Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has shown a surprising amount of “love” for its competitors. It has provided high-functioning Office apps to iOS and Android users well ahead of solutions for its own Windows Phone platform. It has even partnered with Dropbox, which goes head-to-head with Microsoft’s own OneDrive online cloud storage solution.
Today, Microsoft has even more love to share, as it is taking steps to offer more robust cloud storage integration into its Office apps. That starts today with the addition of updated iOS Office apps that allow users to “open, edit and save documents from these [third-party cloud storage providers] right from within Office.”
That means that iOS users can use their existing iCloud storage accounts in addition to Box and the aforementioned Dropbox. It's possible that we could even see Google Drive integration along with other storage services in the future, but these service providers will need to work with Microsoft to enable this functionality, which is made even easier by joining the new Cloud Storage Partner Program.
While Apple users always seems to be the first to receive the latest Office enhancements, Microsoft states that its third-party cloud storage support will be extended to its Android apps and Windows 10 in the near future. And support will also be extended to web version of Office: Office Online.
“Today’s announcements are just one more step on our continuing journey to open up Office in new ways for our customers and partners,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Office 365 Client Applications.
“Living in a cloud-first, mobile-first world is all about having the flexibility to get things done from anywhere and on any device. And these exciting, new features will make it easier than ever to use Office with virtually any combination of apps, platforms and cloud storage services.”