Why Dropbox Is Teaming Up With Microsoft

Read original story on: The Verge

Dropbox users will soon be able to edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files stored on its service with Microsoft’s Office Suite, and in the very near future, updates of Office mobile apps will also seamlessly sync files to Dropbox. It’s a win-win partnership for both sides, as the cloud storage service has been facing strong competition from Google Drive and Apple’s free, iCloud-enabled iWork apps.

Update: In a major strategy shift, Microsoft now offers mobile Office on iPad, iPhone, and Android for free

On Trend: Blame It On The Third-Party Service

Here’s the newest budding “trend” in the tech industry: when your app gets hacked and users’ privacy compromised as a result, don’t take the blame, but point your finger at an incompetent third-party application for its failure. In the span of one week, both Snapchat and Dropbox have resorted to this tactic after news of major security breaches broke. Snapchat is specifically naming Snapsaved.com as the leak source, while Dropbox vaguely faults “several third-party apps”.

One troubling implication with this blaming game is that by choosing and trusting poorly secured third-party application with their personal data, the users have no one but themselves to blame. Snapchat even specifically noted in a statement that “Snapchatters were victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive Snaps, a practice that we expressly prohibit in our Terms of Use precisely”.

But still, the truth remains that Snapchat and alike could at least take partial blame for not managing their APIs and monitoring third-party services better. It is common practice for big-league social services like Twitter and Facebook to develop official APIs for better control over third-party apps, yet neither Snapchat nor Dropbox has released one. With more users turning to third-party apps for features unavailable in the main app, cloud-based services like these are in need of better regulation over their APIs. Resorting to a clause buried deeply inside a lengthy Terms of Use is not going to help eliminate the security concerns, and it is our hope that such “trend” will not catch on.

Strategy Analytics Report On Cloud Market Share

Oftentimes, companies focus on market share for hardware and software, but in today’s world cloud media services are an increasingly important service for our devices, and Strategy Analytics has, for the first time, quantified market share data: Apple’s iCloud and iTunes Match are the leaders for cloud services in the U.S. at a combined 27% of usage. This makes sense, as apple has tried its hardest to ensure that the majority of users are synced into the cloud network, especially on iOS 5. For others, the gap is significantly smaller. Dropbox and Amazon Cloud Player are at 17% and 115% respectively, while Google Drive is hovering at just 10%. One of the most striking conclusions of the study: music is the driving force of cloud utilization, as audio represents 45% of the content on cloud-based any platform. At the same time, it’s clear that the cloud hasn’t fully developed: 55% of those asked hadn’t used a cloud service at all; it appears that there’s a long way to go before everybody is interacting with the cloud.