Do you use Chrome OS's Android app powers to run Microsoft Office apps on your Chromebook? Well Microsoft would like you to stop, please. And starting in September, the company will do more than ask. Office apps originally intended for Android will no longer be supported on Chrome OS beginning next month, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.
Microsoft told About Chromebooks that official Chrome OS support for the Android Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote) will be ending. As an alternative, customers will be "transitioned" (their word, not mine!) to using the web apps available at Office.com. Both the Android apps and the web apps are free to use without paying for an Office 365 subscription, and Office apps on the web can generally be used in offline mode.
Why the shift? Presumably someone on the Office development team was tired of checking to make sure the Android apps adapted to work on the larger interface for Chrome OS. (Or the web apps are just a bigger priority.) After Microsoft officially ends support on September 18th, I'd guess that the apps will not be available for download on Chrome OS via the Play Store. Existing installations should still work, and the apps will remain available on APK Mirror if you prefer them to the web apps. The Android versions themselves (you know, the ones on phones and tablets) aren't going anywhere.
Statement from Microsoft
Microsoft reached out to us directly with the following statement:
In an effort to provide the most optimized experience for Chrome OS/Chromebook customers, Microsoft apps (Office and Outlook) will be transitioned to web experiences (Office.com and Outlook.com) on September 18, 2021. This transition brings Chrome OS/Chromebook customers access to additional and premium features. Customers will need to sign in with their personal Microsoft Account or account associated with their Microsoft 365 subscription. More information is available here.