Editing documents online just got easier thanks to an expansion of the partnership between Microsoft and Dropbox. The companies announced a new integration that will let users edit their Microsoft Office files -- including Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents -- in Dropbox directly from their Web browsers. The change went live Thursday.
That means users don’t need the desktop versions of Microsoft Office -- or even their own computers -- to update any Office files stored in their Dropbox. The online option lets users edit files from any computer, including a borrowed machine or a shared computer, similar to a business center’s kiosk PC.
The news aligns with Microsoft’s announcement in February that it would support other third-party cloud services, including iCloud and Box.
Easy to Use
To use the new feature, click the Open button when previewing the file on the Web, then choose to edit the file from a Web browser using Office Online. That option is available to Dropbox for Business customers who have Office 365 licenses and Dropbox Basic and Pro users, as well as those who are on the free tier of Office Online. Creating a free Microsoft account will enable the use of Office Online.
Users can also save new files to Dropbox without leaving Office Online. The integration could help Dropbox as it battles against other cloud storage providers such as Google Drive. Thanks to Google’s own online office suite, creating, editing and then saving documents in the cloud has become simple for customers. Dropbox, on the other hand, doesn’t develop its own document creation tools, but it is developing its own note-taking service.
According to Dropbox, there are more 35 billion Office documents stored in its service at present and the company said that the integration will allow millions of users to benefit. All told, including desktop installations, Microsoft has more than 1.2 billion Office users, 9.2 million of whom are Office 365 Home and Personal subscribers.
Observers say Dropbox could benefit from the partnership by positioning itself as a service that works entirely via the Web, instead of requiring the use of desktop software applications. Last week Dropbox announced enhancements for Web-only users that include the ability to load documents faster, as well as a redesigned document toolbar that adapts to the file type being viewed.
Late last year, Microsoft and Dropbox announced a strategic partnership that gave users the ability to edit Office documents from Dropbox’s mobile app, the ability to access Dropbox documents from Office apps, and in general better support for Dropbox within Office and vice versa. Users can also now use Dropbox on Windows phones and tablets.
Image credit: Dropbox; iStock/Artist's concept.
Posted: 2015-04-10 @ 7:38pm PT
Another favorite option to store, share, and manage these files is www.fileapartment.com
Posted: 2015-04-09 @ 7:53pm PT
walled garden? I rather use libre office than ms office.