Developers on the Chrome OS developer track have a new option that they can begin testing that could be a major new feature for the operating system. After buying QuickOffice last year, it turns out one of the benefits Google is working on is injecting the code for reading and editing Microsoft Word and Excel documents into the Chrome OS. The ability to edit commonly used file formats will help move Chrome OS powered devices into the mainstream and be able to better compete with Windows and Mac OS powered devices by removing a potential barrier.
If you are on the developer track for Chrome OS, point your browser to chrome://flags and look for the option to “Enable document editing.” After enabling that option, restart your Chromebook. Obviously this is still in a testing phase, so bugs are expected.
There is no word on how long before this may make its way into the general release of Chrome OS. With rumors of Google wanting to merge the Android OS and Chrome OS, this capability could end up on your Android device one day.