The key components of low price point of Chromebook is because of cloud solution. There is no office application in the harddrive of Chromebook. Rather, users have to run the application in the cloud. Google seemingly is in upper hand.
MSOffice is extremely powerful. You can do a lot of mathematical analysis just using excel alone. In the old days, scientists have to write a program using either Fortran/ Pascal/ C. Life becomes easy with MSOffice. I haven't tried the cloud version of MSOffice - Office 365. I can't comment how good/bad it is compared to the "regular" version. Nonetheless, I think it would be as good as Google Spreadsheet, if not better. With this said, I believe Microsoft "whatever"book might get ahead of Chromebook.
But, wait a minute! If MS has Office 365 and is ready, why would they need developers to build more applications for the product? Given the size of harddrive is going to be small, more variety of applications may not do any good, would it? Last but not least, I thought Chromebook was created to counter the dominating position of Windows based notebook. Now, MS has to build something to counter the Chromebook?