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Can Dropbox survive against Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive

Cover of

Cover of Organize Your Home Office

First let me share some good articles to read from some academic friends of mine:

Last week, I shared a blog post about the new Google drive service.  In the post, I talked about Dropbox, which is a service I’ve used for years.  You can find out more about Dropbox in the following articles:

A USB flash drive in the shape of a piece of i...

A USB flash drive in the shape of a piece of ikura (salmon roe) sushi. Photo taken by Tokugawapants using Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5d with Minolta AF 100mm Macro lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now let me pose a question.  How well will Dropbox do, now that Google and Microsoft (i.e. SkyDrive) have entered the picture?

If we read through the Wiki article, there are some interesting tidbits to discover.  For one thing, it was started by an MIT graduate.  This person kept forgetting his USB flash drive.  It looks like they really got off the ground in the year 2010.

In 2011, they have a user base of around 50 million users.  It’s estimated the valuation of the company is anywhere from 1 to 10 billion.  It also mentions that two U2 band members are investors.

Now we come along and find a recent news story entitled Review: Using Files Made Easy with Online Storage at Using Files.  Here we see a popular news service covering Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive.

If you look at the free offerings, Dropbox gives you 2 gig, Google 5 gig, and Microsoft 7 gig.  So right away, we find the 2 well-known software companies are offering up more than Dropbox.

USB Flash Drive Chapped

USB Flash Drive Chapped (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I look at the Wiki article on SkyDrive at Wiki article on SkyDrive, it mentions the service has been tested since 2007.  Were the Dropbox founders aware of this?

A good comparison article for cloud services is How To Choose The Best Cloud For Your Data Best Cloud

It’s interesting that Dropbox is chiefly written in the scripting language Python.  It’s a scripting language I played with a while back, along with Perl and PHP.  It’s easier to build something in a scripting language than a tradition language like Java, C++ or C#.

Perhaps it’s easier to compare the services to members of the Avengers movie.  There might be room for all players, just as there is room for all avengers characters.  Actually, I don’t think the Black Widow and Hawkeye add much to what the Avengers can do.  Thor, Hulk and Iron Man will offer the raw power needed.  Captain America is needed on the Avengers as Batman is on the Justice League.  Both are skilled strategists who can figure out ways to find weak points, etc.  Both are also skilled warriors in battle.  Either can be a team leader.

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Google Drive in a sea of well established competitors

google drive sync

google drive sync (Photo credit: leeleblanc)

Google Drive in a sea of well established competitors

In case you are not aware, Google will make 5 Gig of cloud drive storage free to each user. It will occur towards the end of April 2012 and I have installed it. I will be experimenting with the drive and giving my reflections. For now, let me share some good articles to read from some friends of mine:

Google is the new kid on the block – as far as public cloud storage is concerned. In the article Cloud Storage Booming, But Trouble is on the Horizon Cloud storage article , they list some formidable competitors:

They did miss mentioning a couple very important players, which are Amazon Cloud Drive and Apple Icloud. Unfortunately, it appears you need to have an Apple product to set up the Apple cloud. Yet Amazon is a nice surprise and I will be covering it.

Image representing Dropbox as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Here are some recent posts covering the topic:

Now for some reflections on the major solution providers I looked into:

Amazon Cloud Drive

They do offer you 5 gig of free storage. But there is a major hurdle. They do not map a drive to your computer, like you see with others like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive. If they should change this in the future, I will look into it again.

SugarSync

They do offer file synchronization. But I don’t plan to use them as a backup – nor would I consider a vendor backup solution. They best thing to do is to visit Wal-Mart or Amazon and buy a terabyte external 3.0 hard drive. You can then use either your Windows or security suite software (i.e. Norton) to do weekly back ups.

Dropbox

I’ve been using Dropbox for some time now. They do map a drive to your computer. One thing I like is there is an alert when a file is updated. So if I update a file on computer A, I get a notification on computer B.

Windows Live SkyDrive Logo

Windows Live SkyDrive Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google Drive

I have just installed it and so far, it looks a lot like Dropbox. Here are a couple of comparison charts created by SugarSync and Microsoft:

I like what I see.

Microsoft SkyDrive

SkyDrive is also a good product. Like Google Drive and Dropbox, it maps a drive to your computer.

Summary

For now, I will run the free versions of Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive between my two computers. I’ll also do weekly backups to the terabyte external drives using the Windows backup services. Perhaps I can share more insights in the near future

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