Microsoft strengthens its integration with Dropbox
On April 9, 2015, Microsoft (MSFT) added Dropbox as a repository choice for Office Online. Office Online is the browser-based versions of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. The online versions are free to consumers. Office Online is part of the commercial Office 365 subscription plan. With this integration, Office Online users can now edit Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents directly in their Dropbox folder.
According to Microsoft, “You can add your Dropbox account to easily browse, open and edit Office files with Office Online.” The company also stated that “You can also create new files in Office Online, and save them directly to your Dropbox.”
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Additional feature in Dropbox to facilitate integration
Now, Dropbox included an “open” button to enable previews of Office documents—Excel, PowerPoint, and Word—to be visible on its Web UI (user interface). When you click the “open” button in Dropbox, the previewed document can be seen in the Office Online app. Now, users can use and open Dropbox files without being forced to leave the Office Offline interface.
In the past, Microsoft included Dropbox connections to its Office mobile apps on Apple’s devices and Google’s Android smartphones. Dropbox also launched a Windows Phone app. This enhanced integration expands Microsoft’s previous integrations for Apple’s iOS, Android, and Dropbox apps for Microsoft Windows Phones and tablets.
Integration will strengthen Microsoft’s efforts in the cloud space
The integration will likely improve the chances and increase the appeal of Microsoft’s Office mobile apps for leading smartphones—Apple (AAPL) devices and Google (GOOG) Android smartphones. Also, Microsoft is very keen to expand and strengthen its position in the cloud space.
As the above chart by Synergy Research shows, Amazon (AMZN) continues to be a leader in the cloud space with a 30% market share. It’s followed by Microsoft with a 10% market share. Google and Salesforce.com are other leading players in the cloud space. They managed to record 87% and 31% YoY (year-over-year) growth in 4Q14, respectively.
However, Microsoft and Dropbox didn’t specify if Dropbox will be offered as an online storage option for the on-premise suites. Office 2016 for Mac hit markets recently. It doesn’t offer Dropbox when adding another storage service.