Mobile Storage Wars: Watch Out Dropbox!
John is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Mobile storage is becoming a huge factor in the computing cloud-trend with a familiar name—Dropbox leading the way with 25 million users world wide. As competition flairs up, big names like Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) with Skydrive and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) with what will be called G-drive may send independents like Dropbox to the sidelines.
Google’s G-drive took some time off but may be back. It will offer 5GB of free storage but it is still behind the ball. It needs a desktop platform beyond relying on android users to pick it up. Skydrive is a bit more advanced.
A big change came to Skydrive (Microsoft’s online storage system and a core element to its cloud strategy) whereby it now has a “Dropbox-like” integration system for desktop windows and MAC users. Functioning like any other folder, any file can automatically be saved, uploaded to the cloud, and synced with another computer. Microsoft is playing catch up as Dropbox has already had this feature.
But adding this feature may not be what helps push Skydrive neck and neck with Dropbox (who by the way boasts 25 million users). Space usage is what may turn heads. It has more space than Dropbox for the average user. Those who exceed 2GB of storage on Dropbox move up to a 50GB storage plan for $10 per month. Microsoft will offer paid plans starting at 20GB for $10 a year. 50GB for $25 per year is 80% less than the same price for Dropbox storage. Is the writing on the wall?
If we look at a bigger picture in the whole computing and cloud field, it may be space for several competitors to co-exist. The whole cloud system will become more and more a function of our lives as time goes by. We will all back up what we want to keep on our devices and it will be easier to share with others. We will have Drive for Android; iCloud for Apple; and Skydrive for Microsoft.
Skydrive may not be a threat to Dropbox. Being baked into Windows 8, it will integrate better in to PC/Mobile and be less expensive. Overtime, the island Dropbox may have a home, but it won’t be with the average user who will use the “big boys” versions of mobile storage on their systems. I believe by nature, the bog boy’s mobile storage systems will be used by their customers and Dropbox, as an independent, will have a modest following as a nice afterthought.
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