrome's sandbox to protect users from the risk of malicious Office files, Google pointed out.

The feature's appearance is an interesting example if the cross-fertilisation between the company's Chrome OS development and that for its standalone browser.

Chrome OS users have had this feature for some time and moreover get new features of the OS silently, that is without having to download a specific plug-in.

It is also part of the company's drive to establish Chrome as a business-friendly browser. Earlier this month, the firm announced more cloud-based management features for the Google Admin Panel.

Note: installing the plug-in requires users to download the potentially less stable Chrome beta and it won't work on the stable release.

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