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Amazon leads storage wars with unlimited offering

Amazon has decided that storage limits are a thing of the past as (opens in new tab) it removes all barriers to file storage in the cloud. It brings the word utility to a new level in the storage wars.

It seems likely that smaller competitors may baulk at being able to offer similar solutions expecially at the price that Amazon are offering. There are two plans, unlimited photo’s that is $11.99 per year, and $59.99 for store anything.

One assumes the price difference is because Amazon believes that they can compress the photo data down by a factor of at least six to one. Only the larger competitors will be able to comply with this deal and it would seem likely that Microsoft and Google will follow with their own announcement.

Just to tempt new users in Amazon are also offering the first three months for free.

Josh Petersen, Director of Amazon Cloud Drive “Most people have a lifetime of birthdays, vacations, holidays, and everyday moments stored across numerous devices. And, they don’t know how many gigabytes of storage they need to back all of them up,” … “With the two new plans we are introducing today, customers don’t need to worry about storage space—they now have an affordable, secure solution to store unlimited amounts of photos, videos, movies, music, and files in one convenient place.”

In comparison OneDrive offers 200 GB for $3.99 a month, although for only $6.99 one gets 1TB plus access to Office365. For iCloud $19.99 per month buys 1TB, Google offer 1TB for $9.99 but for those few people needing 30TB the price is $299.99, anyone paying that fee is likely to change quickly, though moving data between storage providers might take a little while with that amount of data.

While these are consumer pricing, what is delivered to consumers is likely to follow for business. What will become clear is that the file storage volumes will no longer be what people are looking for, it will be expected, instead companies that can offer something different for your money are likely to win the battle ahead.

This may be the catalyst for all out war in the file storage space, certainly Dropbox whose hold on the consumer/SME marketplace is quite string may find it difficult to remain competitive unless they quickly add features that people are willing to pay extra for otherwise their business model might be in danger.

For companies like Box and Egnyte who have concentrated on developing features for businesses, as long as these extra features can be charged for might weather the storm ahead.

One would expect that Google, Microsoft and Apple (possibly) will look to change their pricing models quickly.

The interesting thing to know would be how many customers actually have more than 1TB stored in the cloud, it may be that Amazon believes most of their paid for accounts store far less than this and they therefore believe there is little risk in offering the pricing at this level.