Google Continues its March to Chrome OS with Google Docs Update
Google continues to expand the storage and file-handling capabilities of Google Docs as it marches on toward offering a Web-only operating system with Chrome OS. Late last month, the company overhauled the service, creating new ways to organize and interact with files.
Today, it has announced that Google Docs can now handle 12 new file formats, giving users a dozen fewer reasons to use separate desktop apps.
In the announcement, Anil Sabharwal, product manager at Google, explains that Google Docs is not only safer, but quicker, for viewing files sent to you on the Web:
The Google Docs Viewer is used by millions of people every day to quickly view PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations online. Not only is viewing files in your browser far more secure than downloading and opening them locally, but it also saves time and doesn’t clutter up your hard-drive with unwanted files.
Today we’re excited to launch support for 12 new file types:
- Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
- Apple Pages (.PAGES)
- Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
- Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
- Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
- Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
- PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
- TrueType (.TTF)
- XML Paper Specification (.XPS)
According to Sabharwal, these 12 file types “round out support for the major Microsoft Office file types,” but also most other popular file types.
Now, will Google Docs work for everything for everyone? Not yet. But Google continues to add file storage capabilities, organizational tools and now additional file types. It’s been months since I, personally, re-installed the operating system on my computer and I haven’t installed a separate word operating system since. This would have been unheard of just a couple of years ago. Now, however, Google Docs can almost entirely replaced desktop programs like Microsoft Word or Open Office. I view attached files in email in my browser and edit files either in a simple text editor and store it in Google Docs or use Google Docs entirely.
Why is this important? Because in any Web-only operating system such as Chrome OS, we will hold on to certain paradigms, and one is that we need a central location to store and edit documents. If Chrome OS can’t play nicely with the rest of the world, it will never get along. If we can, however, continue to function and interact with others, then the move will possible, at the very least. Adding all of the traditional Microsoft file formats is yet another big step in that direction.