Meow! The claws come out in Box and Microsoft fight over cloud

Cloud SaaS

by Joe Curtis| 29 April 2014

The sniping made us miss Larry Ellison - nothing’s managed that before.

Enterprise cloud storage firm Box has hit back at Microsoft after the tech giant launched a thinly veiled attack on the startup's offering.

In a blog post titled 'Thinking outside the box', Microsoft Office VP John Case yesterday said customers should avoid buying cloud solutions that fail to supply a full repertoire of virtualised services, hinting that storage firms like Box and Dropbox don't cut the mustard.

Case signed off by writing: "The cloud is about breaking down walls between people and information. Not building a new set of islands in the sky."

Box CEO Aaron Levie replied last night with a post of his own, accusing Microsoft of "stranding hundreds of millions of users and customers" by keeping Office 365 on its storage service OneDrive.

He added: "By releasing Office on the iPad without the ability to view or edit documents from any cloud service other than their own, they're making it harder - not easier - for users to get the most out of their software."

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has spoken about the new, open Microsoft, and the introduction of Office for iPad has been interpreted as an attempt to become less reliant on its traditional Windows and Office customer base.

Its latest updates to OneDrive show the company is also going after the cloud customers of enterprise storage rivals, with Microsoft increasing business user storage 40-fold from 25GB to 1TB.

It also announced that all existing Office 365 ProPlus customers will benefit from 1TB of OpenDrive storage as part of their ProPlus subscription as it tries to become the one-stop shop for all things cloud.

The news comes after a study from cloud services provider Adapt suggested that more cloud companies will offer joint services to reduce the headache for customers picking and choosing multiple separate solutions.

However, Box has also updated its own offering recently with a view to expanding the services it provides.

The company, which filed for a $250m IPO late last month, has released Box View and Metadata, updates that enable developers and business customers to build apps for the "information economy", as well as introducing platform pricing for companies wishing to build on Box's APIs.

Levie claimed that more than 35,000 developers are currently building on the Box platform, while use of third-party apps has increased 292% over the last year.

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