With the official worldwide release of the Office 2013 yesterday, Microsoft has shifted its attention back to software and cloud. In fact, the most recent version of its leading productivity suite is essentially, Office for the Cloud, if nothing else, as it comes attached with 20GB of SkyDrive storage space.

And CEO Steve Ballmer is pretty assured of the direction the company is heading in this market.

In an interview with Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek, Ballmer said that Microsoft has nothing to fear of companies like Dropbox, even if they enjoy a nine-figure user base. In fact, he went on to call it a nice little startup — at least in the cloud storage field.

When inquired that did he feel that Microsoft was late to the cloud market, and whether it would face competition from companies like Dropbox, Ballmer put forward a pretty bold reply:

“Well, you’ve got to remember, 100 million sounds like a pretty small number to me, actually. We’ve got a lot more Office users.  And actually if you even want to go to the cloud, we have a lot of Hotmail and SkyDrive users. I’m not beating on Dropbox. They’re a fine little startup and that’s great.”

Great indeed!

Microsoft’s CEO further said that connecting Office with SkyDrive was an expected (and highly anticipated) move from the company, and in effect the logical evolution of the HTML version of Office that was launched several years back.

Still, while Office may boast 1 billion users the world over, it has seen some increased competition from challengers like Google Apps and more.

But all said and done, Ballmer is confident that this is one bet Microsoft will win in the end.

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  • Butch

    Compared to Microsoft (and Google), Dropbox IS just a drop in the bucket…

    • Fahad Ali

      That it is, that it is.

  • http://www.cse.iitb.ac.in/~pratnala Pratyush Nalam

    Ballmer shouldn’t be so careless when he speaks 😛 Remember what he said about the iPhone and the Chromebook?

    • Fahad Ali

      And Android too! 😀

    • Ray C

      Chromebook is nowhere near as popular as people make it out to be almost a year later and at the time he made the comment about iPhone, Microsoft really wasn’t focusing much on the phone market. Had they not followed the PDA or Blackberry model so long as it related to phones, Microsoft would have more share in phone right now. The most important thing is that your product offers something people want without much headache.