Online storage provider Box announced today new integration with Microsoft's Office Online to allow for easier collaboration on Office Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides from within Box itself.
On their blog, Box posted that the new integration will allow user to work "completely form a web browser without opening a single installed application" which allows a more mobile experience as users will be able to work on their files regardless of where they are or what device they have. The new features listed today are:
- Seamless workflows between Box and Office Online: Users can work on files in Office Online from Box through a simple 'open with' button, and all edited files are automatically saved back to Box with no action required.
- Full editing capabilities: All of the editing features that have made Office Online the standard for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations in the cloud, will be fully functional from the Box platform and available with the same interface that our users are familiar with.
- Easier collaboration with 'share': Soon, users will be able to share content in Office Online in the same easy way it's done in Box - by simply clicking the 'share' button, users are prompted with the granular collaboration controls they expect from Box.
Microsoft also made an announcement of the new Box integration on their own Office Blog, and noted this integration is the latest example of their Office 365 Cloud Storage Partner Program announced earlier this year. Announced back in February, this program aims to bring many of the features announced today, to any cloud storage provider, giving users a more seamless experience with Office 365 despite whatever storage solution organizations and individuals choose to use.
Box however is not the first Cloud Storage provider to take advantage of the Office 365 Cloud Storage Partner Program as Dropbox announced their partnership with Microsoft last November and began rolling out new functionalities earlier this year both on the web and in their mobile apps.
While these storage providers are in essence competitors with Microsoft's own OneDrive cloud storage service, the Cloud Storage Partner Program is emblematic of the new and more open Microsoft that looks to make it as easy as possible for customers to be productive on their own terms.