If you use a Chromebook, you’ve already been enjoying the ability to open Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files directly in your browser. Starting today, we’re excited to bring this same functionality to Chrome on Windows and Mac.

If you’re running Chrome Beta on Windows or Mac and install the Chrome Office Viewer (Beta) extension, you’ll be able to click a link to an Office file and open it directly in Chrome.

In addition to saving you time, the Chrome Office Viewer also protects you from malware delivered via Office files. Just like with web pages and PDFs, we’ve added a specialized sandbox to impede attackers who use compromised Office files to try to steal private information or monitor your activities.

To give it a try on Windows or Mac:
Since this extension is still in beta, we’d love to get your feedback. When you find issues, please click the “Report an issue” button while viewing the file to report a bug.

Posted by Jelte Liebrand, Software Engineer and Document Dynamo

You probably use a browser throughout the day to access useful information, stay connected with people, and run web apps -- at work, at home and on the go. However, browser choice at the office may be determined by your company’s IT team. Today we’re making it easier for companies everywhere to choose Chrome for Business.

First of all, your IT administrator can now configure Chrome to automatically launch an alternate browser when you’re running a web app built for older browsers. If you want to use Chrome at work but rely on some older apps, you can now switch seamlessly between two browsers.

Secondly, if your company runs Google Apps for Business or Education, your administrator can easily set up default apps, browser themes, bookmarks, and more than 100 other settings to sync across all employees’ computers. On your personal laptop at home but need to find that company-wide TPS report cover sheet? No problem -- just sign in to Chrome with your work account.

If you want to enjoy the security, speed, and productivity of Chrome at the office, invite your IT team to learn more about these improvements on the Google Enterprise blog.

Posted by Cyrus Mistry, Product Manager and Business Buff

More content, less chrome - on mobile too

Today’s update to Chrome Beta for Android and Chrome for iPhone and iPad brings you more web and less chrome. We’ve heard your feedback, and now web pages can display in fullscreen on phones, which is especially handy on smaller screens. As you scroll down a web page and immerse yourself in the content, the top toolbar disappears. When you scroll up, the toolbar returns so you can get on to the next thing.

Chrome for iPhone and iPad, hassle-free printing

Ever wished you could print that boarding pass or offer from your phone? You can now print from Chrome to printers enabled with Google Cloud Print or AirPrint, as well as save a page to Google Cloud Print.

Chrome Beta for Android, simpler and more efficient browsing

As another step towards simpler browsing, you can now see your search terms in the omnibox, instead of the long search URL and the in-page Google search box. This frees up room to view more search results and makes it easier to change your search terms.

You can also now see your data savings from the experimental data compression feature we introduced in our last Beta update. From this release onwards, go to “Bandwidth Management” in Settings and enable “Reduce Data Usage,” and you’re all set.

We’re also continuing to add plenty of under-the-hood stability, security improvements and bug fixes to Chrome for both Android and iOS. We look forward to your feedback on the latest versions of Chrome, now available in the App Store and on Google Play (use the link, you won't find it in search)!

Posted by Ted Choc and Eric Noyau, Particularly Panoramic Programmers

[cross-posted from the Official Google Blog]

As a parent of three kids, I have the same aspirations as many other parents and educators—to provide them with the best opportunities to learn and discover their passions. For many students, the web has become an incredible resource for the classroom, offering tools to work collaboratively, share and research. School systems of all sizes—from a single primary school to an entire country such as the Philippines—have “Gone Google” in their schools and embraced the web to transform education.

Today the country of Malaysia is going a step further by adopting Google Apps for 10 million students, teachers and parents. As part of this initiative they are also deploying Chromebooks to primary and secondary schools nationwide. These efforts to integrate the web are a central part of a national plan (PDF) to reform its educational system.

Primary students collaborate on a project together in SK Sri Petaling school in Malaysia

To deploy technology across a nationwide school system, computers need to be simple, manageable and secure. Chromebooks are ideal for learning and sharing in the classroom—there’s nothing complicated to learn, they boot up in seconds and have virus protection built in. They also offer easy setup and deployment, which means they’re ready to go the moment a student opens the lid and logs in. And with reduced overhead costs, Chromebooks are a cost-efficient option* to deploy technology at scale.

To date, more than 3,000 schools worldwide, from Edina, Minnesota to Point England, New Zealand, have deployed Chromebooks to improve attendance and graduation rates, make learning more fun and enable students to take more ownership for their learning.

The web gives our children and students new opportunities to access the world’s information and work collaboratively. We look forward to working with national and regional leaders to make the most of the web with Google Apps and Chromebooks and help them provide the best opportunities to every student.

*In research sponsored by Google, research firm IDC found that Chromebooks yield three-year cost of ownership savings of $1,135 per device compared to traditional PCs or tablets, require 69% fewer hours to deploy and 92% fewer hours to manage. Learn more.

In today’s Chrome Beta release, web pages now load 5% faster. Huzzah!

Posted by James Simonsen, Software Engineer and Pithy Poster

For those of you who can never seem to remember that one password, or dread typing your full mailing address into those small form fields on your phone and tablet, today’s Chrome for Android stable update is for you. You can now access your saved passwords and autofill entries on your phone and tablet when you’ve signed in to Chrome, just like you have been able to do on your desktop and laptop computers.

To try it out, make sure you’re signed in to Chrome on both your desktop and mobile device, and let sync take care of the rest. In case you don’t see this right away after upgrading, give it a few days as we complete rolling out the feature to all of you on the latest version of Chrome.

Posted by Chris Hopman, Eidetic Engineer