Microsoft Office Web Apps doesn’t love Opera or Chrome

Microsoft has confirmed that Office Web Apps won’t support either the Opera or Chrome browsers.

Microsoft Office Web Apps doesn't love Opera or Chrome

Office Web Apps are the online versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Onenote, which are set to be released in Office 2010 next year.

The Web Apps are intended to take the battle to Google Docs, but it appears Microsoft is being somewhat selective about where it chooses to fight. In a blog posting – rather ironically titled “Office Web Apps love your browser” – the company omitted Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer 6 and Safari for Windows from its list of supported browser.

That leaves the benefits of Microsoft’s boldest Office shakeup in years to be enjoyed by people running Internet Explorer 7 and 8, Firefox 3.5 and Safari 4 on Mac. A somewhat select list.

As Microsoft was keen to note on the blog, this doesn’t mean Office Web Apps won’t run on Chrome and Opera – it’s just that the company won’t vouch for what will happen if you do.

“If you prefer to use another browser you should still give the Web Apps a try,” says Gareth Howell, program manager for Office Web Apps. “While we cannot officially support all browsers, customers will not be blocked from using them. It is a goal of the Web Apps to have broad compatibility and reach.”

“Once the Web Apps release we’ll investigate expanding our supported browser matrix. Give it a try in Opera and let us know if you see issues,” he says.

Microsoft claims Office Web Apps has been designed for use with the most popular browsers, though it plans to add others over time. There were no specifics on when we might see support for Opera and Chrome.

“Microsoft should, like other Web designers, make sure their pages work in all browsers. Testing will improve the quality of the Web, and also the user experience,” notes Hakon Wium Lie, Opera’s chief technology officer.

We’re awaiting a response from Google.

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