Dropbox’s Project Infinite picks up the placeholders Microsoft dropped

Microsoft has a habit of innovating a technology, dropping the ball, and having competitors come in with a better implementation and stealing the market.

The latest iteration of that saga is Dropbox, who has just announced Project Infinite – a way to seamlessly access terabytes of storage on your small SSD.

With Project Infinite Dropbox will be display all your files in your cloud storage as if they are present on your hard drive but only actually download the files which you choose by double clicking them. Files which you choose not to download locally take up virtually zero space on your hard drive, with 10 TB of cloud storage only taking up 28 MB of placeholder space.

Project Infinite promises:

  • Visibility in context. Every file you’ve been given access to—even ones that aren’t stored locally—will appear in Windows File Explorer and Mac OS X Finder. You can quickly drill down through folders to find what you need, without the lag of a network drive or the inconvenience of a web app. Plus, you can view key info like file size, and creation and modification dates through your desktop file system, no downloading required.
  • Real-time access. Files and folders stored in the cloud can be organized with familiar drag-and-drop simplicity, right from the desktop. And when you need to open something from the cloud, just double-click it like any other file. Dropbox will automatically sync and open the file for you.
  • Universal compatibility. For IT teams, Project Infinite works the way your teams work, supporting cross-platform access and backwards-compatibility on any computer running Windows 7 or higher, or Mac OS X 10.9 and up. IT teams can bring the power of Project Infinite to the systems they manage and you can share and collaborate with ease.

“We’re addressing a major issue our users have asked us to solve,” Dropbox’s Genevieve Sheehan explains in the Dropbox Business Blog. “The amount of information being created and shared has exploded, but most people still work on devices with limited storage capacity. While teams can store terabyte upon terabyte in the cloud, most individuals’ laptops can only store a small fraction of that. Getting secure access to all the team’s data usually means jumping over to a web browser, a clunky user experience at best.”

Project Infinite is still in testing but should roll out to all Dropbox users in the future.

Dropbox offers 2 GB of free storage, 1 TB for $9.99 per month and unlimited storage for $15 per month.

Microsoft is rumoured to be looking at returning placeholders, but so far we have not heard much more regarding this effort. With the return of this much desired feature, albeit from another source, are any of our readers considering switching? Let us know below.

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