OneDrive being squeezed by Google Drive and Dropbox

Microsoft’s One Drive is coming under further attack with a new browser plugin that lets you open files stored in Google Drive in desktop apps.

It’s been a rough week for One Drive, after it lost its monopoly on storage for Microsoft’s Office for iPad apps when Microsoft announced it would let customers save documents to Dropbox.

Now One Drive is facing renewed competition on the desktop, with Google launching a new Chrome extension that lets you open documents stored in its cloud service using desktop apps such as Microsoft Word, Photoshop or Adobe Reader.

Once installed, the user can open their Google Drive in a browser window, right click on a file, and choose Open With, from which relevant desktop apps should appear in the drop-down list.

Google Drive

It’s not clear, however, whether saving documents in the desktop apps will then automatically synchronise them back to Google Drive. We couldn’t get the new extension to work in our brief tests this morning.

Microsoft has made several attempts to boost OneDrive’s popularity in recent months. Office 365 subscribers now get unlimited storage on the cloud service, while even non-subscribers are now given 15GB of free storage. By comparison, Dropbox gives away just 2GB on its free accounts, while Google gives its users 15GB to share between Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ Photos.

Microsoft’s decision to let Office for iPad users access Dropbox was seen as an admission that many users simply don’t want to use Microsoft’s cloud service, no matter how generous the storage limit.

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