We hear it everyday: cloud storage is the future. Microsoft (MSFT) revealed on Thursday that its SkyDrive cloud storage service has seen usage double in the last six months. Although actual figures weren’t released, the company says it’s “humbled and excited by this pace of growth.” To celebrate the growth, Microsoft announced a sharing feature that let users select specific folders to sync to SkyDrive using File Explorer in Windows and Finder in OS X. Microsoft also updated its SkyDrive app for Windows Phone that now lets you “search your SkyDrive files and folders and control photo upload and download size.” The Android SkyDrive app can also now “upload all file types from SD card,” rename SkyDrive folders & files” and “custom sort orders for every view.” A video demonstration of the new syncing feature can be viewed below.
Apple’s MobileMe service will shut its doors forever on June 30th, 2012, and the Cupertino-based company is encouraging existing users to migrate to its iCloud service instead. To make the transition easier, MobileMe subscribers will be offered 20GB of free iCloud storage until September 30th. Apple plans to also offer MobileMe customers who purchased additional storage 50GB of extra iCloud space until September as well. “MobileMe members with 20GB of purchased storage receive a complimentary iCloud storage upgrade of 20GB, and accounts with additional purchased storage (40GB to 60GB) receive a complimentary upgrade of 50GB after moving to iCloud,” Apple posted on its website. “These free upgrades are good through September 30th, 2012. After that date, you can continue the upgrade at the regular price or let it expire and use the free 5GB plan.” -
Following an unveiling last month, Adobe on Monday announced that its Creative Suite 6 software is now available for purchase and its Creative Cloud solution will become available on May 11th. ”We announced Creative Cloud and CS6 two weeks ago and these releases have caught the imagination of creatives everywhere,” Adobe’s SVP of digital media, David Wadhwani, said in a statement. “Today we’re shipping CS6 and look forward to the beginning of an exciting new era as we introduce Creative Cloud later this week.” Pricing ranges from $1,299 for the base edition of CS6 to $2,599 for the “Master Collection,” and upgrades from previous versions start at $300. The software and updates are also available at no additional charge alongside a Creative Cloud subscription, which ranges from $49.99 to $74.99 per month for new customers and starts at just $29.99 per month for customers upgrading from earlier versions. Adobe’s full press release follows below. More →
LG on Monday announced the beta release of its own iCloud competitor, dubbed LG Cloud. The service allows users to manage and consume all types of content across Android smartphones, PCs and smart TVs. “Most companies today only see the cloud as a storage device or in the case of YouTube or Flickr, only for one type of content,” LG’s Home Entertainment President and CEO Havis Kwon said. “LG makes the devices that millions of people watch content on so we can set a new yardstick for ease of use by setting up our own cloud service. Tomorrow’s consumers don’t want to go to one cloud for music, another cloud for video, another location for photos and yet another cloud for their office files. In the end, our solution is about making life more convenient.” LG Smart TV or smartphone owners may be eligible to receive 50GB of free LG Cloud storage for six months. The company’s cloud service will be offered in both free and paid versions, with each member allotted 5GB of free storage. Read on for LG’s press release. More →
Following a series rumors and leaks, Google on Tuesday unveiled a new cloud storage service being billed as the next step in the evolution of Google Docs. Dubbed Google Drive and built to compete directly with Microsoft’s SkyDrive and other similar services, Google’s new cloud storage solution features 5GB of free space and deep Google Docs integration that allows users to collaborate and share all of their documents. The enterprise-focused service can be upgraded to expand the amount of available storage, and packages start at 25GB for $2.49 per month. Microsoft SkyDrive features 25GB of free storage with the option to add 20GB for $10 per year, 50GB for $25 per year or 100GB for $50 per year. Google guarantees 99.9% uptime with its new Google Drive service, and it will launch Windows, Mac and Android Google Drive apps immediately with an iOS app to be made available in the coming weeks. More →
Adobe on Monday announced pre-order availability of its next-generation collection of design applications, Creative Suite 6, which includes Photoshop CS6, Illustrator CS6, InDesign CS6, Dreamweaver CS6, After Effects CS6, Flash Builder CS6 and more. ”Creatives get a ton of innovation across CS6, with milestone releases of all our flagship products,” Adobe’s SVP of Digital Media David Wadhwani said. “With CS6 and Creative Cloud, we’re also introducing new products, new mobile workflows and advanced publishing capabilities that show we are laser-focused on ensuring design, Web and video pros have everything they need for the delivery of high-impact content and apps.” Read on for more. More →
Rumors surrounding Google’s cloud storage service are ramping up as we move closer toward the product’s rumored release date. The service will apparently be called Google Drive and is similar to Dropbox, which allows users to store files on cloud servers and access them from computers and mobile devices. According to a leaked screenshot obtained by TalkAndroid, Google Drive will offer 5GB of free storage instead of the previously rumored 1GB. The image also reaffirms that files can be accessed through computers, mobile phones, tablets and via a web browser, and it will allow users to edit a document in one place that will automatically be updated in all locations. Google Drive is rumored to launch the week of April 16th. More →
