cloud storage

451 Research conducted a survey of 1000 IT pros and found that Dropbox is the most popular cloud sync and share service (chart after the break). I’m not at all surprised by that. And that’s because Dropbox is still the best at cloud sync and share.

I’ve used Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, Bitcasa, and myriad others. I’ve settled on just using OneDrive and Dropbox. The rationale for OneDrive was simple — it’s integrated into Windows, it’s cross-platform and I got 200 GB free with my Surface 2. For that amount of space, I was willing to put up with OneDrive’s quirks.

Dropbox is the best for two key reasons: first, it syncs tremendously fast. I can save a file at work and be 100% sure that saved file is waiting for me at home 10 minutes later. Not so with the others, although OneDrive has improved a lot in that regard.

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A few weeks ago, Satya Nadella called Office 365 the most strategic API for Microsoft. This was echoed by Bill Gates, who in an interview said that getting Office to the next level is a major strategic imperative. They weren’t kidding.

Microsoft made two game changing announcements recently for Office 365:

  1. Office 365 as a platform for third party developers
  2. Unlimited OneDrive storage with every Office 365 subscription

Opening up Office 365 can only add value to consumers and simultaneously keep Microsoft relevant with developers. This is an urgent priority in a mobile world where Windows is a minority; Office 365 on the other hand cuts across all operating systems and devices.

Unlimited OneDrive storage makes Office 365 more attractive than ever; it addresses the competition in both cloud storage and free office programs.

For Microsoft, keeping Office a productivity standard is the next best thing to a Windows monopoly.

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You’ve probably heard of the Amazon Fire phone by now.  If you haven’t, see Engadget’s hands-on here.  It’s an interesting effort by Amazon, about packaging the company’s services in an integrated and attractive manner.  It’s what Google does with the Nexus program, Microsoft with Surface, and Apple with pretty much all their products.  As The Verge articulates:

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced his company’s first smartphone in Seattle on Wednesday, the Fire Phone, by first turning to a curiously ironic metaphor: a bucket of water. “You can fill a bucket with an eyedropper, if the bucket doesn’t leak,” Bezos said, striving to convey Amazon’s success at getting and keeping customers for its Prime subscription service. Now those Prime customers have a new reason to immerse themselves deeper into Amazon’s bucket of devices and services: a smartphone designed just for them.

There are a four things special about the Fire: Dynamic Perspective, Firefly, Mayday and camera with unlimited photo cloud storage, but the only things that matter — Firefly, Mayday, unlimited cloud storage — are not even hardware based.

If Amazon chooses to keep the Firefly exclusive to the Fire, it would mark a big strategy change.  My bet is Amazon will stay open and have its services available everywhere, and therefore will eventually port Firefly to other smartphones.  Because of that, I wouldn’t recommend what’s otherwise a pedestrian if not gimmicky phone in the Amazon Fire.  Unless it’s for that non-techie relative who just needs Mayday.

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