Microsoft today announced two major developments for Microsoft Office in the cloud storage arena. The company is now letting third-party storage providers integrate their service into the Office apps for iOS via an open API, and it has introduced a new Cloud Storage Partner Program for Office Online.
On iOS, third-party cloud storage providers can natively integrate into the “Locations” picker. That means Word, Excel, and PowerPoint users can open, edit, and save documents from these providers directly in the apps.
Yet Microsoft isn’t stopping at the iPad and iPhone. The company promises it is working on the same type of integration in its Office for Android apps as well as the Office universal apps for Windows 10. The goal is to ensure that regardless of what device, platform, or storage provider you’re using, you’ll be able to access your Office documents in the apps.
As for Office Online, cloud storage services can now integrate the suite into their applications, letting users open, view, and edit documents stored in those services in any browser. More specifically, Microsoft says it is already working with Box, Citrix, and Salesforce as a part of its new partner program. Naturally Microsoft wants to work with other service providers; interested partners are asked to apply.
“Both announcements advance Microsoft openness and continue to drive forward a long-term vision for even greater Office extensibility,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. Indeed, the Dropbox partnership that began in November was just the tip of the iceberg: Microsoft is apparently open to working with every interested cloud storage company.