Microsoft has made it clear that its platforms are open and fully support integration with third-party products. That message is being reinforced today as the company has updated its iOS apps to allow third-party storage services to integrate natively into the iOS Office apps. The company is also announcing that Box, Salesforce and Citrix Sharefile will now utilize Office for opening documents inside their storage services.
For iOS, Microsoft has added the ability to open documents from inside the Office apps from third-party cloud storage services like Box. This is a feature that will help anyone who uses a cloud service other than OneDrive.
While it may seem counterintuitive for Microsoft to support other service platforms, the company has made it clear that they want Office to be a versatile productivity suite. The company says this functionality will come to Android and Windows 10 users in the near future.
Based on this announcement, the message is clear: Microsoft will do anything to make sure you keep paying for your Office 365 subscription, even if that includes supporting third-party services that compete with its own solutions.
Microsoft has also announced today that Box, Citrix Sharefile and Salesforce have integrated Office into their cloud solutions. This functionality allows users of those platforms to open Office documents from inside those storage services via any web browser.
These moves show Microsoft's efforts to make sure that Office is the pivot point for productivity no matter the platform or the vendor. And why is Microsoft doing this? Well, Google has a suite of productivity tools that are slowly moving into this space, so for Microsoft, this is a maneuver to make sure that Office is integrated into every possible solution one might need for productivity to push back against Google's efforts.
Office certainly has strong brand recognition with consumers but if Microsoft were to become lazy and try to milk the Office cow forever, they would end up being out-maneuvered by companies like Google. These efforts are a direct response to keeping the Office platform current with the trends in the industry.