It looks like cloud storage provider Box wants to take the fight to companies like Microsoft and Google. Today the company announced the launch of Box Drive, putting it a better position to compete with other services like OneDrive and Google Drive. If you’re familiar with either of those, then you already have a good understanding of what Box Drive will do.
First and foremost, it’s worth pointing out that Box views Box Drive as a cloud solution primarily for enterprise customers who are still using traditional file share methods. Box Drive, in other words, wants you to replace your old shared drive by moving that storage to the cloud.
Obviously, those who are still on network files shares – which Box calls “legacy infrastructure” – probably aren’t all too familiar with the cloud, so as a result, Box is attempting to make the transition as smooth as possible. Similar to services like OneDrive, Box Drive will add a file system to Windows Manager or Mac Finder, giving you easy access to your files from your desktop.
Of course, Box Drive has a fairly major advantage over physical shared servers, in that any edits or new documents you create will be instantly visible to other people with access to your company’s cloud. Box says that a subscription to Box Drive could help cut costs significantly when compared to the maintenance required for hardware servers. It can also help prevent against having your documents fall into the wrong hands, since having hardware stolen doesn’t automatically compromise your security.
Box Drive is rolling out today in a public beta. It’ll be free for everyone who is currently subscribed to Box, so if you’ve got an enterprise or business plan, you can give it a spin without paying any more than you already are. There’s no word on if Box Drive will cost extra once it enters full launch, but it’s hard to imagine that Box would want to risk making customers angry by launching for free and then implementing a monthly cost later.