Businesses generally have to make an important choice about which brand of productivity software they will implement for day-to-day operations. Two of the heavy hitters in today’s business environment are Google and Microsoft utilizing their respective productivity solutions. While the choice of which service to work with seems exclusive, Google is making strides to break down this barrier and allow certain file types to be edited in Google Drive.
While Office files could always be uploaded to Google Drive for viewing, in order to actually edit a document, spreadsheet, or presentation, the files had to be converted to a Google-friendly format. Google allowed users to comment and edit the files after the conversion. Thankfully, this process was relatively seamless, but it’s not quite the same as simply being able to edit the document without all of the file conversion and whatnot. There was also the option to use a limited toolset through Office Compatibility Mode.
Businesses in particular might find this lack of convenience and efficiency an issue, and extra steps could create more opportunities for wasted time and error. For the sake of collaboration and compatibility, Google has been developing native support for some of the Microsoft-exclusive file formats. 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 the file types covered above, Google also plans to introduce features that allow implementation with Dropbox Business.
The biggest way this could affect your business is by enhancing collaboration. While it’s important to have your internal solutions standardized, it’s critical to keep in mind that this compatibility is a big step forward for the industry. Hopefully Microsoft can learn from this move and implement some built-in functionality themselves.
What are your thoughts on this development? Let us know in the comments.
Dan has 25 years of progressive experience in the IT industry. He has led three successful companies focused on small and medium business IT solutions since 1997.