Posted by & filed under Apple, Cloud Computing, Google.

Description: Google Drive, launched on Tuesday, is a long-awaited service from the company that stores all types of files in its cloud as well as copying them to all your devices.

Source: globeandmail.com

Date: April 28, 2012

Microsoft sought to steal Google’s thunder on Monday with an update to its SkyDrive cloud service. It too added a Dropbox-like feature with a folder called SkyDrive, created in Windows Explorer. There is the same drag-and-drop transfer of files to the service and photos from my Windows Phone smartphone automatically showed up there.

SkyDrive also gives you remote access to your main PC and allows you to stream video from it – a feature lacking in Google Drive. Microsoft offers SkyDrive as a Windows Phone, iPhone and iPad app and there are apps that link to it, such as Xobni, which shows SkyDrive files within Outlook.  Read Rest of Story

Questions for discussion:

1. Why is online storage attracting so many competitors?

2. In your opinion which is the best storage product on the market? Why?

13 Responses to “Storage wars: Google, Dropbox and Microsoft fight for your files”

  1. Amby Okorafo

    Wow! So much competition between Google, Dropbox and Microsoft. I personally use Dropbox because I find it easy to work with and it was the first file storage that was introduced to me at school. It is definitely user friendly and I agree with the fact that once someone is introduced to something, especially file sharing, they definitely stick to it because they find it stressful to explore a different area. Google drive sounds a little complicated to use in my opinion and individuals don’t like complicated, they like simple. I could be saying this because I’m a little biased to Dropbox but I personally don’t like searching for buttons online and I feel like the other two may be a little too complex. I like to open a window and have everything easily laid out for me. I never heard about sky drive till I read this article. I don’t know how many people in the world know about all these file sharing storage but I feel like whether it is Google, Dropbox or sky drive, they are all brilliant ideas and should continue providing for the public! Definitely a cheap method of storing files whichever route one chooses to follow.

  2. Chance Engel

    I think the reason why online storage is attracting so many competitors is because of the payoff that is potentially holds for the companies. for 50Gb of space they charge $50 per year??? thats insane. A person can pick up an external hard drive with 1Tb of space for inside a hundred bucks. Plus, in some cases such as google, They gain loads of material to use for whatever they please. Anything you upload onto Google Drive is available for google to use alter or whatever else they wish and you cant do anything about it. Crazy i think.

    In terms of the best storage product on the market, I prefer Dropbox. It is basic, simple, easy to use , understand, and organize. For group projects it makes it easy for everyone to communicate and collaborate and provides easy access to the material at all times.

  3. Le Liu

    The reason why online storage attracts so many competitors is because of its convenience and the potential market. Technology is part of people’s life today. It is hard for us to work, study entertain without technology. Online storage not only provides spaces for us save our files, pictures and videos, but also has many useful functions. For example, SkyDrive give us remote access to our pc. It is very easy to download the files we want to keep from the online storage as well. Moreover, it does not cost too much comparing with a normal hard drive storage, and people no longer needs to carry their hardware all the time and do not need to worry about losing them and all the important information as well.
    The market is not just focus on the personal use. There is a huge market for all kinds of companies. Almost all the industries need the help of Information technology and each of the company has tons of information needs to be stored every day. However, it cost too much to put all the hard drives together, hire people maintain them and find rooms for them. Online storage helps us solve problems like this.

  4. Maria Rana

    This article sure was an interesting read. I wasn’t quite aware of the extent to which Google, Dropbox and Microsoft were competing. Personally, though I have tried using Microsoft’s SkyDrive feature, I still prefer Dropbox to the other two. The reason I say this is because Dropbox as stated by many other people also, is infact very user friendly. I am certainly not tech-savvy when it comes to technology and I really appreciate the simplicity of Dropbox. Therefore, I personally believe that because of this very reason Dropbox has a competitive advantage over the two- for now anyway. I like how I don’t have to work my way through and the setup for Dropbox is quite easy as well. For instance, I love Apple products and use them exclusively. However, I still think iCloud needs more work. In otherwords, when it comes to pictures and music, there’s no trouble but with excel and words files- it is not effective at all. There are pros and cons with all three of them but as a student I feel that Dropbox is more useful to me and I use it more often than the other two options. Therefore, I am definitely “Team Dropbox”.

