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Avoid nasty plugins with this extension, says Google

Boost to cloudy collaborators offers chaste hugs for Office

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Google's ongoing attempts to harry Microsoft by nipping at the heels of the cash cow that is Office have thrown up some new irritants, and a new definition of "additional software".

Chrome Office Viewer is one of the ad giant's new tricks and allows those who use Beta versions of Chrome to open Microsoft Office documents directly in the browser, as is possible with Chrome's PDF viewer. Google's being a bit silly in its description of how this works, saying that “To open Microsoft Office files [in a browser], you’d typically need to install additional software” and than explaining the new trick is only possible if you install additional software, namely the Chrome Office Viewer, a Chrome extension.

Google's promise will probably hold more water once the current Chrome Beta becomes the production version and the extension gets baked into the application. Until then user are still required to endure the productivity-destroying and frankly degrading process that is software downloads. At least the extension's interface is identical to that of Google's PDF viewer, which should salve users bruised by the download experience.

The Chocolate Factory's other new trick is a chat feature baked into Google Drive that allows users to click on a file to initiate a chat with anyone else viewing it at the time. Users can then choose to add those folks to a Google+ circle, an act we assume happens far less frequently than downloading software given Google is yet to automate it in the way it's so helpfully done for the Office Viewer. ®

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