Box offers 50GB free storage for new users, aiming at Dropbox

Cloud storage provider Box is offering 50GB’s worth of free storage for users who sign up to its service in the next month – twisting the knife further into rival Dropbox, whose service went down over the weekend.

Dropbox hit the skids after what VP of engineering Aditya Agarwal described as a routine server upgrade, with a bug installed on active servers bringing down the show.

While Dropbox was at pains to insist that everyone’s files were safe, it’s fair to say the news will have affected the company’s reputation. And in a not coincidental move announced yesterday, Box is opening up 50GB of storage for new customers, as well as rolling out a new iPhone and iPad app.

“We’ve overhauled our app to make it super-fast, simpler to use and more immersive,” wrote David Still, Box VP mobile products in a blog post.

“The result, we believe, is the best content viewing and collaboration experience available today for your iOS device,” he added.

As CloudTech reported last month, Box snapped up content access startup dLoop for an undisclosed fee, with analysts predicting that such a move would only enhance Box’s enterprise offering. To add to this Box has also announced getonecloud.com, a play which focuses on enterprise apps in order to improve mobile productivity.

This is of particular interest given both companies have been mooted to make a more towards an IPO in 2014.

With this double move the cloud storage wars may be about to hit tipping point. Of course, each provider has a foolproof way of getting more customers if it needs them – give away free storage. Dropbox currently offers 2GB of free storage, compared to Box’s 10GB and Google’s 15GB.

But which vendor do you think will make it to flotation first?

Postscript: The Dropbox outage last week wasn’t just your usual Twitter rage-company apology routine. A group by the handle of @1775Sec, which describes itself as “#OpTrollSec for the lulz”, claimed it was the cause of Dropbox’s takedown, which was reported by some sections of the media.

Yet in a bizarre twist, the @1775Sec team didn’t even wait until Dropbox’s denial to admit they were fibbing, claiming that it was just a ruse to call out Ninja Turtle Syndrome devotees and churnalists everywhere:

This is that rarest of stories; one with a lesson for all concerned.

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