It’s curious to see how social media is used to influence opinion. For me, it all started with an exasperated email from a friend who’d had her documents “cloud-napped” by Apple’s new iCloud. We’ve also seen GoogleMusic, Amazon and others offer their cloud storage solutions, putting solutions like Box.net, Dropbox.com and SugarSync on the defensive.
A colleague who is an avid iPad/iPhone user sent me an email, and then whined plaintively via a Skype call:
iCloud has swallowed up all my documents. How do I get them back?
As we’ve seen with so many other services, Google Music is just the latest example of another walled garden approach to Cloud services, where some people get access, and some people don’t. Let’s review:
- Apple iCloud – Works on Mac and PC, but only works on iOS mobile devices
- Amazon Cloud Drive – Works on Mac and PC, but only works on Android mobile devices
- Google Music – Works on Mac and PC, but only works on Android mobile devices
As you can see, the large players that are offering Cloud services to consumers are only supporting the mobile platforms that they have a vested interest in. There are several problems with this approach:
- It’s a multi-platform world – Even if you’re an Apple fan (or an Android fan), depending on where you work, your company might require you to work on a PC and carry a BlackBerry or Android device (or vice versa). So it is often the case that people have their preference of device/platform at home, but have to use something else at work. In those cases, people need a Cloud service that works across all platforms and devices.
- Sharing/collaborating – Even if you personally use Apple iOS devices or Android, what if your friends, family or co-workers do not? In order to use one Cloud service for sharing and collaboration with everyone – regardless of their devices – you need to have a service that does not exclude certain devices.
The large players are using the Cloud to lock people in to the mobile platforms that they have a vested interest in. Here atSugarSync, we believe the Cloud should set you free.
Of course, the Dropbox.com and Box.net (which recently offered 50gigs for free if you logged in via an iPad or iPhone) would argue that THEIR respective products set you free in a much more empowering way than SugarSync does…but that is their prerogative!
SugarSync has a wonderful solution that works cross-platform and works on mobile devices, although their upload speed is significantly slower than other competitors (making it difficult to upload large quantities of documents/files in a timely manner, whatever that means). In fact, I’ve often noticed this myself, making SugarSync free unusable except for small stuff (same goes for Box.net):
I always know when sugarsync is uploading files, as my web surfing slows to a stand still unitl I shutdown SS–even with the sync set at the slowest speed. As I write this, I’m using iDrive to do a backup of larger set of files than I have sugar sync backing up and there is no noticible slow down of web browsing. Never had a speed issue with Dropbox, either, but I prefer not having to stick files in one folder to sync. (Comment in SugarSync Forums)
One nice feature of SugarSync on mobile devices–like Android–is their uploading of pictures/images. I like it better than Picasa or Google+.
What do you think of this approach to social media/blogging to gain entrance to the hearts and minds of consumers?
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