With this update, Google Drive users can now easily comment on Office files, PDFs and images in the Drive preview pane without having to use (and potentially pay for) tools like Microsoft Office or Acrobat Reader — or having to convert them to Google Docs, Sheets or Slides files. That’s not quite the real-time commenting feature you get from G Suite or Office 365, but it’s still better than having to constantly convert documents back and forth between Office and G Suite.
This feature joins other Google initiatives, including its Drive plugin for Outlook, that aim to make Office and G Suite more interoperable. In Google’s ideal world, everybody would just use G Suite, of course. But while Google has made its mark on the productivity market in the last few years, Microsoft’s Office tools remain far more popular in most businesses. That’s especially true for large enterprises — a market that Google covets but, for the most part, is still struggling to win over.