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June 23, 2014

Microsoft Matches Google With 15GB of Free OneDrive Storage

New Microsoft Logo With no shortage of competition in the cloud storage market, Microsoft is making it more attractive to use its OneDrive service.

The company on Monday announced it has more than doubled the amount of cloud storage space it offers to users for free. Now, OneDrive comes with 15GB of storage for free, up from 7GB.

"Our data tells us that 3 out of 4 people have less than 15GB of files stored on their PC," OneDrive Group Program Manager Omar Shahine, wrote in a blog post. "Factoring in what they may also have stored on other devices, we believe providing 15GB for free right out of the gate — with no hoops to jump through — will make it much easier for people to have their documents, videos, and photos available in one place."

Meanwhile, Microsoft is also hoping to get users to sign up for Office 365 with the promise of more OneDrive storage. From now on, all versions of Office 365 will come with 1TB of OneDrive storage, up from 20GB, Microsoft said.



May 16, 2014

Adobe Apologizes for Creative Cloud Outage

creative cloud

Adobe this week apologized for a system failure that locked users out of its Creative Cloud service for almost 24 hours this week.

Just after noon on Wednesday, the Adobe Customer Care Twitter feed lit up with warnings of an outage affecting user sign ins.

The updates continued into Thursday afternoon. Around 3:40 p.m. Eastern, the company announced that the issue was resolved, and services were back online.

In a Thursday announcement, the Customer Care Team addressed the day-long problems, saying that several servers were unreachable during database maintenance activity, which affected users' ability to log in with an Adobe ID.

"First, and most importantly, we want to apologize for this outage because we know how critical our services are to you and how disruptive it's been to those of you who felt the impact," the company said.



March 27, 2014

Box Reveals New Embed Tools, Pricing

Box.net

Box is gearing up for a multi-million-dollar initial public offering by releasing two new technologies and an updated API pricing scheme.

During its first Box Dev conference on Wednesday, the cloud storage company unveiled Box View and Metadata, both aimed at building a more developer-friendly platform.

"Every business in the world today is transitioning from legacy solutions to cloud services that help their workforce be more agile, collaborative and competitive," Box CEO Aaron Levie said in a statement.

"This presents a significant market opportunity for entrepreneurs and developers to create a new generation of software and Box has the opportunity to be the platform that powers this ecosystem," he said.

That power comes directly from the new Box View, which converts PDF and Office documents into easily embeddable HTML, allowing developers to build more immersive applications like custom document viewers.

Before this week's rollout to the public, a handful of organizations, including Oracle, UberConference, Xero, and Zendesk, piloted the program—and were pleased with its ease of use.



March 14, 2014

Google Slashes Drive Storage Prices, Targets Cloud Rivals

Google Drive for Android

Watch out, Box and Dropbox. Google on Thursday announced it is slashing the prices of Drive monthly storage plans.

The 100GB plan, previously priced at $4.99 a month, is now just $1.99. If you opt for 1TB of storage, the savings are even greater. Previously priced at $49.99, the 1TB plan will now set you back a measly $9.99.

If you have a lot to store, there's also a 10TB plan, with the option of adding more space if you need it, starting at $99.99. 20TB costs $199.99 a month, while 30TB is $299.99. The standard 15GB Drive plan is still free.

In comparison, Dropbox offers 2GB of space for free, with extra storage starting at $9.99 a month for 100GB while Box gives you 10GB of free storage off the bat, and charges $5 a month for 100GB.

"Whether it's all the footage of your kids' baseball games, the novel you're working on, or even just your grocery list for the week, we all have files that are too important to lose," Google Drive's Director of Product Management, Scott Johnston, wrote in a blog post Thursday. "Today, thanks to a number of recent infrastructure improvements, we're able to make it more affordable for you to keep everything safe and easy to reach on any device, from anywhere."



January 27, 2014

Microsoft Rebrands SkyDrive as OneDrive After Court Battle

Microsoft OneDrive Logo

Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud service will soon be known as OneDrive after Redmond lost a trademark case against the U.K.'s British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB).

"We believe the new OneDrive name conveys the value we can deliver for you and best represents our vision for the future," Ryan Gavin, general manager of consumer apps and services, said in a blog post.

Current SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro users will see no change; the service will operate normally, just under the new name—OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.

Gavin said the new OneDrive will be available "soon," but did not specify when the updated moniker will roll out. Interested users can sign up online to find out when the improved service hits the cloud.

"One place for all of your photos and videos. One place for all of your documents. One place that is seamlessly connected across all the devices you use," Gavin wrote. "You want OneDrive for everything in your life."



January 15, 2014

Box Revamps iOS App, Offers 50GB Free Storage for Life

Box iPad App

Box today released a brand new iPhone and iPad app, and is celebrating by offering 50GB of free storage for life to those who download the app in the next 30 days.

"We've overhauled our app to make it super-fast, simpler to use, and more immersive," David Still, vice president of mobile products at Box, wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "The result, we believe, is the best content viewing and collaboration experience available today for your iOS device."

For starters, the revamped app has more intuitive user interface featuring a sidebar for comments. Even better, documents and photos should now load "significantly faster," Still said. Photos will load from low-to high-resolution, for faster scrolling and previewing.



July 31, 2013

Microsoft to Rename SkyDrive in Trademark Deal With BSkyB

Microsoft SkyDriveMicrosoft has agreed to rebrand its SkyDrive cloud service after losing a trademark case against the U.K.'s British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB), but BSkyB has granted Redmond some time to make the transition.

