So let’s take a look at what these services offer and see which one suits you or your business.
Box announced a new API for their open platform, unveiled 15 new OneCloud application partners, and formed partnerships with General Assembly and TechStars.
“The enterprise technology landscape is experiencing a radical shift toward universal, mobile information access and content sharing,” said Aaron Levie, CEO of Box. “The next generation of applications built for this world will look completely different than they do today. Box OneCloud sits at the center of this revolution. OneCloud has seen tremendous adoption and interest from thousands of world-class developers, who are building the next generation of enterprise software.”
Box’s new API makes the process of integration more streamlined for developers, who now have a more granular view of how their application is being used on Box, as well as stronger connections to collaborator discussions. The new API also has a new feature called Instant Mode, which makes it possible to embed Box features in various sites, even with the absence of a Box account. Users just type in their e-mail address and they will be able to access Box storage.
They also introduced Box OneCloud App to App Framework, which provides developers with new documentation and user interface guidelines to simplify the application development process, resulting in a more efficient document management experience and increased security services on the Box platform for end-users.
“With the introduction of our new API, Box has made it even easier for developers to rapidly build services that empower productivity and collaboration in today’s post-PC era,” said Chris Yeh, Vice President of Platform at Box. “Our open platform is accelerating the pace of innovation in enterprise software.”
Additionally, Box introduced 15 New Box OneCloud partners, namely CloudOn, Breezy, Explain Everything, Bluebeam Vu, Handshake, iAnnotate, iDesk, iDocShelf, inBound, LincDoc, Mockups.me, Notability, Producteev, ScrumPad Pro, and The Vault. This brings Box’s OneCloud partners to 50. This update will enable business users to securely access, edit and share content from their iOS-powered devices.
And to top it all off, Box partnered with General Assembly and TechStars, two important institutions in the New York tech community, to help drive innovation in enterprise software.
Box and General Assembly will co-develop an education initiative to foster the creation of successful enterprise software companies. The TechStars-Box partnership will focus on mentoring TechStars startups based on enterprise software and sponsoring the group’s HackStars program, which hires experienced developers and designers to work with the TechStars portfolio companies.
As SiliconANGLE’s Alex William’s stated in his post yesterday, rumors about Google Drive started in 2006 but it wasn’t until 2007 that possible features and use of the service was extensively discussed by The Wall Street Journal. Williams went on to say that what the WSJ piece described sounded like Dropbox, and as predicted–though not for Dropbox but for Google Drive–it was a hit.
You’d think that since it took Google six years to launch Google Drive, they’d have more awesome features on the table. But unfortunately, Google Drive is almost the same as Dropbox.
To be fair, let’s look at Google Drive on its own. So what does it offer? First off, you get 5GB of free storage if you sign up for their service, but it can be upgraded to 25GB for only $2.50 per month. It’s available for PC, Mac and Android devices with iPhone and iPad compatibility coming soon. Aside from storing your files, Google Drive offers sharing and simultaneously editing files with anyone using any device.
Come to think of it, Google Drive doesn’t really offer anything new, it’s so 2006. I can’t help but quote William’s on this,
“The only thing it [Google Drive] has spawned is a crap load of speculation with brilliant link bait headlines like this one: “Is Google Drive a Dropbox Killer?”
“Does Google Drive matter?”
SkyDrive now has a desktop app for Windows, which lets users manage their files from Windows Explorer or from SkyDrive.com. Files taken from Windows Explorer can be added to the SkyDrive folder which is automatically synced to the virtual locker.
SkyDrive can now be accessed from Windows Phone or iOS devices, and also from the Finder in Mac OS X Lion. No news yet for Android support.
But the upgrade comes with a price – less free storage. Early users of SkyDrive were given 25GB of free storage, now new users would have to settle for 7GB of free storage. Users can add 20, 50 or 100GB for US$10, $25 or $50 per year, respectively. Microsoft recently rewarded old users of SkyDrive by allowing them to choose to keep their 25GB free storage or if they already uploaded 4GB of data in SkyDrive, they were automatically given the 25GB for free.
Critics are saying that Microsoft should still offer 25GB of free storage in order to lure in more users and to stir the competition.
“I would have loved to see them use the 25 GB free offering as a way to lure users to their service. Such a strategy would have wiped out all the challenges they face as a late mover,” said Krishnan Subramanian, principal analyst at Rishidot Research.
In an effort to remain an industry leader, Dropbox added the option of turning private files into public, linkable content, shifting the cloud storage service to a file-sharing service similar to the defunct Megaupload.
On Monday, Dropbox announced that documents, photos, and videos can now be shared simply by creating and sending a link to friends, family, or colleagues, even if they do not have a Dropbox account.
“We’re always looking for ways to make life easier and solve the basic problems people face everyday,” said Drew Houston, CEO and co-founder of Dropbox. “Sending files has always been a painful process, but now with Dropbox, sharing with friends, family, and colleagues is effortless.”
It works like this: from the Dropbox desktop, web, or mobile applications, users just click on the “Get link” button to generate a unique link to a file or folder you want to share. If the receiver is a Dropbox user, opening a link will provide the option to instantly save the file to their Dropbox.
Dropbox’s new features of course bring up the piracy issue, as the service now looks a lot like the controversial Megaupload. Anyone can upload any type of file, like for example a copy of The Avengers, generate the link and share them to anyone for free, or for a fee. But Dropbox stated that they are no Megaupload wannabe.
“Dropbox explicitly prohibits copyright abuse,” Dropbox stated. “We’ve put in a place a number of measures to ensure that our sharing feature is not misused. For example, there’s a copyright flag on every page allowing for easy reporting, we place bandwidth limits on downloads, and we prohibit users from creating links to files that have been subject to a DMCA notice. We want to offer an easy way for people to share their life’s work while respecting the rights of others.”