To start with, users can now comment on a given Microsoft Office document or spreadsheet directly in the Google Drive file preview, so long as it's been uploaded to the platform. This is great because it's fewer tabs and fewer apps, both of which are wthings I'd prefer. In addition to being able to view other document types, users can now take action on Office, PDF, or image files as if they were native Google Drive files.
In the Drive preview pane, users can comment, assign tasks, or mention coworkers, and people can reply back, even if they're not using G Suite. In Google's ideal world, everybody would just use G Suite, of course.
Comments made in Drive Preview are now exported to the underlying file so when users open up the file they can see the comments made in Drive Preview, according to the company.
Yesterday, Microsoft announced plans to attract new OneDrive customers through a special "free-switch" offer aimed at rival cloud storage services from the likes of Google. For example, a project team that has to collaborate with an external agency, or is trying to negotiate a contract with a client or preparing specifications will need the ability to deal with multiple file formats with minimal disruption.
Google says this emphasizes their focus on offering "interoperability between G Suite and Microsoft Office products". The Drive plugin will also enable users to save incoming attachments from Outlook to Drive. Google is essentially giving users the option to work on non-G Suite files within Drive and making the whole process simpler.
The new feature is available on all G Suite editions. Unlike many online publications, we don't have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.