According to the deal, "Microsoft [will] continue using the SkyDrive name for a reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand." Neither company provided details on how long that period of time will last.

The announcement stems from a June decision by the English High Court, which found Microsoft guilty of infringing on BSkyB's trademark. Redmond initially planned to appeal, but has apparently reconsidered. The deal involves "financial and other terms," but they were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to have reached a settlement after Microsoft agreed not to appeal the trademark infringement judgment in relation to its SkyDrive service," BSkyB said in a statement. "We will remain vigilant in protecting the Sky brand and will continue to take appropriate action against those companies who seek to use our trade mark without consent."

"We're glad to have resolution of this naming dispute, and will continue to deliver the great service our hundreds of millions of customers expect, providing the best way to always have your files with you," Microsoft said.



July 25, 2013

Cablevision Boosts DVR Cloud Service, Android Support

Cablevision Optimum Android AppCablevision's cloud-based DVR service got a boost this week, with three times more storage than previously offered by the cable provider.

Optimum's Multi-Room DVR, previously known as DVR Plus, now provides 300 hours of storage for standard-definition content, and 75 hours for high-def. Users can also record up to 10 programs simultaneously.

"Multi-Room DVR gives customers control over when and where they watch TV in the home," Bradley Feldman, vice president of video product management for Cablevision, said in a statement. "Our cloud-based DVR is the industry's most advanced DVR service and provides customers with the flexibility they need to enjoy the programming they love without being forced to choose between shows."

Along with more than 12 days worth of storage and conflict-free recording, Cablevision's Multi-Room DVR also allows for recording, management, and playback of shows from multiple TVs with a digital set-top box, as well as full DVR management on Optimum.net and the Optimum app.



May 20, 2013

Yahoo Overhauls Flickr, Provides All Users With 1TB Free Storage

New Flickr

Yahoo on Monday unveiled a revamped version of its Flickr photo-sharing site, a new Android app, and announced that it will provide every Flickr user with 1 terabyte of free storage.

On the heels of its $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr this morning, Yahoo also ditched its old Flickr interface for photos that fill the screen, scroll endlessly, and are - as CEO Marissa Mayer said at a New York press event - "heart-stoppingly beautiful."

Photos will be uploaded in full resolution, Mayer said. "When you upload [and] share your photos, you don't lose any fidelity," she said.

According to Adam Cahan, senior vice president of mobile and emerging products at Yahoo, Flickr had become about words, little images, and blue links. "Flickr really was not about the photo anymore," he said.

With the update, "we wanted to bring together a photo-centric world," Cahan said.

Mayer said Flickr had "languished," but said the service is now "awesome again."

The new Android app, meanwhile, "allows your photos to be wherever," Mayer said. "Wherever you are ... you can upload and share your photos; Flickr works on all major platforms."

The updated app is similar to the iPhone app that Yahoo launched in December in that it "maintains your photos' original quality, so every image you take, edit, share, or view on your phone or tablet looks spectacular," Yahoo said.

The new app (below) is available now in the Google Play store.

New Flickr Android app

None of this is particularly helpful, however, if you can't store a lot of photos. To that end, all Flickr users will now have 1TB of free storage. That, according to Cahan, will support 537,731 photos in full original quality.

When asked why Yahoo would want to offer that much storage, Cahan said that "we just wanted honestly, to say unlimited. We never want you to ever think about that."

Mayer said engineers are working furiously to make sure the Yahoo data centers can handle all those extra photos.

Mayer confirmed that the updates mean the end of Flickr Pro. "We didn't want to have Flickr Pro anymore" because everyone can create professional-level photos with today's camera technology, she said.

Those who need more, however, can purchase another terabyte of storage.

On the Tumblr acquisition, meanwhile, Mayer reiterated that she has no plans to change the blogging site right now. When asked if Yahoo plans to censor or remove the adult content on the platform, Mayer said "we don't intend to."

"Almost all" sites like Tumblr have "issues with adult content," Mayer said, and in some cases, Tumblr has less than its rivals. Community tools like the "NSFW" (not suitable for work) tag can help filter that type of material, so that "people who want it can find it, [and] those who don't" can avoid it, she said.

Tumblr will remain at its New York City headquarters. But Yahoo has also signed a lease for an office at 229 West 43rd St., which used to be home to the New York Times. Yahoo will have all 500 of its New York area employees in that building, with room for 200 more.



May 13, 2013

Google Merges Free Drive, Gmail Storage to 15GB

Google Drive

Google today unified the storage limits for Gmail and Google Drive, giving users 15GB of free storage across both products.

Now instead of having a 10GB limit on Gmail and 5GB on Google Drive and Google+ Photos, users get 15GB overall.

"With this new combined storage space, you won't have to worry about how much you're storing and where," Google wrote in a blog post. "For example, maybe you're a heavy Gmail user but light on photos, or perhaps you were bumping up against your Drive storage limit but were only using 2GB in Gmail. Now it doesn't matter, because you can use your storage the way you want."

To keep track of how much you're using, Google will update its Google Drive storage page, which will let you hover over a pie chart to see how much storage you're using across Google's products (above).

The change will be rolling out over the next few weeks, Google said. The move also applies to Google Apps users, who get 30GB of unified storage.

If you still need more space, you can buy an extra 25GB for $2.49 per month or 100GB for $4.99 per month to start - and go all the way up to 16TB for $799.99 per month.