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Microsoft adds limited support for iCloud to Office for iPad, iPhone

Gregg Keizer | Feb. 18, 2015
Microsoft today updated its Office apps for the iPad and iPhone to support Apple's iCloud storage service, a move reminiscent of last year's decision to support Dropbox.

Box, Citrix and Salesforce are working on integrating their cloud services with Office Online. Previously, Dropbox said it would tie its Web-based interface into Office Online in the first half of this year. Dropbox has yet to implement that, however.

Today's iCloud integration will affect only consumers, who can use most but not all Office for iPad and iPhone features free of charge. Business users, who must also be Office 365 subscribers to use the mobile apps for commercial purposes, will likely shy away from iCloud, if only because of its limited 5GB of free storage space. If enterprise customers use any cloud service, they'll turn to OneDrive for Business, the storage service linked to Office 365 that currently has a 1TB cap but will receive unlimited storage space later this year.

Third-party cloud storage support will be added to Office for Windows 10, the touch-enabled apps Microsoft has previewed for its impending operating system upgrade. Also on the blueprint: Similar support for Office for Android.

"In the future, no matter what device, platform or storage provider you're using, your Office documents will only be a tap away," promised Kirk Koenigsbauer, an executive on the Office team, in a blog post today.

Koenigsbauer's pledge implied that the desktop versions of Office — dubbed Office 2016 — on Windows and OS X will also be able to access third-party storage, including iCloud. Office 2016 will launch in the second half of 2015, probably alongside Windows 10.

The revised Excel, PowerPoint and Word apps for iOS can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. Current users can update from their devices.


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