• SharePoint Engine to Add Support for Google Chrome

    It's common knowledge that Microsoft and Google aren't great friends. Beyond the fact that they're competing in numerous markets (notably search, mobile, productivity, browsers, and operating systems), the companies have decidedly not pulled their punches. Google has accused Microsoft of cheating on search, Microsoft has stated that Google's structure creates stagnancy and excess risk, and the fight goes on.

    One area where this war continues is in online support for productivity software. Since each of these companies runs both a cloud-based set of productivity services and a popular browser, it's a bit too easy to just "not support" the opposing team. In large part, that's precisely what both Microsoft and Google have done, to varying degrees, over the last couple years. Finally, however, Microsoft has decided to add Google Chrome support for their online tools including their various Office Web Applications via SharePoint 2010.

    These changes should be released with the Office 2010 SP1. While there's no certain date on when this service pack will be released, it's expected for "late June." Since updates are frequently rolled out on the fourth Tuesday of each month, the most likely (though certainly not official) date is June 28th. Users should keep an eye out on the Microsoft sites, however, since these updates are generally released as a manual installation months prior to becoming an automatic updates. If your'e a corporate customer, you may receive special notification before the update is made available.

    While this official support is certainly significant, it won't be the first time that Chrome devotees have used their OWA (Office Web Apps) in the Google browser; the SkyDive file sharing medium made working in Chrome entirely functional despite a lack of declared Microsoft support.

    It's hard to say how much of the previous choice not to support Chrome stemmed from an intentional evasion of Google's up-and-coming browser, and likewise it's difficult to say whether Microsoft's motivation now is just general support or if Chrome's 10 percent plus of the browser market share has now made it a vital part of a successful cloud release. In either case, the issues are now resolved and a precedent has been set for support in Office 365 and SharePoint Online.

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