First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

Dropbox to Come Preloaded on HP, Acer PCs

The deals follow a similar one reached earlier this year with Dell, and come as the embattled PC market continues to stabilize.

cloud storage

Dropbox officials early next year will start expanding the reach of their cloud-storage solution after reaching deals with Hewlett-Packard and Acer to have their technology preloaded on the OEMs' PCs.

The company announced this week that Dropbox already is coming preloaded on some newer tablets from the device makers, and that it will come preinstalled on the PCs in early 2015, according to Tom Hsieh, head of strategic partnerships at Dropbox.

"One of the best things about Dropbox is that you can use it on almost any device, or even switch between devices without missing a beat," Hsieh wrote in a post on the company blog. "That's why we've partnered with Acer and HP—to help make Dropbox instantly available on even more PCs and tablets, where you can access, collaborate, and share your stuff."

The company has made its mark on mobile devices, including tablets and in the consumer space. However, officials have been pushing into the corporate world—particularly given the rise in mobile and remote workers and the trend toward bring-your-own-device (BYOD)—and expanding into new systems. In January, Dropbox entered into a deal with Dell to preinstall Dropbox for Business on several Dell laptops and Venue tablets, which enables employees to access work files and data wherever they are and on any device.

In addition, Dell integrated Dropbox for Business into its Data Protection Cloud for large enterprises.

The push into PCs comes at a good time, as global sales appear to be stabilizing, following sharp declines since 2011. Industry observers said Microsoft's decision to end support of Windows XP in April helped drive new commercial PC sales, as has the need to refresh aging fleets of systems and attractive and affordable new form factors.

Acer, HP and Dell over the past several years have pushed to broaden their product portfolios to reduce their reliance on the PC market, though they are finding that PCs are still viable industries. Dell officials Oct. 29 boasted about share gains the company has made in the PC market, while Acer executives are saying clients are still a foundation of their business. HP over the next year is splitting in two, with one of the new companies focusing on PC and printer sales.

Dropbox's Hsieh noted that the company is offering special promotions on particular HP and Acer systems that will include 8GB (on Acer PCs) and 23GB (on HP clients) of storage space for six months above the 2GB in basic Dropbox accounts. He also said his company is talking with other companies to bring Dropbox to other devices.