As cloud hosted software continues to mature, it seems as if the big players have taken a more agnostic approach at storage integration. Such tactics have been taken as Microsoft has just announced that they have added cloud storage options such as Box, iCloud and others to be integrated directly into Office Apps. The Native Cloud storage integration allows users to bring their own cloud to the Office regardless if they are using iOS, Android or even web versions of the Office suite. The feature also gives Microsoft a leg up on some of the same competitors within this space.
The strategy may seem like a shift from the Microsoft we knew from the 1990s. Upon closer inspection, it may just be a marketing plan that will help keep Office relevant in the emerging age of online productivity suites that are directly tied to cloud storage providers. By making Office apps play nice with other cloud storage providers, Microsoft only gives end users more incentives to keep using their products. The agnostic cloud storage functionality helps paint Microsoft in a positive light as they are seen as the umbrella for all cloud storage offerings can play nicely together. For what its worth, that seems like a good spot to be in.
Much of this interoperability could hint at what we could be in store for when Windows 10 finally ships. Microsoft’s new Spartan browser needs to have a leg up on Google Chrome and one of the ways Microsoft can practice increasing its browser’s functionalities is by adding features into is SaaS offerings. This open climate of interoperability could give consumers confidence they need to select the new Spartan browser over other offerings such as Chrome or Firefox. Microsoft has hedged this bet by diving deep into the cloud productivity economy by making its Office apps work seamlessly alongside other cloud storage platforms.