Amazon Spiffs Up Cloud Drive Storage With New Desktop App

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-05-03 Print this article Print

Instead of having to go to the Cloud Drive Website each time, users simply click on a desktop icon to access all their stored files in the Amazon cloud.

Amazon, which made available one of the first enterprise cloud storage services nearly seven years ago but was late providing one for consumers, on May 3 updated its year-old, consumer-oriented Cloud Drive storage service with a new, freely available desktop application for both Mac OS and Windows.

Now, instead of having to go to the Cloud Drive Website each time, users simply click on a desktop icon to access all their stored files in the Amazon cloud€”one of the largest and most-utilized storage bins in the world. The new client works with Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS 10.6 and above.

Since the Cloud Drive launch in 2011, Amazon has given subscribers the standard free 5GB of storage for most commonly used file formats, such as videos, photos, documents, and music in MP3 or ACC (Apple iTunes) that can be accessed with a browser. That 5GB is still the freebie policy.

However, as also is standard with most similar services, users can pay more to increase their storage capacity. For Amazon Cloud Drive, the premium services begin at 20GB for $20/year and go up. By the way, any music bought from Amazon doesn't count toward a user's storage limit.

Unlike more advanced cloud storage subscription packages, Cloud Drive doesn't offer automatic synchronization with folders on a local laptop or other PC or file sharing with other Cloud Drive users. Those are features that can come in quite handy at times, as many users are finding out.

For example, Google Drive€”launched earlier this week€”Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, Box and SugarSync are all popular services that offer a list of other applications. It remains to be seen whether Amazon will eventually add collaboration, workflow, file-sharing or other apps to Cloud Drive.

For your reference, here is a listing of 15 popular cloud storage services.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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