Microsoft Office gets new storage and sharing features in Dropbox deal

Arik Hesseldahl

Software giant Microsoft and cloud storage company Dropbox announced a tie-up today under which they will push Dropbox's storage and sharing features into mobile and Web-based versions of Microsoft Office.

Johannes Elisele | AFP | Getty Images

In a deal announced in Dublin, Ireland, at the Web Summit, the two companies said Microsoft will add Dropbox functions to the versions of Office that run on smartphones and tablets and in Web browsers. It also calls for Dropbox to create a version of its applications for Windows Phone and Windows tablets within the next few months.

Dropbox said its storage service is already being used to hold more than 35 billion Microsoft Office files. Now Office users will be able to access and edit their documents while in the Dropbox environment and share them with other users from within the Office apps.

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The new features will be included in the next updates for Microsoft's Office apps for iOS and Android, which are due within weeks. The tie-up between the Office Online and the Web-based version of Office will come during the first half of 2015. The features will be available to all Office users with a Dropbox account. Dropbox for Business customers will need a license to Office 365, the cloud-friendly version of the Office suite.

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It's a useful tie-up, but not the first of its kind. Dropbox rival Box announced some integrations with Office 365 and Outlook 2013 over the summer. Its Office apps became generally available last month after a period of testing.

Dropbox has been steadily building its strategy to attract more customers to its enterprise-oriented Dropbox for Business product, which competes with Box. Last week it named a few new customers in the media industry.