This week saw quite a few announcements about Microsoft Office, including Dropbox integration, unlimited storage on OneDrive, and new Office versions for Android and Windows. Unfortunately, I can’t help but add some nasty comments about Dropbox.
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Dropbox integration received most of the news coverage; however, in my view, it will become meaningless in the long run (see below). Microsoft is planning to integrate Dropbox in all Office editions on all platforms. Android (phones) and iOS (iPhone and iPad) come first. Updated Office apps will be available in the coming weeks. Office Online will follow in the first half of 2015. Microsoft also announced a preview of Office for Android tablets. I think we can assume that Dropbox will be integrated there as well. Of course, Windows Phone will also not be left out in the cold.

I found it much more interesting that Microsoft will offer unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365 users. Some philosophers doubt that the mathematical concept of “unlimited” exists in the physical world. It is good to know that those skeptics are now finally refuted. I always felt so restricted by the thought that I am living in a limited world.

The press release also confirms that the new touch-based Office for Windows 10 is in the works. My unnamed sources on some public news sites informed me that the new Office for Windows could be available by mid-2015. Of course, this release is strategically overdue. The right time to deliver a touch-based version of Office would have been on the release date of Windows 8.

Ah, and before I forget, the press release also tells us that Microsoft was founded in 1975 and is now the “worldwide leader in software, services, devices, and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.” I thought you might be interested to know this too.

To whet your appetite for the touch-based Office, have a look at the video below.

So what is so cool about the Dropbox–Microsoft deal? The only thing that is of importance is that Satya Nadella is continuing his strategy of counting on a better ecosystem integration of Microsoft products. This is where he really distinguishes himself from his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, and from one of his main competitors, Tim Cook, who still counts on isolation.

From a technical point of view, this alliance is next to meaningless. Of course, it is nice to store Office documents directly in Dropbox. For Microsoft, this deal makes sense because quite a few Dropbox users still exist. Every alliance is good as long as the mobile versions of Microsoft Office can hardly compete with more sophisticated Office apps for Android and iOS.

But Dropbox? In my opinion, Dropbox is already dead, and this alliance won’t save them. In fact, this new ally is the killer. Hey, unlimited storage on OneDrive! Who really still needs Dropbox? Dropbox charges $99 for 1TB per year. An Office 365 package is already available for $65. Let’s do the math. Which number do you think is bigger: $99/1TB or $65/∞TB? Let me know what your calculator spit out.

I have another word to say about Dropbox. When I bought a Samsung phone a while back, it came with free 50GB Dropbox storage for one year. A few weeks before the subscription was about to end, Dropbox started to bombard me with reminders that now would be the right time to upgrade to Dropbox Pro. Aside from the fact that this seemed somewhat desperate on Dropbox’s part, what I found really interesting is that the email didn’t mention what this upgrade would cost me. Even when I clicked the upgrade link, the price was nowhere to be seen. Obviously, Dropbox feels quite ashamed for charging this indecent amount.

I also think that such behavior casts a negative light on the people at Dropbox. Whenever you encounter a sales person who hems and haws about the price, you shouldn’t even start considering the offer because the person you are dealing with is not trustworthy. Now, for a company with which you are willing to share all your files, how trustworthy should the persons behind that company be?

To retrieve the cloud storage pioneer’s honor, I have to add that, after the Samsung-sponsored subscription expired, Dropbox didn’t cut my account back to the 3GB of the free account; instead, the company just restricted my quota to the 8GB I actually used. On the other hand, what options did they have? Delete my data?

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