Box’s very recent move to boost its free cloud storage capacity from 5GB to 10GB has, it appears, motivated competing outfits to take a look at their own services.
In the face of Box’s news, Microsoft must’ve thought its SkyDrive Pro cloud storage offering of 7GB suddenly looked a bit, well, crap, so on Tuesday made the move to bump it up to a less-crap 25GB. Users of the regular SkyDrive service, however, will have to continue to make do with the usual 7GB of space, at least for the time being.
SkyDrive Pro, part of the Redmond-based company’s suite of cloud-based Office 365 tools, is aimed primarily at the business community and lets users store and sync files across multiple devices, with features such as real-time collaboration built in.
If 25GB of free space turns out not to be enough, users can boost it to 50GB or 100GB, though money will of course have to change hands – $0.20/GB/month, to be precise.
In an effort to further develop the service and hopefully entice new users, Microsoft is offering a number of other improvements, including increasing the size of uploaded files to 2GB and the introduction of a new Shared With Me view allowing you to easily locate documents to which you’ve been granted access.
In addition, the default setting for recycle bin retention has been raised to 90 days from 30, while versioning now autosaves the last 10 versions of a document stored with SkyDrive Pro libraries.
The cloud storage business is a fast-expanding one, with Box, which launched in 2005, one of its more established players. Exactly a week ago it doubled its free storage limit to 10GB, a generous upgrade for its 20 million users.
Of course, many factors make up a good cloud storage service besides free space – reliability and ease of use are also important – but one wonders if, in response to one of its rivals cheekily leapfrogging it by offering 25GB of free storage so soon after its own change, the folks at Box will feel compelled to make a quick response.