Chromebooks are basically just laptops that ship with Google’s Chrome OS rather than another operating system. But since Chrome OS was designed to put the web browser front and center, some folks have insisted that it’s not a real operating system – after all, it loses much of its functionality if you lose your internet connection.

Of course, that’s kind of true of any operating system these days, since so much of what we do with computers, phones, and other devices depends on an internet connection. But as for Chrome OS? These days it actually can do quite a bit even when you’re offline, thanks to support for Android and Linux apps, as well as Progressive Web Apps. But one thing you may not be able to do anymore? Use Microsoft Office. That’s because the company is ending support for using its Office Android apps on Chromebooks, instead encouraging folks to use the web apps… which have very limited offline capabilities at the moment.

Office 365 web app on Chrome OS via AboutChromebooks

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  1. I’m using a 13.3 inch Asus Chromebook right now. Works great! It cost 80% less than a 13.3 inch Windows laptop or Macbook. I can do everything I need online. I don’t need to have Microsoft Office installed to use Google Docs. Runs Android apps and it’s way easier to type using a REAL keyboard instead of a tiny touchscreen.