Posts tagged DropBox

Dropbox Buys Loom For Photo Sharing, HackPad For Collaboration

Dropbox is having a busy Thursday.

The file sharing giant has acquired Loom, a photo sharing app that offered mobile users up to five gigabytes of free storage. Loom announced the deal on its company blog.

Dropbox recently announced an update to its photo sharing capabilities with its Carousel feature, and the Loom team will likely join Carousel as the home for syncing and sharing the ever increasing amounts of photos people take on their devices.

Unfortunately, the acquisition means Loom will be shutting down its own service within a month. Loom is not allowing any new signups, and the company informed customers that the service will officially shut down on May 16. Current customers can choose to export their photos to Dropbox, where they’ll automatically receive the same amount of cloud storage they had with Loom, or they can opt for a .zip file that contains every image they’ve ever uploaded to Loom’s servers.

Also joining Dropbox—by way of acquisition—is a company called HackPad, a wiki-style collaboration and note-taking tool that could also boost Dropbox’s own recently launched internal collaboration tools.

Unlike the Loom acquisition, Hackpad will continue to remain open to existing and new customers, and the company said it will be working with Dropbox to “bring new offerings to the market.”

Image of Gentry Underwood of Dropbox by Adrianna Lee for ReadWrite

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Dropbox Upgrades For Business Users Will Reportedly Launch Next Month

Last November, Dropbox pledged that its business users would gain the ability to access their personal file-storage accounts as well, and now the company’s fulfilling that promise. According to The Verge, Dropbox sent an email to business customers about an upcoming press event, stating that the anticipated account-switching features will roll out across all of their devices on April 9. The email also reportedly notes that Dropbox will debut new administration tools. 

That means Dropbox’s business users will no longer have to log in and out (or use multiple browsers or privacy modes) to access documents in both their individual and professional accounts. It’s a move intended to make Dropbox friendlier to business users and thus, the company has said, to improve worker productivity.

Dropbox says that it serves more than 4 million businesses, a number dwarfed by the sheer size of its consumer user base. More than 200 million people use Dropbox to manage more than one billion files, the company says.

Dropbox may need all the help it can get. Google just slashed the price of Google Drive storage to $10 a month for a terabyte of storage—far less than Dropbox’s upper tier of consumer cloud storage, which costs five times as much for half the storage. 

Not that Dropbox, which is worth $8 billion, is hurting. But it faces tough competition, and not just from Google. One of its biggest rivals is Box, the cloud storage company that likewise started out catering to consumers, but doubled down on business clients in 2007. Box has reportedly already filed for an initial public offering.

Both services have pros and cons. Box may not be as easy to use or ubiquitous as Dropbox, but it offers the sort of advanced security that companies require. Security has been a sore point for Dropbox. 

But the company attracted $350 million in funding last month to bolster its enterprise software division. Some of that should—and probably will—go toward security. 

Image courtesy of Dropbox

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Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside Heading To Dropbox As COO

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside

Dennis Woodside, a ten-year Google veteran who most recently served as CEO of its Motorola Mobility unit, will be moving to cloud-storage service Dropbox as its first chief operating officer. Google recently announced plans to sell Motorola to Lenovo for almost $3 billion, roughly two years after it paid more than $12 billion for the unit.

Photo by Dan Rowinski for ReadWrite

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Dell’s Business Model Shifts To The Cloud In Pact With Dropbox

In a move to make itself more relevant to companies hungry for drag-and-drop online storage, Dell announced new plans that will bring Dropbox to several of Dell’s products and services.

Dell’s expansion into cloud-based storage says a lot about its future strategy. Following its 2011 break with EMC as its storage provider, Dell quickly aligned itself with many cloud-based storage providers and application vendors.

This week, Dell Ventures—the company’s venture capital arm—announced a fresh round of $300 million to invest in strategic startups to help build out Dell’s data centers, storage and mobile products. The round follows $60 million that Dell invested last year for storage-specific companies to help it build out its data center business. Popular personal cloud startup Dropbox is expected to gain a portion of those funds.

The venture capital money follows Dell’s announcements last week that it’s salespeople will be offering Dropbox for Business to new and existing customers. Dell said it will also pre-install Dropbox’s online storage service (complete with Dell’s own brand of data protection software) on its consumer and business tablets.

Dropbox boasts that it is used by more than 4 million businesses and upwards of 1 billion files uploaded every 24 hours. That’s a small drop in the bucket compared to the 1 exabyte of data, analysts suggest are stored in the cloud. That’s a key market Dell is hoping to be a part of.

To get there, Dell will promote the use of Dropbox and provide its customers’ IT departments with software support to make sure Dropbox meets compliance and regulatory requirements. Dell also wants to avoid any data meltdowns like the ones Dropbox had earlier this year.

Dell’s other notable cloud storage partnerships include its 14-year run with Red Hat; OpenStack cloud and open source application infrastructure provider Mirantis and solid-state storage maker Skyera.

As more businesses move simple storage to cloud-based systems, providers like Dropbox are sure to be in high demand.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user mekuria getinet

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