  5. Reply

    I believe that this online storage attracts numbers of competitors because from a customer’s perspective this is a cost saving, space saving and everything saving brilliant idea! A lot of people will be using cloud computing services, and of course there will be numbers of competitors because the market seems growing. Instead of placing numbers of big and heavy file storage, it is electronically saved. Instead of buying a hard drive, it is much cheaply offered and again there is no space needed. Even if your computer breaks down, the important files are securely saved and can be opened in any computer. In addition, I tried to think the down side of online storage as well. Even though companies who offer this service say that your information and files are secured and no one has access to it, I doubt that 100% security works. Even CIA gets their information stolen these days, how can I trust the server? I believe there is a chance of your information leaking out if you expose your information in the server. I personally do not have a online storage account, so I am not sure which is the best and the worst..

  6. Andrew D.

    Online storage is so attractive to these competitors because it is going to become a really huge asset in the future. With the internet becoming powerful enough to transfer really large files, it is becoming unnecessary to have large physical media storage. With cloud storage, everything you have saved can be with you anytime and any place you need it, even regardless of what computer you are using.

    As far as the best service available, I have actually never used any of these services so I am in no place to make a call on that.

  7. Xuan Wang

    Because online storage has much improvement space in the future, many competitors are coming to the war field. The online storage is very helpful for us on the high space life. We need more information than any time before. Sometimes, we may need the information right away but we forget to bring the USB with us. The online is so convenient that we can get the information anywhere in any situation when there is a internet.
    As we known, Dropbox operates on the Freemium financial model. Dropbox offers paid accounts of 50 GB, 100 GB, and a team account of 1 TB or more. Both the Dropbox server and desktop client software are primarily written in Python. The desktop client uses GUI toolkits such as wxWidgets and Cocoa. Other notable Python libraries include Twisted, ctypes, and pywin32. Dropbox ships and depends on the librsync binary-delta library (which is written in C). Dropbox has received a total venture capital funding of $257.2 million from several investors, including Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.According to speculation, Dropbox’s valuation is more than $1 billion. TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Business Insider and Financial Post have also speculated that Dropbox’s valuation could be as high as $5 to $10 billion. The Dropbox is the most popular one for now and it really works well. It may be the best storage product on the market in the future.

  8. Debbie Kennedy

    I personally and for companies I have worked for have never used google, dropbox or microsoft storage. I think these are competitive for those who may be just starting out and can’t afford to store their files within their own organization. It may be a convenience service feature as well. But like Chance said if you can buy under $100, it doesn’t make sense to have online storage. Security is such a big concern and really they can be hacked and they may not necessarily be hacked to get your files, but someone may just want to have morbid fun with your files just to screw anyone over.

    As far as who would be the best storage product, I think Microsoft. I think Microsoft has been around long enough to prove themselves as worthy products. I have found any product of theirs to be user friendly and their service help has been nothing, but good for me. I stick to whats worked for me and I stick to a company that hasn’t failed me either.

