Microsoft has offered Office free to Android and iOS devices for two years now, with some restrictions for larger devices. Now that Chromebooks are starting to get access to Android apps, those same restrictions will apply for Google’s laptops. Just like the iPad Pro, Chromebooks with a screen larger than 10.1 inches will not be able to access Microsoft Office editing free of charge.
This restriction includes most Chromebooks on the market, and it’s only devices like ASUS’ Chromebook Flip (10.1-inch display) that will be able to use Microsoft Office free of charge. “Google Play on Chrome OS is in beta, we are partnering with Google to deliver the best experience for Chromebook users and plan to make the apps available on all compatible devices by general availability,” explains a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to 9to5Google. “On devices larger than 10.1 inches, an Office 365 subscription is required to unlock the ability to create, edit, or print documents.”
This isn’t a new strategy or policy, and Microsoft isn’t unfairly targeting Chromebooks. The software giant revealed last year that it would classify a machine with a 10.1-inch display or below as a “true mobile device.” Microsoft applied the same rules to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, while the smaller iPad Pro still retains free access to Microsoft Office. Microsoft currently offers individual Office 365 Personal subscriptions for $6.99 per month, or $69.99 a year.