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Dropbox Partnering With Microsoft

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As announced at Web Summit last week, Dropbox has partnered up with Microsoft. Dropbox already hosts over 35 Billion Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations. This is value that Microsoft is willing to capture and allow for deeper integration between Office and Dropbox users.

As part of this announcement, Dropbox users can now edit Office files from the Dropbox mobile app. Changes in the file will be synced across devices. The opposite is also now possible. A user can access Dropbox files from the Office application and save them directly to her Dropbox account. This means that new files will be synced and safely stored in the cloud without ever leaving the Office application.

The Dropbox files saved from the Office app can also be shared directly from the Office application. Email or copy as link means that Office users can now instantly share Dropbox files with each other. These additions will come to the web next year by tighter integration between dropbox.com and Office Online. Also, a Dropbox app for Windows Phone and Windows tablet users is going to be released in the next months.

No word has come out on the dynamics and pricing of this partnership. Some analysts have questioned the motivation behind such a partnership on Microsoft’s end. The line of thought is that Microsoft already has a similar product, OneDrive and a partnership with Dropbox is just another way of keeping friends close and enemies closer.

Storage Wars seems like is going on strong, with all major players offering cloud storage services like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo with either generous free tiers or really cheap storage. Dropbox and Box reacted by lowering prices as well. Whether this is a viable plan for young startups against multibillion dollar enterprises is yet to be seen. It seems like the biggest problem startups have is not getting users, but rather getting them to pay for something that is increasingly becoming cheaper and cheaper.

With this partnership, Dropbox looks like shifting towards enterprise solutions, getting much closer to Box’s line of business.

These features are already available for iOS users in iPhone and iPad and will be gradually rolled out in the next weeks for Android users.

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