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Microsoft Office now syncs with Google Drive

Google Drive in Word

New plugin lets you save and open files from Google Drive in Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Microsoft Office users can now save and open their files directly to Google Drive, giving users of Word, Excel and PowerPoint another cloud service to synchronise with. Microsoft’s OneDrive storage is already built into the Office applications, but now Google’s getting in on the act with its Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office

Once installed, the plugin lets you save and open files from Google Drive in the same way as you can from OneDrive, although there are limitations on the files you can access from Word, Excel etc. Files must be saved in the .doc or .docx formats to be opened from Word, for example. Files created in Google Docs will continue to open in the browser and aren’t compatible with the Office applications.

In truth, it’s not that different to having Google Drive installed on the PC, but if you don’t want to have your Google Drive synced locally, this new plugin lets you access individual files stored online. 

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Microsoft has begun to play nicely with rival cloud storage services recently. Earlier this year it added Dropbox support to its Office apps for iOS and Android, after many users complained that they didn’t want to rely on Microsoft’s own cloud storage. Dropbox is also integrated with Microsoft Office Online, so users can edit files stored in their Dropbox using the browser-based versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, too. 

Microsoft is currently beta testing Office 2016, the next generation of the Office desktop software. It’s also created new Office Mobile apps for Windows 10, which consume a fraction of the storage space consumed by the full desktop suite, at the expense of many of the advanced features. 

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