Box Gives Away 50GB Free to Android Users
Box, formerly known as Box.net, is extending its play for dominance in cloud storage market with the launch of an offer that brings 50GB of free storage for life to any user who logs in from an Android smartphone or tablet. The caveat is that the deal is only good for another 29 days or so.
According to Box, the timing of this offer is designed to coincide with the advent of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) in the enterprise — it’s Box’s play for businesses that sets it apart from cloud storage poster company Dropbox, though Dropbox has its own enterprise play to be sure. And it comes at a time when Apple and Microsoft are positioning OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8 respectively as having cloud storage integrated.
This offer comes alongside an upgrade to the Android app that has a definite business value proposition: it adds bulk upload of files (from the device memory or SD card), the ability to add collaborators from the app (without sharing contact list data with Box servers – a sore point after the Path fiasco), support for commenting on files and four new languages (French, German, Spanish and Italian).
It also features a new, streamlined interface that brings it more in line with the Android Design guidelines, aimed at providing a unified experience – especially on Ice Cream Sandwich, the newest release of the Android operating system, which the new Box app now supports officially for the first time. An example of the functionality this new shininess adds is the addition of common actions into the Android action spinner.
Cloud storage has been a workhorse of a market segment for almost as long as there’s been a concept of “cloud.” It’s always been there, and plenty of vendors have been making entries into the market, but they were almost commoditized. Call it a hunch, but I suspect that we’re in for a new wave of innovation over the next few months, spurred by the big guys getting into the game.