In Brief: Dropbox and Microsoft Partner Up

If you’ve ever been to #MILOfest, you may have wondered why Dropbox doesn’t sponsor it. Talk to lawyers at a tech conference, and you hear it just as often. It is arguably the preferred file-sharing and storage app for lawyers. Microsoft Office is still dominates, too, so a partnership between the two is exciting.

What it Means

According to a press release issued by Dropbox,

much of the world relies on a combination of Dropbox and Microsoft Office to get work done. In fact, Dropbox is home to over 35 billion Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. That’s why we’re partnering with Microsoft to help you do more on your phones, tablets, and the web. Soon you’ll be able to access your Dropbox directly from Office apps, and edit Office files from the Dropbox app.

Most of the news reports point to the popularity of Dropbox over Microsoft’s similar offering, OneDrive. Just last week it was argued on this blog that OneDrive rules them all because it is more efficient, especially for collaboration. Microsoft seems to be taking the “if you can’t beat’em, join’em” angle. As The Verge points out, however, OneDrive isn’t going away.

Why it Matters

TechCrunch gives a nice rundown of the partnership, and lists the deal’s four main parts:

  1. Quickly edit Office docs from the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Access Dropbox docs from Office apps.
  3. Share Dropbox links of Office apps.
  4. Create first-party Dropbox apps for Microsoft’s mobile offerings.

In a word: streamline.

These features are coming to Andriod and iOS devices first, and the Web later, according to the Dropbox press release. The Verge gives a little more detail:

In the first half of 2015 Dropbox is planning to support Office Online directly from its web app. Editing for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents will be managed through Microsoft’s Office Web Apps (Office Online) by default, and the documents will be stored back to Dropbox.

So, who is excited?

Feature image courtesy of Dropbox.

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