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Google and Microsoft should be mortal enemies, right? After all, in the world of office productivity, Microsoft's Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the rest) has been the dominant program for a generation, despite challenges from Google. The competition is much more robust when it comes to consumer cloud storage, where Google Drive holds its own against Microsoft and Dropbox.
There's good news for fans of both Drive and Word, however. A new plug-in will soon make these two nemeses more friends than foes, allowing you to save Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files straight to Drive. Things just got a lot simpler for lawyers and others who use Office for work, but Drive for cloud storage.
Integrating Google Drive and Microsoft Office
Since last year, Google Drive users have been able to launch desktop applications, such as Word or PowerPoint, directly from Drive. Yesterday, Google announced that it was taking its integration a step further. With the new Google Drive plug-in, Office users can open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents stored in Drive, work on them on their desktop and then save the changes back to Drive when they are done.
That means using Drive to save or share your Office files will be a lot simpler. You won't have to worry about syncing files or making sure they're saved to both your desktop and the cloud -- you can just save them to both with a click. That's especially helpful for lawyers who need to access documents on the go or want to easily share them with a team. So long as you're on a P.C., that is. For now, the plug-in is Windows only.
What Took so Long?
The new plug-in promises to make syncing from Office to Drive so simple that you'll wonder why it hasn't been around for years. Don't forget, however, that Word has its own cloud service, OneDrive, while Google has its own office suite, Google Docs. To a certain extent, it makes sense for each to exclude the other. Google can leverage Drive to encourage people to use Docs; Microsoft can use its Office supremacy to force OneDrive on the public.
The problem, of course, is that Google and Microsoft are good at what they do well and not so good at the rest. Google Docs is ugly and clunky. OneDrive actually has many great reviews, but hasn't been able to develop the same loyal following as Google Drive. Perhaps that's the reason Google is rushing to let Office users chose Drive over OneDrive? Not that we're complaining.