Dropbox wants to be so ubiquitous, ever present, and basic, that it replaces the hard drive.
At the company’s first ever developer’s conference, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston started with the bold assertion, “Today, the hard drive goes away.” And of course, he wasn’t talking about the growth of solid state drives as opposed to hard drives, he was talking about becoming the one place where everyone puts all of their stuff.
At the Dropbox “DBX” developers conference in San Francisco, CEO and cofounder Houston announced that the service now had 175 million users, and was taking another step towards replacing the hard drive. Dropbox has developed a platform to make its services broader and more flexible. “We want to be sure that stuff is always available, no matter if you’re on your laptop at work, a tablet on a plane, or a smartphone on the bus,” said Dropbox’s blog post about the DBX conference and the new Dropbox platform. “Keeping devices and apps synced with your most up-to-date info has gone from “nice-to-have” to essential, which creates a real challenge for the people developing apps.”
“That’s why we’ve designed the Dropbox Platform…” said Dropbox’s post. The Dropbox platform consists of Dropbox’s long-developed file synching technology for saving documents, files, and folders, and a new “Datastore” api, which allows Dropbox to save settings, to-do lists, preferences, contacts, and all sorts of data that does not necessarily come in a master file or document.
My storage need are pretty extreme, but the ability to offload even some of it would be welcome.
This is also a real threat to Apple and Microsoft, which are able to keep their prices high because of the “free” services bundled in with Apple’s hardware and Microsoft’s platforms.