Microsoft Office Expands Cloud Integration

Microsoft allows third-party storage providers to integrate services into Office apps and announces a Cloud Storage Partner Program.
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Cloud Storage Devices: 6 Worth Your Money
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Microsoft is upping its cloud game with two major improvements to its Office cloud-storage offering. Users now have access to more storage options on Office for Apple's iOS, and vendors can sign up to participate in its Cloud Storage Partner Program.

In a blog post published Feb. 17, Microsoft writes that third-party cloud storage providers can natively integrate their offerings into the "Locations picker" on iOS Office apps. This means that clients of these services – which include iCloud Drive and Box – can view, edit, and save documents directly to their cloud storage provider within the apps on their mobile devices.

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Don't feel left out, Android users.

Microsoft promises it is developing the same type of cloud storage integration for Office apps running on Android and the universal apps for the upcoming Windows 10, though it did not specify the timing for either project. Its ultimate goal is to ensure access to Office documents regardless of platform, device, or storage provider.

The blog post also claims that Microsoft will also allow third-party cloud services to integrate Office Online, the Web version of its Office suite, into their apps. Customers using those services will be able to access and edit their documents through any browser.

In addition, Microsoft is encouraging companies interested in integrating Office Online to partner in its new Cloud Storage Partner Program. Citrix, Salesforce, and Box have already begun participating.

This news follows Microsoft's partnership with Dropbox, confirmed in November 2014, which simplified the process of accessing, editing, and sharing files across Office apps. By extending cloud support to more services, Microsoft has made it clear that its ultimate goal is to ensure access to documents regardless of platform, device, or storage provider.

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