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Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, noted that the biggest issues for businesses and consumers are access to storage wherever they may be, which the various cloud services are accommodating, and the time/cost on the part of a user or company to maintain and manage the data. With terabyte drives running as little as $80, the hardware cost of storage has become a much smaller issue than ever before.
She expects that the online storage competition will continue to leapfrog in storage sizes and other features. "When it comes to cloud storage," DiDio told us, "the sky's the limit."
Online storage services are attempting to avoid becoming commodities, where users only compare free/paid storage limits against price. Services are adding varieties of syncing, sharing, collaboration, presentation features and security , as well as targeting different markets.
Box, for instance, is focused on the business market, and Dropbox has largely taken the lead in the consumer space. Other cloud-based providers include Microsoft 's SkyDrive, Samsung's S-Cloud service, Apple's iCloud, and Amazon's Cloud Drive.