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Dropbox aligns with Microsoft for better Office integration

Cloud storage platform Dropbox has announced tighter integration with Microsoft Office.

Dropbox users will soon be able to edit documents directly from the Dropbox mobile app for smartphones and tablets, with any changes automatically saved back to Dropbox.

Likewise, Office aficionados will be able to access Dropbox files from within apps like Office, Excel, PowerPoint and One Note, with all changes automatically synced.

Users will also be able to share Dropbox links directly from Office with colleagues or friends, once a document is completed.

The new features are coming to the iOS and Android versions of Dropbox in the next few weeks.

“We know that much of the world relies on a combination of Dropbox and Microsoft Office to get work done,” Dropbox wrote on its official blog. “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.”

The partnership, which will surely be of great use to those who combine Office and Dropbox on a regular basis, is somewhat surprising given Microsoft and Dropbox are rivals in the cloud storage space.

Microsoft has worked hard to establish its OneDrive platform, while the Office 365 subscription service also offers access to Office apps online.

The announcement is another sign that Microsoft isn’t scared to embrace competing platforms if it means its users get better service.

Read more: Google Drive vs iCloud Drive vs Dropbox vs OneDrive