Dropbox and Microsoft, unlikely bedfellows, have entered into a “strategic partnership” that will see Dropbox integrated into Office’s mobile apps.
Users will be able to open Office files saved on Dropbox and save new files to the cloud service from within Office for iPad, iPhone and Android Phones. Tapping on an Office document from within the Dropbox app will also open it in the Office app.
The partnership will extend to Dropbox building native apps for Windows Phone and Windows Tablets early next year, ending the drought that has forced users to resort to inferior third-party offerings or alternative cloud services.
What’s most interesting about this partnership is that it comes only weeks after Microsoft announced its Office 365 users will soon have unlimited storage on OneDrive, a storage service increasingly central to the company’s cloud strategy. But it acknowledges that millions of people use Dropbox every day, and that isn’t going to change, so making it compatible with its mobile Office apps, which are still in their infancy and slowly drawing public support, will help all of its brands in the long run.
“In our mobile-first and cloud-first world, people need easier ways to create, share and collaborate regardless of their device or platform,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Together, Microsoft and Dropbox will provide our shared customers with flexible tools that put them at the center for the way they live and work today.”
The Office for Mobile updates will begin rolling out in the next few weeks, with native Dropbox apps for Windows Phone and Windows Tablets coming early 2015.