Google’s cloud storage service that looks to compete directly with Dropbox may launch during the first week of April, according to a report from GigaOm. Google Drive will apparently allocate 1GB of storage to users for free, and additional options will be available for a fee. Dropbox, the market leader in cloud storage, currently offers 2GB of free storage. It also provides several ways for users to obtain more free space, such as recommending friends to the service. Google’s Dropbox competitor will reportedly feature a domain-specific version for Google Apps customers and it will have an API for third-party apps, allowing users to store content from other apps within Google Drive. Earlier reports indicated that the service will allow users to store photos, videos, documents and other files in the cloud, and will be accessible from computers as well as Android tablets and smartphones. More →
Apple on Friday announced that its iWork.com service will be discontinued on July 31, 2012. “After July 31, 2012, you can no longer publish new documents to iWork.com from any iWork application on your Mac or iOS device,” the company wrote on its website. “Documents already shared on iWork.com will not be available to you or to those you shared documents with.” With the discontinuation of iWork.com, the Cupertino-based company is pushing users to share documents with its iCloud service instead. Apple is directing users who are interested in saving previously uploaded documents to do so before the service’s closure this summer. More →
You would think that, given the impressive specs of its new CloudMobile smartphone, Acer would want to place this thing front and center at Mobile World Congress. Think again. For some reason, the company decided to hide its new flagship model within the Google booth. Location aside, the handset’s specs are nothing to scoff at. A 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip powers this monster, which sports a 4.3-inch 1,280 x 800-pixel HD screen with a truly incredible range viewing angles, and a really well-engineered tooled metal exterior. The CloudMobile software itself is heavily guarded at the moment, and Acer wouldn’t give us so much as a peek at any screens related to its upcoming cloud service, but company reps assured us that we would be “impressed” when launch time comes around. Let’s hope the software lives up to the promise of the hardware. In the meantime, be sure to check out our hands-on photos, which are linked below.
“What happens when the world’s largest advertising business tries to sell productivity software on the side?” Microsoft asks users in its new Googlighting video. “Beware the Googlighting Stranger.” In response to what is undoubtedly increased pressure from Google’s cloud-based productivity suite, Microsoft has launched an all-out assault on Google and its cloud-based Google Apps product. According to Microsoft, Google’s productivity suite is a joke — a sad side project where Google moonlights in its downtime and uses unwitting corporations as guinea pigs — and businesses would be crazy to play Google’s game. ”Google Apps is an ever-changing solution with experimental features that can increase complexity and the need for change management and training,” Microsoft wrote on its Why Microsoft site. “When your business needs help, Google Apps support falls short of delivering the kind and level of support you demand.” So what exactly does your business need to thrive? Microsoft is glad you asked: “Your organization has diverse needs. With Microsoft, you can deliver the right set of tools for the right users—all with appropriate layers of security and compliance technologies.” Microsoft’s no holds barred anti-Google Apps video follows below. More →
Microsoft on Monday announced that a SkyDrive Metro app will be available for Windows 8. Windows users were previously able to save files to the SkyDrive website and then had the ability to access and/or share them throughout the Web. The next release of SkyDrive, however, will combine the company’s Live Mesh synchronization service into the file storing and Web service. Microsoft’s Building Windows 8 blog states that the new SkyDrive Metro app will have “files integrated into Windows Explorer on the desktop, and have the ability to fetch remote files through SkyDrive.com.” The desktop file sync will support files up to 2GB in size, and will provide “easy drag and drop upload and download access to your data, offline access and the power of Windows Explorer to manage files and folders.” The Windows 8 SkyDrive app looks to compete directly with services like DropBox as well as Apple’s iCloud. More →
Google is preparing to launch a new cloud storage service that will compete directly with popular start up Dropbox and similar services. The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday evening reported that Google is almost ready to announce the new service, which will be called Google Drive. Similar to Dropbox, which creates a virtual drive containing files that are mirrored on a user’s local hard drive and on cloud servers, Google Drive will allow users to store photos, videos, documents and other files in the cloud, and it will be accessible from computers as well as Android tablets and smartphones. The service will launch in the coming weeks according to the report, and it will be free to most users, though the report does not elaborate on the amount of free storage Google will provide or which customers might be charged. More →