Earlier in the week, Microsoft announced a bombshell, in which they would be partnering up with DropBox where Microsoft would integrate Dropbox into their suite of mobile Office applications. Essentially, you will be able to edit, store and share documents from your Dropbox account from within whatever Microsoft Office app you were using. As a DropBox user myself, I love the fact that you will be able to create or edit documents from one device, and have those documents synced across all of my devices.
Well today’s “bombshell” is that Microsoft is no longer requiring users who want to be able to use the mobile suite of Office apps to be subscribed to Office 365. Yup, that’s right. You can go to your iPhone, iPad, or Android device and use the Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint without having to pay a dime. Now there is one catch, but it’s not what you may think.
If your Microsoft account is associated with a business subscription to Office 365, you will not be able to use these apps for free. You will still need a subscription to Office 365. This move is somewhat expected due to the fact that Microsoft still wants to bring some type of revenue in from their mobile platform apps. Now for these business customers, you will need an Office 365 subscription in order to edit documents that are stored on either OneDrive for Business, or DropBox for business.
Now if you’re wondering when the Dropbox functionality will be coming to the various Microsoft mobile Office apps, don’t fret. Microsoft pushed updates to the Apple App Store today for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with the DropBox functionality already built in, and you are no longer required to sign up for Office 365 in order to take advantage of all the benefits. As for the Android application, there isn’t an final version available, but a preview of Microsoft Office for Android tablets was also released today. So regardless of what platform you are using, Microsoft has got you covered.