Is Dropbox ready to replace your hard drive?

The demise of the hard drive has been heralded many times over in the past, but Dropbox CEO Drew Houston sounded pretty sure of it last week when he announced new developer tools for his cloud-based storage platform.

“Today, the hard drive goes away,” he said when he unveiled new syncing tools for the Dropbox Platform.

The new Dropbox Platform is supposed to enable users to store their files in the cloud and, with the help of new apps, allow them save and retrieve data across operating systems and devices.

Houston wants you to no longer worry whether you saved your data on a Windows PC, an Android tablet, or on your iPhone. He’s trying to create something like Microsoft Corp.’s SkyDrive, but something that transcends Windows.

Among the new tools unveiled was Datastore, which enables apps to save data to the Dropbox servers. Some of the possible applications involve task managers, notation apps, drawing apps and expense manager apps.

A user who may be working with any of these apps on desktop PC might decide to take a break and save the data to Dropbox. A little while later, the user can pick up from he left off on an iPad Datastore.


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Drop-ins is another tool that was announced by Houston. It allows app users to save their files such as documents, photos, presentations and other files directly to Dropbox, unlike Datastore, which handles app data.

It sounds seamless, but there are a few drawbacks. Issues such as privacy, security and reliability are still critical concerns when it comes to cloud storage.

Dropbox has been hacked before, and in one incident, the authentication feature was turned off in 2011.
Like other cloud service, Dropbox is not immune to outages.
Also, with the details that continue to pour out about the United States government’s Prism mass surveillance program, corporate and private data in cloud remains very vulnerable to snooping.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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