In a bid to enhance its Cloud Storage Partner Program (CSPP), Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it is now allowing Office Online users to collaborate on documents housed in its partner cloud services.

Microsoft touts that the new feature called real-time co-authoring for Office Online makes it possible for co-workers to access and edit a file hosted on Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, ShareFile and Citrix, of course, in real-time. This nifty functionality has some similarities with the key feature in Google Docs.

Actually, the feature has been available in Office Online since 2013. Nevertheless, docs could only be accessed via Microsoft's products, SharePoint Online and OneDrive.

In February 2015, Microsoft initially introduced the CSPP that paved the way for the Redmond-based firm to join forces with well-renowned cloud providers, including Dropbox and Box. It likewise allowed these companies to connect their services to Office for iOS and Office Online.

"Today, we are extending this capability to cloud storage providers in the CSPP program," says Microsoft in a blog post. It went on to say that every other partner in the CSPP can enable real-time co-authoring with the use of "standard interfaces."

Egnyte’s boss Vineet Jain says that Microsoft is increasingly opening up its platform “for companies like ourselves.” He added that rather than rivaling enterprise cloud services, Satya Nadella continues to be enthusiastic about working with cloud providers.

Box, in the meantime, also announced that its customers are now can use real-time co-authoring for Office Online. Whether it be a PowerPoint, Word or Excel file, users can now “edit it in real time with others in Box.”

Every edit is instantly saved to veer away from version conflict. Moreover, users also have the option to pull up an earlier version to reference previous content anytime they have to.

Dropbox also shared the great news to its users via a separate blog post, saying that the move is part of an endeavor to help make Office files readily available regardless of where they're saved.

“We’re excited that Dropbox customers now have the capabilities to co-edit files in Office Online," it says. “They can now also send documents directly from Dropbox within their account, allowing them to better collaborate regardless of their device or location.”

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