Dropbox is officially on board with Microsoft's modern app (formerly Metro) approach to mobile computing.
"Today we're excited to announce the next phase of our partnership with Microsoft: the Dropbox app is now available for Windows phones and tablets," Dropbox Product Manager Matthew Jaffee, referencing the companies' recent partnership, said in a statement. "We've also tailored the app for the Windows platform, so you can pin any Dropbox folder to your Start screen for quick and easy access."
The new Dropbox app for Windows Phone (8.0 and up), Windows RT and Windows 8.1 devices provides users with an alternative to Microsoft's own cloud storage service, OneDrive.
The Redmond, Wash.-based company has been focused on deeply integrating the OneDrive service—formerly called SkyDrive until a 2013 court defeat in the U.K. forced Microsoft to drop the brand over a trademark dispute—with its Windows operating system and Office software in recent years. OneDrive is often the first file destination listed in "save as" screens displayed by current versions of Office apps, for example.
Now the Dropbox faithful can stick to their preferred cloud storage provider and leverage its capabilities with fewer hoops to jump through. "Use it to automatically back up your photos, mark files as favorites so you can get to them even when you don't have an Internet connection and access both your personal and work accounts at the same time," said Microsoft blogger Athima Chansanchai in a Jan 23 blog post.
While Dropbox is no stranger to many who use the file storage, sync and sharing solution on Windows PCs, a native, touch-optimized app for Windows tablets, including those powered by Windows RT for ARM-based devices, has been a no-show since Microsoft first released Windows 8 in 2012.
That changes now that Dropbox and Microsoft are two months into a partnership that brings Dropbox integration to Microsoft's software ecosystem, including its popular Office suite of productivity solutions.
"People around the world have embraced Office and Dropbox to empower the way they live and work today," said Dropbox CEO and co-founder Drew Houston in a Nov. 4 statement. "Our partnership with Microsoft will make it easier than ever to collaborate seamlessly across these platforms, giving people the freedom to get more done."
A few weeks later, Dropbox issued an update that allows users to access their files from their mobile Office apps (Android and iOS), make edits and save those changes back to Dropbox automatically. "Now it's easy to work on the Office files you've stored in Dropbox even when you're on the go—you can edit them from the Dropbox app, and access them directly from the Office apps," said Jaffee in a Nov. 25 statement.
Meanwhile, another cloud storage competitor is making its long-awaited Wall Street debut.
After a nearly yearlong delay, Box, a Los Altos, Calif.-based provider of cloud file storage services for businesses, has finally pulled the trigger on its initial public offering (IPO) with an opening share price of $14 and a valuation of $1.6 billion. Share prices soared over 70 percent to reach $24 in the first full day of trading for the newly public company.