Dropbox and Microsoft Just Made it Easier to Edit Office Docs Online

In the spirit of keeping your friends close, and your competitors closer, comes the news that Microsoft and Dropbox expanded their cloud office partnership today.

For the past 6 months we’ve been able to select an office doc in our Dropbox accounts and have it automatically open the right MS Office app, and today MS-DB did away with the need for the app entirely.

You can now open an office doc in Dropbox and use MS Office Online to edit it. Conversely, when working in Office Online you can tie in your Dropbox account to easily browse, open and edit office docs with Office Online. And yes, you can also create new docs in Office Online and then save them directly to your Dropbox account.


If you’ve been paying attention, today’s news won’t come as much of a surprise. Microsoft has been hinting for a while now that they were going to be more open to working closely with other companies.

As you might recall, Microsoft’s new web browser will be far more standards compliant than Internet Explorer largely due to MS releasing its death grip on the development process. Several companies, including Adobe, have already contributed code to Project Spartan.

Microsoft has also been working with Dropbox since last April, even though the two companies compete in several places. Both offer a cloud storage solution, and I was expecting that they would soon have competing online office suites. Dropbox has acquired a bunch of online collaboration and editing startups, but now it would appear that Dropbox is going to instead draw on Microsoft’s expertise and established market share.

And that makes sense. Dropbox is focused on providing a cloud storage service for business customers, many of which already pay for MS Office licenses. It’s easier to recruit a new customer if you already support their existing tools, after all.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Rob Siders9 April, 2015

    I noticed this this this morning. I’m traveling and am using a Chromebook, so I thought I’d somehow installed an app for Chrome. But after a second or two it was clear the two are now in cahoots.

  2. […] leave the browser to make changes in response to the comments. Just click the ‘Open’ button to edit the file in Office Online. The changes will be saved to […]

  3. […] a crazy amount of cooperation breaking out in the online office market. First Dropbox ties its cloud storage service into MS Office in April, and now Google does the same with Google […]

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