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Microsoft Ties with Dropbox to Expand Office into Mobile

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Microsoft (MSFT) has announced a partnership with Dropbox Inc. to integrate Office with the Dropbox software allowing Office users to manage files easily via mobile applications.

Dropbox is a file backup service that offers cloud-based file management, storage systems and client software. It enables users to access and synchronize files and use applications through multiple devices. Users can create a special folder on their computers, which can be synchronized for viewing on any computer. Files placed in this folder are also accessible through website and mobile phone applications.

This partnership will help both Microsoft and Dropbox to leverage each other’s resources. Dropbox, in addition, will be able to attract even more business users. However, these users will only get access to the app through an Office 365 subscription.

A lot of corporate workflow is headed toward mobile, and therefore the Dropbox integration will enhance user experience, expanding Microsoft’s services across all devices. The integration will make it easier for the Office users to edit and share files across different devices and software.

Currently, Google’s (GOOGL) Android and Apple’s (AAPL) iOS are the most popular mobile operating systems. Therefore, Microsoft has been leveraging the popularity of Office to penetrate into Apple and Google devices.  At the same time, it is striving to drive Surface sales. Microsoft plans to first integrate the Dropbox-enabled Office apps on the most popular OS and then on its Windows and Windows Phone versions.

This move clearly indicates that the largest software developer is more focused and optimistic about its cloud-first mobile-first strategy. Microsoft expects these cloud and mobile technologies to be a major growth driver in the near future. Microsoft analyst Wes Miller stated that the company plans to make its services available to millions regardless of the device used.

Microsoft remains one of the best positioned software vendors, given its wide range of products, emerging market strength, continued technology deployment at data centers and growth in cloud computing. Recently, the company reported strong first-quarter 2015 results backed by improvement in the cloud and mobile segments.

Currently, Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another technology stock worth considering at this time is Advent Software, Inc. (ADVS), sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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