Mobile, Consumers Drive New Cloud Offerings: Box, Dropbox and More

Aside from Box offering 50GB free storage for Android users until March 23, 2012, other cloud services are also kicking things up a notch.


The cloud storage Dropbox unveiled a new photo uploading feature for Android smartphones.  In just one click, photos taken using your Android smartphone are wirelessly uploaded into Dropbox, which can then be accessed from any computer or mobile device.  The only downside is, unlike Google’s Picasa, Dorpbox’s new feature doesn’t allow you to edit or manipulate the photo before uploading.

“Facebook tied your friends and your social graph into this ecosystem that offered all these services,” Dropbox CEO Drew Houston said. “We envision similar things with Dropbox.  It’s a major theme for us going forward this year.”

Microsoft SkyDrive

A recent post in Building Windows 8 details how SkyDrive will evolve with Windows 8 from a website today into a true device cloud for Windows customers.  Windows 8 developers focused on these three aspects: The SkyDrive Metro style app on Windows 8, SkyDrive files integrated into Windows Explorer on the desktop, and The ability to fetch remote files through

But the most interesting part of the post is found in the comments section when Mike Torres, SkyDrive Group Program Manager for devices and roaming, stated that SkyDrive won’t support PC-to-PC syncing without using the cloud.

We won’t be offering a way to sync between PCs without using the cloud as we’ve found that it adds complexity, said Torres.  Both technical complexity as well as, more importantly, complexity in the overall user model.  The SkyDrive model is really quite simple in that it’s “cloud-first” and not “cloud-optional” which means you no longer have to worry about the timing of various PCs being online to sync, or having files that are only available on PCs but not through or mobile devices.  Conflicts are far less likely as well since the cloud is always “online”.  The fetch feature addresses the need to “get back” to stuff that you haven’t put in SkyDrive yet.  There are tradeoffs either way, we realize that, but we decided to focus on a simple model and really work to get that right.

Dell Acquires AppAssure

Dell announced that it has acquired AppAssure, a global leader in complete application protection for virtual, physical and cloud infrastructures.  The acquisition is a key software buy for Dell and will enhance their storage and software portfolios, enabling them to offer backup and recovery software that protects a company’s entire application infrastructure.

“AppAssure’s unique architecture delivers innovative cloud-enabled backup and replication solutions that meet the challenges of protecting the explosive growth of data in both virtual and physical environments,” said Brad Anderson, president, Enterprise Solutions Group, Dell.

“At a practical level, AppAssure enables Dell customers to seamlessly move and replicate data across our existing platforms — from an EqualLogic array in a remote office to a Compellent array at a data recovery site.”