Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

SugarSync moves us closer to cloud nirvana

I’ve written a lot about online/offline access and a couple of things have happened of late that has really pushed that concept forward quite a bit. There was the obvious move from Google to announce offline access for Docs and I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on that.

However, in the meantime I’ve fallen in love with a product called SugarSync. Quite simply, Microsoft needs to buy this company and built it into the OS and they need to do it yesterday.

For those who have not seen SugarSync, it does what I’ve been pleading for, for years. It sits in the background and automatically synchs your folder on your PC with a virtual drive in the cloud. Not only that it can sync that virtual drive with multiple PCs. I now have my work PC, home PC and laptop PC with near identical folders, plus an online drive just in case I’m at any other PC. I can now get any file that I’ve been working on – no matter where I am and if I’m using one of my personal computers I get the speed and performance of desktop access.

If I had of had this product 2 years ago before I started migrating all my apps to SaaS services I may not have gone down the Google Apps path. Access of files from multiple PCs was my biggest pain-point. Now, I’m hooked on the collaboration aspect as well but if I was Microsoft I’d be buying SugarSync and I’d have bought them yesterday. This kind of functionality should have been at the core of Vista. Not only would it represent a major leap forward in Web-enabling the Windows operating system but, as mentioned, it makes all of Microsoft’s desktop apps work in the cloud.

All Microsoft would then need to do is build collaboration-features directly into its productivity suite and you really would combine the benefits of offline and online.  Office with SugarSync and P2P live collaboration functionality would be a major step forward and would be infinitely more compelling than a revamp of the user-interface like we got in the last version. (Sugarsync also works with mobile devices and Macs btw)

Anyway, back to SugarSync. These guys have just cut their pricing plans in half and now you can get a 10Gb annual subscription for $US25. It’s just a no-brainer if you use multiple computers. My only feedback for Gibu and and the team is you really need to introduce a business plan. I need a ten-user license to roll this out across my team and then I don’t need to worry about backup issues anymore.

And of course the killer feature for small  businesses would be the ability to share folders between team members. I’m a bit surprised this wasn’t a part of the service from launch as it wouldn’t seem that difficult to implement given the syncing nature of the product so I hope its on the roadmap!

Filed under: AJAX Challenge, ,

6 Responses

  1. Mike Torres says:

    Microsoft (we) did buy FolderShare not too long ago and have just released a new version of it. It has a lot of the same features (and is completely free) although SugarSync does some stuff FS doesn’t and vice versa. Either way, I can’t live without FolderShare:

    http://www.foldershare.com

  2. Ilan says:

    I agree, this is a fantastic product ! especially for those moving from Windows to Apple. Just hope Microsoft will NOT buy this company !

  3. Gibu Thomas says:

    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for the nice write up. Collaboration features and group plans are both on our short-term list of things.

    Mike, I think Foldershare is a great product if all you care about is replicating files from point A to point B and you can’t beat free. But, to be fair, if you also like your sync product to do integrated online backup, offer easy remote access thru any web browser with a nice interface, optional mobile access and sharing, syncing without leaving both computers online at the same time (increasingly important in a laptop world), on-demand synchronization without needing permanent replication (Lite Sync) of files on all computers (an important use case in a Macbook Air/UMPC world), all for a super-affordable price, there isn’t much comparison between the two.

    Obviously, don’t take this the wrong way. My intention is to educate people about the differences between the two products, so they can make the choice that’s best for them. So, try SugarSync. You might change your mind about which product you couldn’t live without. And if you like what you see, come work for us! Microsoft has plenty of developers so they won’t miss losing one more, plus it’s a lot more fun to change the world when you are at a startup;)

    Cheers,

    Gibu

  4. Phil Sim says:

    Mike,

    I refuse to leave my computers on when they’re not being used on an environmental basis and it’s something we enforce pretty heavily at MediaConnect as well.

    Plus, I note on your blog you’re discussing the relative merits of Carbonite and Mozy. As I’ve mentioned Sugarsync gives you backup plus PC synching

  5. Sp says:

    Great Post. Congratulations.
    I liked Sugarsync very much and I am giving it a try.

    I also liked these related applications, if not similar somehow related:

    http://www.allmydata.com
    – mediamax.com
    – idrive.com
    – adrive.com

    Sp

  6. adam says:

    Phil, have you tried Windows Live Mesh?

    I’ve got one last invite if you’re not signed up.

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