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Dropbox and Microsoft Partnership for Office Integration

This bit of news might sound a bit weird at first. It’s no secret that the cloud is the current popular way to store transient data – every big technology company seems to be bringing out their own version. The cloud market is a fiercely competitive place. If one company cuts their prices then you can sure bet that the others will follow.

This is because the cloud companies are finding it difficult to compete on features. There’s only so much that can be offered from a cloud service itself, which is why companies like Google and Microsoft are tying their cloud systems into their existing framework. As such, you’re paying for all of the services that the company offers; and that makes the offer more attractive.

It has now been announced that Dropbox and Microsoft are teaming up. The two are working together to integrate Microsoft Office into Dropbox. The former service is naturally already tightly integrated into Microsoft’s OneDrive, but this is the first time that a competing cloud service is being given a slice of the action too.

The partnership will allow users to edit their Office files directly from Dropbox, plus save their Office files straight into Dropbox. It’ll come about with new versions of Office for iOS and Android within the coming weeks and, near the beginning of 2015, the features will extend to web applications and Dropbox’s Windows Phone app.

For Dropbox’s part, this is a move that will give them more sought-after enterprise credibility. The enterprise market is where a lot of money is to be made for cloud services. With Office being hugely popular in that environment, this partnership makes a lot of sense for Dropbox’s expansion plans.

“Today, Dropbox has 300 million users, of whom 70% are international, and a ton of them use Dropbox to get work done,” said Ilya Fushman from Dropbox. “These people have uploaded something like 35bn Office files. Today, they get a great experience on the desktop, but what we’re doing now is taking that experience to mobile and the web.”

Microsoft’s Amanda Lefebvre noted that the integration with Dropbox has been a popular customer requirement. The firm said that they want to be compatible with the services that their customers are using in order to be universally available.

Microsoft did emphasise that their own cloud service, OneDrive, was still a long-term and continued investment. Indeed, although this partnership might seem a bit strange at first, it actually makes sense.

The fact that Microsoft and Dropbox are working together means that the two companies will be able to tackle competitors – namely Google. Microsoft don’t have to worry about Dropbox in other market areas, and Dropbox know that they can’t fully compete against Microsoft. As such, this partnership is mutually beneficial for both parties.

Dropbox has previously teamed up with Google in the past, so the cloud firm are not against working alongside their competitors for mutual gain.

Office and Dropbox will be fully integrated sometime in early 2015.

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