Dropbox, the Cloud storage provider, has a vision of a world where users can enjoy infinite desktop storage space – files will appear on your desktop, ostensibly, but they won’t actually take up any space on your PC or Mac. Rather, they’ll be stored in the cloud and yet you’ll still have access to them and the ability to share them with others.
They unveiled this dream in April at the Open Conference, which they held in London. The new cloud storage strategy that they are working on is currently named Project Infinite, and the goal is to put together a new Dropbox user interface that will allow end users to brows the files they have stored in the cloud, and use their operating system’s File Explorer feature just as they normally would, but without the user having to keep a local copy of each of the documents that they have stored in the cloud. They’ll still be able to work with everything, but they won’t need space to do so.
Currently, if a user wants to see the files that they have in their Dropbox, then they’ll have to download them. That’s the way it’s been for seven and a half years, and Dropbox feels that this is a rather outdated way of doing things, and something that they need to change.
The idea behind Project Infinite is that users won’t need to worry about where files are – they simply save the files and let Dropbox handle the syncing and storage. There hasn’t been a lot of information revealed about the project yet – not how long it will take to be rolled out to end users, or whether it will be a premium feature or something that everyone can enjoy.
Right now, it’s all just a cool and interesting tech demo – but it is something that shows that Dropbox as a company are looking for ways to innovate and improve their service, and that alone is interesting, and something that prospective premium customers and enterprise users will appreciate.
Dropbox have a huge user base of commercial customers today, and they are doing a lot to cater to those customers. They recently announced their new API for File Properties, which allows users to apply custom metadata to files that are stored in Dropbox using a third party tool – this will be helpful for data migration applications, and for digital loss prevention services, and it should remove one of the biggest barriers to adoption for enterprise users.
Cloud storage is a hot topic. For home users, it’s a very useful thing, but for enterprise users there are questions surrounding reliability, offline access, data protection and more.
Bit by bit, Dropbox are working to remove those questions and put the minds of enterprise users to rest. Project Infinite could revolutionize the way that we work, and finally change how we think about data storage.