Dropbox has confirmed that it will form an unexpected partnership with Microsoft in a bid to integrate their services with Microsoft Office.
Dropbox stated on their blog that there are about 35 billion Office documents stored on their cloud storage service, a staggering number that gives this partnership with Microsoft some perspective. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to allow easy access of Dropbox via Microsoft Office apps. This is achieved through the integration and adding of new features into both services. As pointed out in the Dropbox blog, there are four key points to this integration; direct access to Dropbox-stored Office files via Office itself, editing of Office docs directly through Dropbox, share Dropbox links from Office apps and also the creation of Dropbox apps for Windows Phones and Tablets.
The greatest benefactors of this partnership between Dropbox and Microsoft will be users who use Microsoft Office and Dropbox across multiple platforms, particularly smartphones and tablets. It allows users to be more productive when working on the go by allowing a much more streamlined access to Dropbox from their Office apps, making the process of editing, storing and sharing a lot more fluid. These new services will be added with the next update for both Dropbox and Office apps, with iOS users already able to access them and Android not too far behind.
Although this partnership makes sense on the consumer end, it is somewhat surprising that Microsoft agreed to be a part of this endeavor. Microsoft already has its own cloud storage service in the One Drive already with integration with Microsoft Office. It seems that Microsoft has conceded that its own One Drive may not match the heights of Dropbox and have appeared to employ the “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach as a solution. What we still do not know is that whether Dropbox is receiving some form of recompense for this partnership, one that it essentially does not need seeing how big Dropbox has developed on its own.
Either way, the real winners here are the users of both Dropbox and Microsoft Office.