  9. Yue Pan

    With the development of IT technology and communication science, such as
    internet, computer, more and more people will apply the new technology,
    such as download the TV shows from website, watch Hollywood movies online.
    The potential customers are in large quantity, which increase rapidly. The
    potential business opportunities will lead the profit, which attracts more
    and more companies and persons to make the related investment.
    The huge investment provides the outstanding support to the new
    technology, which will provide more products or methods related online
    services. Also, it will reduce the cost, which attracts more potential
    customers. The increase of customer will lead to more profit. That is why,
    more and more competitors play in the field.
    Undeniably, the new technology will provide the best method or product for
    the storage. With the development of the storage, the data carrier will be
    smaller and smaller, taken Holy Bible as the example, parchment, paper,
    disc, flash memory, and now the website account. The carrier of the
    storage will be more potable. First, put into the bag, and then in your
    wallet, now just not need to portable, just an account with passport, you
    can get your storage anywhere.
    But, I think the best storage shall be in good safety. With the
    development of the storage, the safety nature is weaker. Now, we can check
    the information stored on the stones by the Egyptians. But the book of
    paper is easily destroyed by fire. To the disc or electronic method
    storage, maybe a soaking can destroyed all information. And the website is
    easily collapsed or attacked by hackers. For this balance consideration, I
    prefer the paper method for storage.

  10. Misbah Dar

    Online storage is attracting so many competitors because not one competitor can provide everything therefore all of them are building on each other’s weaknesses. When something is free you can’t compete with it by putting a price tag on it. More consumers will go after the free deal instead of paying extra for the same thing. Time is money, whoever gets the product in faster into the market will have more customers but also a better product will attract more customers. Personally I use Google Docs and is a great way to upload documents. I bet there are other great and better options for people to use out there and whichever works for them depending on how they use it personally or professionally. If they need more space and have more money then they should go for it. All these things and the competitors are evolving to provide their consumers a better and easier opportunity to upload their documents from which you get happier customers. Also, consumers stay with whichever company’s product suits their needs and has been reliable throughout time. I’m sure Apples iCloud will evolve to displace these because it’s the only one striving towards the ideal. Having all your files attached to the application that you use to edit them.

  11. jf.andrus

    One of the main components to these “Storage Wars” is that these clients are, in many ways, an extension of a product that consumers are already in possession of. For example, iCloud is a direct component of the new iOS (iPhone operating system), allowing you to share files between your computers and to utilize the smartphone for your everyday activities. Similar in that aspect is the Google version, which is once again easier to use with a smartphone, which most everyday individuals use. People love convenience, hence the rise of the iPad and the smartphone. Seamless, glitch-free integration between smartphone, tablet and computer is what will live on. And with the amount of money Google and Apple have to buy more patents and technology to improve their existing products, these will survive.

  12. Ryan Huntley

    First, the power of cloud information storage cannot be understated. From the standpoint of an academic user, Dropbox gives me the power to collaborate on projects with other students on my own time, and most importantly, at my own convenience. From a life style perspective alone it is obvious to me why cloud storage space services are attracting so much competition. Right now, I couldn’t see myself every requiring more than the free 2GB provided by Dropbox. However if I was a small business owner or an app developer, the $99 yearly fee for 50GB of storage seems practically free, and I can certainly see myself becoming part of that market segment within the not so distant future.
    As far as services are concerned, I’ve only used Dropbox and Google Docs. Google Docs was an adequate service for quite some time, however I found their word processing and excel spreadsheet software features to be extremely limited, and there were some formatting problems when going between different file types. I would imagine that Google Drive is trying to emulate Dropbox in form and functionality, and as such I think it’s clearly the industry leader with respect to cloud file storage.

  13. Branislav Srnec

    It seems like Dropbox is a very popular online file storage among the university users. I have been using this service for about an year and it satisfies my needs since it is free and user friendly file storage. However, I am not sure if I am the right marketing target for Dropbox or other online storage providers like Google and Microsoft. In my opinion the long-term goal of a company is to make a profit. And I don’t think that these big players on the online storage field have a different strategy. Making money doesn’t start right away. As a matter of fact these providers loose money at the beginning since they provide their services for free. However, an investment into a new customer will pay off later when the new customer get comfortable with using the service. At some point the customer exceeds the free storage limit and has to start paying some fee to keep using it. Combining this company’s income with possible income from hooking up the customer with other offered (supporting or totally independent) services it makes the cloud file storage business quite interesting place to be. And don’t forget the old good advertisement money… at some point you will see the annoying add banners while working with your files… just to remind you that there is still a way to make even more money of you.

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