Office Online gets cosy with Dropbox's cloud

Dropbox and Microsoft are ramping up their collaboration, building on last year's efforts to bake the cloud into Office on mobile devices with support for the web, too. The new feature means that while working with Office Online, it's possible to access a Dropbox account directly, opening existing documents or saving new ones there. Conversely, if you're logged into Dropbox, it's now even more straightforward to preview a document within the browser.

Clicking the "Open" button on a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file in Dropbox's browser view now includes the option to "Open" it in Office Online. There's no need to have Office installed on the machine itself.

Of course, any changes made are automatically synchronized back into the cloud, and the changes pushed to local machines signed in too.

The news back in November 2014 that Microsoft was broadening its cloud support to encompass services that were ostensibly rivals to its own OneDrive came as something of a surprise. Integrating Dropbox directly into the Office for iOS and Android apps was the first step in that process, though both firms promised further partnership work in due course.

While it might seem unexpected at first, in fact Microsoft's motivations are fairly clear. Making Office as cloud-agnostic as possible only helps to increase the number of people who might potentially use it, which is a net-gain for the firm.

SOURCE Microsoft