Users of select Microsoft Office applications will soon be able to work simultaneously on the same documents through a new initiative launched today by file hosting service Dropbox.
Dropbox unveiled ‘Project Harmony’, a feature which mimicks the collaboration abilities of Google Docs, and brings Dropbox-powered editing and collaboration tools to software applications, starting with three Microsoft Office products.
Project Harmony allows Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word users to work at the same time on the same documents, converse with the other document editors, and keep copies in sync.
Within Harmony, when Dropbox files sync, the company’s trademark green tick appears within the application (PowerPoint etc) to notify the user a document has been uploaded.
The tick mark forms the hub of the collaboration within the document. It notifies the user when someone else has joined the document (with a blue ‘+1’ icon), and can also be used to update the document to its latest version
It also offers an instant messaging tool to communicate with other editors.
The feature will work for users on different operating systems as well as different versions of Office and Dropbox. Dropbox said it would release more details later this week.
Project Harmony will initially only be available for Microsoft Office products when it arrives later this year, but Dropbox said it had been developed to work with any application.
The company is yet to disclose pricing for the tool.
Project Harmony was unveiled as Dropbox announced wider public availability for its Dropbox for business product. Dropbox for business is already available to commercial users for US$15 per month for a minimum of five users and limitless file storage, and will now be available to all users.