Microsoft enables Office editing in Dropbox

Microsoft and Dropbox have extended their partnership, allowing users to share documents on OneDrive with Dropbox

Microsoft and Dropbox have extended their partnership, announced in November 2014, to allow users to share documents on Microsoft OneDrive or OneDrive for Business with Dropbox.

Building on this partnershipp, Microsoft said users can now open and edit Office documents on iOS and Android devices, and officially use Dropbox on Windows Phones and tablets.

According to Microsoft, this means users do not need the desktop version of Microsoft Office to edit their Office documents in Dropbox.

"Now you can edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel files in your Dropbox directly from your web browser, so you don’t need the desktop version of Microsoft Office – or even your own computer – to update the files," Microsoft stated in a blog post.

According to Microsoft, any changes made to the edited document will be automatically saved back to Dropbox.

Users will also be able to access their Dropbox accounts directly from Office Online.

Read more about post-Windows IT

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has previously discussed his vision for a mobile-first and cloud-first world, where the user experience is portable across heterogeneous device platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows. 

"In our mobile-first and cloud-first world, people need easier ways to create, share and collaborate regardless of their device or platform," he said in November 2014.

Going forward, the ability to support rival platforms seamlessly may help Microsoft bridge the gap between the predominantly Windows-centric enterprise IT world and the mobile platforms that are dominated by iOS and Android. Key to the company’s success is to cement Office 365 as the office productivity platform of choice across all devices.

In March, the company extended Office 365 functionality with mobile device management, based around the Azure Active Directory.

In effect, whatever devices are used to access documents, Azure Active Directory and Office 365 are set to become the dominant Microsoft platforms.

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It's about time that MS has finally caught up with the reality of the workplace.The days of proprietary software are ending. It's about time.

We're slowly coming to a more catholic, more sensible view of all our data. Most programs can now read (and even write) most other program's files.

Why worry how I'm accessing my file. Remember, it's MY file. I want my work, I want to share it, I want to update it. It's mine and these days I don't much care how/where it was created. The cloud is the great unifier now and whether it's Dropbox or almost any other file storage system, we all want/need our files.
I'm not really sure how this is an improvement on something like Google Docs, where you can already access and edit your document files from anywhere you can use a browser for free. Office has some slicker editing, but I barely use any of those advanced editing features, so Google Docs still makes sense for me.
I'm not sure it really needs to be an 'improvement' on Google Docs - the main target audience would be those who are dedicated to Office and want more accessibility to those files in particular.