Box Lets Users Create Microsoft Office Documents in the Cloud

Box Inc. will let users create new Microsoft Corp. Office documents and spreadsheets from within the cloud-storage vendor’s own programs as it attempts to add business customers.

The new features are the first fruits of a partnership announced in February in which Box became an online-storage partner for Microsoft’s Office, said Box Chief Executive Officer Aaron Levie. Customers already have more than a billion Office documents stored in Box, he said. Shared customers include Toyota Motor Corp. and General Electric Co., Box said in a statement Tuesday.

Box, which sold shares to the public in January, and Microsoft, the largest software maker, sell competing cloud file-sharing and storage programs. Microsoft’s is called OneDrive. Levie and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella have been working to let clients to choose a combination of programs that are capable of operating together.

“We are company agnostic when it comes to who we integrate with,” said Microsoft Office General Manager Jared Spataro.

Microsoft also has a partnership with Box rival Dropbox Inc. With the new Box software, users can click on a Box file link and Office toolbars will pop up. Any changes made are saved into Box.

Box has 47,000 paying companies and is trying to fuel growth in a bid to reach profitability. The Los Altos, California-based company last week reported sales than exceeded analysts’ estimates and raised revenue forecasts for the rest of the year.