Businesses are expected to make a choice regarding which solutions they will utilize. Typically they choose between Google’s or Microsoft’s productivity solutions. The unfortunate side of the choice is that they are often used exclusively, meaning there was little interoperability between the two. Nowadays, however, Google is moving to allow users to edit Microsoft Office files in Google Docs.
Office files could technically be edited in Google Docs before, but they had to be converted into a Google-friendly file format. Once the conversion is finished, Google’s collaboration tools can be used to edit and comment on the file. There was also the option to use a limited toolset through Office Compatibility Mode.
Unfortunately, this method isn’t particularly convenient, especially for businesses, where extra steps means extra time spent on something that adds up in the long run. For the sake of collaboration and compatibility, Google is working on native support for some of the Microsoft-exclusive file formats, which is a considerable development to say the least.
According to Google, its programs will be compatible with the following file formats:
Word filetypes: .doc, .docx, .dot
PowerPoint filetypes: .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .pot
Excel filetypes: .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlt
In addition to Microsoft’s various file types, Google intends to include similar features that will be implemented through Dropbox Business.
The one big way that this could affect your business is through enhanced collaboration. You should still keep your internal solutions standardized, but the one big takeaway from this is that, if you were to use Google for your operations, you wouldn’t have to worry that your solution isn’t compatible with other solutions on the market. Of course, whether Microsoft gets the hint and makes a similar move is yet to be determined.
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