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Amazon goes head to head with Dropbox in Zocalo launch

Amazon has announced the launch of Zocalo, its enterprise storage and sharing service that looks set to take on the likes of Dropbox, Box and Google Drive.

Zocalo, which is named after the Spanish word for "plaza," will provide "strong administrative controls and feedback capabilities that improve user productivity," the company claimed.

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The service will allow users to store, share and receive feedback on their files through a central hub.

In a statement (opens in new tab), the firm stated that rival storage products had become "overly complex and expensive" for individual users and businesses.

The firm also stressed the security credentials of the new service, with all files encrypted in transit and at rest, and administrators able to specify how data is shared both internally and externally.

Amazon is initially offering 200GB of storage for $5 a month, but users will be able to trial the service for 30 days free of charge for up to 50 people. Those wishing for increased storage will have to pay a sliding price scale.

Amazon WorkSpaces customers will also receive Zocalo for free with 50GB of storage per user.

"With Amazon Zocalo there is no hardware to purchase and maintain and no software to deploy," the company confirmed. "Administrators simply enable the service for their organisation and invite users."

Noah Eisner, general manager of Zocalo at Amazon Web Services (AWS) said that there was a real need for the new platform.

"AWS was increasingly being asked to provide an enterprise storage and sharing tool that was easy to use, allowed users to quickly collaborate with others, and met the strict security needs of their organisations. That's what Amazon Zocalo was built to do."

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Amazon Zocalo is currently only available as a limited preview, but the service is due for release shortly with multi-platform support on Android and iOS devices, alongside the firm's own Fire range.

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Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.