The cross platform exchanges continue between users of Microsoft and Apple apps and services.
Earlier I posted about Apple opening up their iCloud based iWorks document editing software to everyone, including those of us on Windows, and now Microsoft is expanding the cloud storage options for their iOS apps.
In a post on the Office Blog by Corporate VP Kirk Koenigsbauer these changes continue Microsoft’s goal of making Office the preferred method for working with documents no matter where they are stored.
And today, in addition to the existing Dropbox integrations, we’re pleased to announce two new integration features for an even broader set of cloud services: First, file picker integration for the iPad and iPhone; and second, Office Online integration for viewing and editing.
This expansion is now available to third-party cloud storage companies who can directly insert their service into the Locations picker in the Office app:
Image courtesy of Microsoft
This change means users have the option to not only open documents in Office on iOS from these locations once they are implemented by the service but to also store their documents on their service of choice.
However, the integration does not stop here. Now these same third party services will have the capability to allow users of their services to edit Office documents right in the browser while connected to that cloud storage service. This is exactly like we can do in OneDrive already.
The initial members of this new Cloud Storage Partner Program include Box, Citrix and Salesforce.
Of course these enhancements to the iOS apps require Microsoft to address the features for the other platforms they support including their own Windows:
While we’re announcing availability of the iPad and iPhone integration today, we’re hard at work on the same type of integration for the Office universal apps for Windows 10 and the Office for Android apps. So in the future, no matter what device, platform, or storage provider you’re using, your Office documents will only be a tap away.
I think this will be the new norm as they must be very aware of how their own users on Windows view all the other platforms getting these updates first.
Better to pre-emptively acknowledge it is coming instead of reacting to the commentary afterwards.