Today I am letting some steam out. Cloud storage is great, but sometimes it frustrates the hell out of me. There are many cloud storage services on the market today. Just to name a few there’s Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, SugarSync, Box and iCloud. There is no shortage of such services on the Net, even though some of them never was any popular and got shut down. You’ve probably read some articles discussing how to use these services safely. Most of these focus on how to safely share files. I’m not going to discuss that. Instead I have a broader focus. I’m focusing on what happens when you move through several of these services by just accepting what various devices presents to you.
It appears that more and more devices come bundled with cloud storage services. For instance, when I bought my personal Lenovo laptop it came bundled with SugarSync. I’ve seen several PC manufacturers bundle their own storage solutions, like Asus for instance. My Samsung tablet seems meant to be used with either Samsung’s own storage service or Dropbox – even though Google Drive seems more proper since it is based on Android. Likewise, Apple’s devices seems meant to be used with iCloud and Microsoft’s devices and computers seems to be used with the OneDrive service. This just my observation, you freely mix and match services on the devices if you choose to.
My gripe with cloud storage services is that I see how much non tech savvy people struggles using them properly. It seems that when they get themselves new devices, they happily accept whatever pop up and goes along with it. When the original device is powered off for the last time they completely forget what kind of services it is set up with. This leaves potential valuable content in a digital graveyard soon to be forgotten completely. I wonder how much data is out “there” that people just has forgotten existed? What’s even worse is when a storage service is so tightly integrated on a device that the users doesn’t know their stash is stored in the cloud in the first place.
From a marketing perspective I see that the various storage services offers cool services to outbid each other. For a long time space was the thing. Then “they” started to bundle integration’s and productivity suites into their products (like Word and Excel clones). After that they started to bundle benefits to their services in physical products. Like Windows Phone now is being offering with a free one year subscription of Office365 and extended storage space on OneDrive. Imagine that you have been using service X for years and you have just bought yourself a Windows Phone. You register for an Outlook.com account which is linked to the Office365 subscription you were promised. You now got a complete office suite at hand and a massive storage space. Imagine you have fallen in love with it. Should you transfer all content from service X and settle down? If yes, is it possible? Do you have to pull everything down locally and upload it manually to the new service? For most users this isn’t possible. Transitioning between services seems like a complicated task. As far as I have seen there’s no easy solution for this. I can only speculate in ways to transfer the data.
Okay. That was me letting out some steam.