Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage solutions for consumers and businesses. Today, Microsoft and Dropbox have announced a public partnership, which will be mutually beneficial for both companies and very beneficial for their shared customers.
The partnership revolves around Office documents in the cloud. Many people use Dropbox to store and share their documents, however there is no powerful document editor built into Dropbox; Microsoft hopes to fill this void with Office Online. Soon, Dropbox users will be able to edit their documents directly from Dropbox via Microsoft’s solution.
On the Microsoft side, Office users will have access to Dropbox from within the Office apps. Newly created Office documents can also be shared using the simple Dropbox sharing functionality. Users can choose their preferred platform and not be locked into using OneDrive. Dropbox has also pledged to make their apps available on both Windows and Windows Phone.
This partnership is important for Microsoft and essential for Dropbox due to the fact that Dropbox is only cloud storage and doesn’t offer any other cloud tools such as document authoring or collaborating; they need a partner who has solid document tools. Microsoft on the other hand has the curse of seeming old or slow, and users don’t associate new modern technology like cloud storage with Office. Ideally, Microsoft will see more new users on Office and Dropbox will see less people leaving their platform for Google Drive or OneDrive. Dropbox also benefits from being a third party which can make sharing easier for teams on a range of platforms.
These changes are going to be rolled out as apps are updated and online services are built out. Dropbox sharing will be seen in the next update to the Office apps on iOS and Android in the next few weeks. Integrating Office Online and Dropbox will enable users to edit their documents stored on Dropbox, but won’t be available until the first half of 2015. The Dropbox apps for Windows and Windows Phone will be arriving in the coming months, and hopefully will be universal apps!