Dropbox to allow users to mix business with pleasure

Business users of the cloud storage company will be able to integrate their work and personal accounts.

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston Richard Nieva/CNET
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cloud storage company Dropbox on Wednesday announced a rebuild of Dropbox for Business, giving business users the ability to toggle between personal and work accounts.

"Some people think there's a consumer version of Dropbox, and there's this different enterprise version of Dropbox, and we think that's ridiculous," said CEO Drew Houston, at a press event here.

With the new version of the product -- which will launch fully early next year -- notifications are labeled either "personal," or with the name of the company. IT administrators can control different elements of the work account, including whether or not users can have access to it on personal devices, and with whom they can share work files.

There are other checks to the product as well. For example, when a photo is added from the Camera Upload feature, it automatically goes to the personal account. And if an employee leaves a company, an IT administrator can remote wipe his account, or transfer the files to another employee.

Houston said that more than 4 million businesses already use Dropbox, including Kayak, National Geographic, and BCBG. He also said 97 percent of the Fortune 500 are using the service. Houston spewed off a few stats about the company's health as well: more than 200 million users and more than a billion files saved a day.

The cloud storage space has been an unlikely category to heat up of late. Last week, Reuters reported that Dropbox's closest competitor, the enterprise storage company Box, had chosen three investment banks to lead it through a 2014 IPO.

Dropbox also has been expanding outside of business. The news comes a week after the company acquired the startup Sold, which it now plans to shut down. Sold aimed to make it easier for people to sell items online, automating the process of setting a price and handling selling, shipping, and payment.

 

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