Dropbox is quickly turning into a Silicon Valley success story of epic proportions. In January 2010, the cloud-based file syncing and sharing service had attracted 4 million fans, an impressive number for a startup that, at the time, was less than three years old. And now? Dropbox today announced that more than 25 million people are using the service to save more than 200 million files every day.
Microsoft introduced its cloud-based productivity suite, Office 365, in limited beta last year, giving small businesses access to always up-to-date versions of Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Lync Online from remote locations. According to Microsoft, the private beta was such a hit that the Redmond software company decided to open it up to the public, expanding Office 365 availability to millions more people in nearly twice as many countries and languages.
If you think that you need access to yet another cloud storage solution like you need another hole in your head, let us tell you: You need another hole in your head. Making it’s debut last week, Amazon Cloud Drive is the latest service offering to take care of your cloud-based storage needs. Giving all users five GBs of free storage space very agreeable music streaming capabilities, Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Cloud Player services may be the cloud computing solution you’ve been waiting for. To help get your Amazon cloud storage empire off on the right foot, we’ve put together a collection of ten of the best tips and tricks we’ve uncovered for the fledgling service.
Open-source stalwart Red Hat has announced an expanded partnership with Fujitsu to extend their collaboration to the cloud. These two have been partners for a long time, so it really shouldn't come as a shock that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is now available as a guest operating system on Fujitsu's "On-Demand Virtual System Service" public cloud.
Google has had some pretty remarkable new technologies emerge from 20 percent side projects, but few match the promise of Pubsubhubbub. If you haven’t heard of it before don’t feel bad, its adoption is even worse than the RSS standard it seeks to replace. The elevator speech for Pubsubhubbub is pretty simple, it’s RSS, only in real time. This is a huge improvement over the current system which periodically polls the content servers to look for changes which waste both time and bandwidth. Think of it as push notifications for your favorite websites.
The creators of Pubsubhubbub Brad Fitzpatrick and Brett Slakin haven’t gained much traction as of yet, but the two have already moved on to a more ambitious project codenamed “Camlistore”. As with anything Google engineers touch, Camlistore is actually a code name for “Content-Addressable Multi-layer Indexed Storage”. Put in plain English Camlistore is described as a new way to store, sync, share, and back up content. The team doesn’t compare itself to Dropbox or MySQL, though they admit it could be adapted in the future to provide similar functionality.
The open source project is still in its infancy at this point, but I for one am pleased to see Googler’s embracing a cloud computing strategy that embraces both online and local storage. Dropbox has proven that a happy medium can exist between the two, which makes us optimistic for the future of Camlistore.
Head on over to camlistore.org if you want to learn more or sign up to help the developers.
IBM is taking the American attitude of 'Go big or go home' over to China where it plans to open Asia's largest cloud computing data center, the company announced on Tuesday.
"The data center offers the world-class infrastructure capabilities and advanced network based services to support the business growth of our clients," said Madam Zhou Chaonan, Chairman, Range Technology Development Co., Ltd., which is collaborating with IBM on the project. "This initiative plays a critical role in the economic development of China in light of the pressing demand for managed hosting in the areas of cloud computing and mobile devices."
IBM says the new data center will take up more than 620,000 square meters (about 6.1 million square feet) and will be built to IBM specifications and international green building standards. It will offer services like data backup, disaster recovery, and server leases.
While it can be difficult to reconcile yourself with the reprehensible acts of violence that gadgets are being subjected to these days by eyeball-desperate Youtubers, there are times when such antics leave behind a lot more than just hugely popular videos and the fragmented remains of these devices. A case in point is the pulverization of the maiden Chrome OS device, the Google Cr-48, by the guys over at Will it Blend? -- a blender-happy outfit that likes to grind to pulp or dust pretty much everything they can lay their hands on.
Upon receiving their Cr-48 from Google, they asked themselves the question that drives their very existence: “Will it blend?” The Cr-48 was quickly squeezed into one of their trusted blenders and reduced to smoking dust in a few seconds.
In the video, the blender operator expresses happiness over the fact that his information is still secure in the cloud. But he leaves us with a thought provoking question: “I wonder where the cloud is?” I believe this is one question that a lot of us have been asking ourselves, haven’t we?
Instead, the company has restricted the Intel Atom-based device to Google employees and those accepted into the Chrome OS Pilot Program, implying that the Cr-48 is just a pilot device. According to the internet titan, Chrome OS is still not a finished product and that user feedback is needed to lend finishing touches to the software.
“Some of the features of Chrome OS require new hardware, but we didn’t want to sell pre-beta computers. Instead we’re launching a pilot program where we will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses. We're starting with the U.S. and will expand to other countries once we get the necessary certifications,” the Google Chrome team said in a blog post.
The Cr-48 features a 12.1-inch screen, integrated 3G from Verizon, Wi-Fi, and a full-sized keyboard and touch pad. The pilot program will also include 100MB of free data per day for two years, with the option of additional data through paid plans starting at $9.99. The pilot program is currently only restricted to applicants from the United States, but will gradually be expanded to other countries.
According to Taiwanese site Digitimes, the Cr-48 is being manufactured by Inventec, which has already shipped 60,000 units of the device to Google. The first mass market Chrome OS devices will be available in the first half of next year.
The first crop of Chrome OS-based netbooks is expected to arrive this month, though there has been no official confirmation. However, a little known France-based cloud OS startup named Jolicloud could very well steal a march on Google with a netbook running its eponymous cloud-centric operating system.
The company has confirmed that the first Jolicloud-powered computer is on course for a November, 2010 debut. Called Jolibook, the netbook features a dual core Atom N550 processor and 250GB hard drive storage, and comes preloaded with “Chromium, Facebook, Spotify, VLC, Skype, and a bunch of cool apps that are one click away.” With the launch just round the corner, Jolicloud won’t be able to hide the remaining details for too long. We will keep you posted.
Microsoft is taking another step into the cloud with the new hosted version of Office, Office 365 is going to be aimed at businesses and may be had for as little as $6 per user per month for small businesses. However, that low rate only includes the hosted version of Word. Microsoft beta tested this service with several thousand users, and will be making it available to all early next year.
The cost might be an issue with Google offering their Google Docs service to businesses for $50 per user per year. Large businesses are looking at as much as $27 per month for access to the whole office suite. Microsoft will have to compete on features to keep users. Though, the profits on hosting software for subscription are likely to be higher anyway.