Office has been the de facto standard for businesses and consumers for creating editing and sharing documents. Office Online has been catching up to Google Docs for a couple of years now and finally seems to be differentiating from Google by doing what Microsoft does best, third party support. Dropbox support was announced first, but now Microsoft is opening the gate to other cloud storage services. Box, Citrix, and Salesforce have been working with Microsoft to integrate Office Online as a tool for their customers to create and edit documents in the cloud.
This announcement sheds light upon Microsoft strategy to compete with Google’s online dominance. Microsoft Office obtained its number one spot by providing great features, substantial updates, and rock solid backwards compatibility. Office Online began as Microsoft’s attempt to retain customers from fleeing to Google Docs because of how easy an free a web based document editor could be. Large businesses move slowly and Microsoft may have lost a bid to provide cloud storage for a company, but that doesn’t mean they have to lose the bid to provide web based document editing and creation tools. Business can expect similar tools and the same solid compatibility they’ve come to expect from Microsoft Office without having to migrate all their data.