As Google Drive nears, Dropbox adds link sharing and Microsoft tunes up SkyDrive

DropboxPrior to the Google Drive announcement we’re all expecting, its would-be competitors are tightening things up. Google’s cloud storage service has been in the works for quite some time now, and by all accounts seems like an extremely natural application to complement Google Docs and its host of productivity features. But it’s been a long time coming and other brands have already put their name all over the market.

Dropbox is chief among them. The cloud storage and sharing site has carved out an impressive piece of the industry for itself, and in anticipation of Google Drive has introduced a new feature to try to keep it that way. Today Dropbox introduced the ability to share your files and folders via a link, making what’s already an incredibly simpler service that much simpler – and more interesting.

Dropbox has been convenient for storing, but sharing hasn’t been as audience-friendly. Now link sharing means you can host your content galleries and make them more readily accessible. “This means that people who follow your link can see pictures, look at presentations, and watch home videos without having to download and open them separately,” Dropbox explains.

Example

It’s a really nice update, considering that Google Drive will likely be leveraging its Google+ integration (for what it’s worth). Worth mentioning, however, is the fact that this feature is part of why MegaUpload was shut down. The fact that not all of the site’s hosted content was searchable was a major part of the criminal accusations. Of course, its reputation was also a considerable factor – and Dropbox doesn’t have that to worry about.

Dropbox isn’t the only one tidying up house before Google Drive – Microsoft’s SkyDrive is getting an upgrade as well. A slew of new apps will offer better desktop syncing and improved remote access. Also worth noting is this translates to less free storage: 25GB has been reduced to just 7GB.

Tomorrow we’ll (hopefully) find out how all this stacks up against Google Drive. Google is inarguably late to the game, but it’s proven it can create quite a stir at launch. It’s retaining user interest that has proven to be more difficult as of late. 

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