If Google hasn’t fully convinced you that the future is in the cloud, other smaller online storage services are erasing all doubt whatsoever.
Take, for example, Box.net, a cloud-based storage and file-sharing site. The company has partnered with electronics manufacturer LG to offer a whopping 50GB of free storage for anyone who purchases LG Android smartphones. The storage giveaway begins this Wednesday, and continues through the end of March 2012.
Essentially, Box.net is an online repository for, well, everything. So instead of e-mailing documents back and forth between a colleague to collaborate, you can upload your files to a central server and work on them in the Box.net cloud. What’s more, Box.net boasts enterprise-grade security, a feature highly appealing to uptight corporate IT guys.
This isn’t Box.com’s first promo rodeo. The company tried to piggyback on top of HP’s push into enterprise tablets when the TouchPad launched, offering 50GB of storage to early TouchPad adopters. Of course, that didn’t pan out well. Last month, however, the company got better results after launching the same promotion in Apple’s App Store, attracting more than a million downloads over the first five days of the promotion. (The App Store offer ends on Friday, by the way.)
And now, after finding success via iOS, Box turns to Android. It’s the most widely used platform in the smartphone space, and, according to Box CEO Aaron Levie, the natural progression of the company’s mobile strategy.
“We’re seeing a different kind of organization emerge today,” Levie said. “It’s not Microsoft, Oracle or IBM acting as the leaders in this mobile ecosystem.” Microsoft has its Sharepoint collaborative software, but as Levie points out, the company isn’t making it available on non-Windows Phone devices. And with Gartner’s Q3 numbers indicating a piddling 1.5 percent market share for Microsoft’s mobile OS, that’s a lot of other handsets for competitors to reach.
In an interesting bit of timing, however, Microsoft launched a major update to its Skydrive cloud services suite on Tuesday.
Box’s main competition may not be Microsoft. Rival startup Dropbox offers a similar cloud-based storage solution with an easy interface and accessible features. It also boasts a robust user base, and no lack of tech press fawning.
But Levie’s company says its focus is on the enterprise space, unlike the predominantly consumer-oriented Dropbox. Box offers far superior collaboration, user permissions and task management, all features geared toward the business crowd.
While Box says it hasn’t yet announced any future device partnerships, it’s only natural to think that another Android handset manufacturer will soon hop aboard. Expect more in the realm of partnerships from the company come 2012.