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Amazon Cloud Drive updates for Windows and Apple desktop

Playing catch-up in competitive cloud market

After a wave of cloud storage announcements, Amazon has updated its Cloud Drive system with a desktop access application for Windows and Apple systems.

Amazon launched its Cloud Drive service a year ago, and it gives users a basic 5GB of storage for music in MP3 or AAC formats, as well as photos, documents, and videos that can be accessed via a web browser. Amazon has now got around to releasing a desktop application for Windows 7 and Vista, with Mac OS 10.6 and above, but it’s a fairly basic affair.

There's nothing in the way of automatic synchronization with local folders, for example, and you can't share files, either. Users can pay extra to bump up their storage allowance, starting at 20GB for $20 a year, with music you buy from Amazon not counting towards your storage allowance.

When put against Google Drive (when it works) or Microsoft and Dropbox's offering it's clear Amazon has some way to go on this one. As El Reg pointed out at Cloud Drive's launch, Amazon doesn't seem quite clear on what it's doing with the product, other than playing catch-up with the companion.

With Apple, Microsoft, and Google all staking out their turf on the cloud storage front, Amazon needs to stay relevant if it's to get the kind of user base it needs to make Cloud Drive an effective driver of business. Based on this code, it needs a lot more development work. ®

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