Oh, please, that’s what we thought late last night when Dropbox pinged us to say that the CloudOn acquisition wasn’t its only news for the day. Mathew Jaffe, who oversees Microsoft-related projects for Dropbox, announced that Dropbox apps are now available for Windows phones and tablets.
While this might not have been all that newsworthy earlier in the week, based on the market’s reaction to Microsoft’s announcements today, it may suddenly matter a lot. Why? Because there’s suddenly a real chance that Windows 10 might become omnipresent in our lives.
Consider the headline that the Wall Street Journal’s tech analyst Joanna Stern chose for a headline in her commentary on Wednesday’s press event in Redmond: Windows 10: A Fresh Start in Our Relationship With Microsoft.
We haven’t a clue as to whether Dropbox was privy to Microsoft’s plans to “inspire new scenarios across the broadest range of devices, from big screens to small screens to no screens at all,” its development of the HoloLens augmented reality headset that runs Windows Holographic software to support it or the whole way the new OS will provide a consistent experience across phones, tablets, laptops, as well a colossal conference-room touch TV.
But here’s the deal, if Dropbox is working closely with Microsoft, and it is, it might just have an edge over its competition. At least if Microsoft succeeds, that is.
Not only that, but as a sync and share provider it and Microsoft offer a common vision — namely that people shouldn’t have to move between apps and sign in and out as they move from the personal to professional personas. In fact, the companies have partnered to ensure that Dropbox users can both edit Office documents right from their Dropbox mobile apps, and access Dropbox from within their Office apps.
And though most of the content we think about, at this moment, is created and consumed on desktops, laptops and mobile devices, that could change quite a bit in the future.
No Big Deal ... Yet
For now, Dropbox is simply making its mobile apps available on Windows phones and tablets. Big whoop. But if Microsoft is able to deliver on its vision, the cozy relationship it shares with Dropbox could mean a whole lot to both.
For what it’s worth, Jaffe said that current Windows mobile device users will be able to automatically back up their photos to Dropbox, mark files as favorites so you can get to them even when you don’t have an Internet connection, and access both their personal and work accounts at once.
It’s worth noting that some of Dropbox for Business’ competitors have provided two of the three capabilities for quite a while. The difference, when it comes to Dropbox, is that they’re embedded into Office while others are not. What this could extend to in a world where Windows was the lens through which we experience the world via touch, speech, vision, inking, and augmented reality is anybody’s guess. But if Microsoft can deliver on the ideas they presented yesterday, then Dropbox, despite its late arrival on Windows mobile devices, will have a head start.