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PC Makers Give Storage Startups a Boost

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On Sunday, I wrote that online back-up services are much in demand from consumers who are worried about their digital data. David Friend, CEO of Carbonite, told us that he wouldn’t be surprised that in a few years “almost every PC is going to ship with online backup built-in.” Seems like he was being super-conservative, and his vision might come to life sooner than we think, thanks to two announcements that hit the wires this week.

Dell today announced a partnership with, where it is bundling 2 GB of free storage with the newly announced Dell Netbook. Premium services will be available for upgrade at a discount. I think it is $99 a year for 25 GB of space. Earlier this week, Mozy announced a partnership with Lenovo, the Chinese company that makes and sells laptops under the ThinkPad brand. Mozy service will be bundled with the new Lenovo ThinkPad SL series laptops, and people will get 5 GB storage for free for 90 days. The next step, as David said, would be to have seamless back-up without worrying about space and dealing with software installations. Lenovo is offering unlimited online backup, so the Lenovo customer doesn’t have to worry about space issues, a Mozy spokesperson emailed and let us know. For now this unlimited online backup is going to cost $79.99 but will then go to $99 a year. 

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8 Responses to “PC Makers Give Storage Startups a Boost”

  1. PC companies sees these deals as a revenue opportunity because software companies pay to be listed on the PC. Over time however they become part of the standard offer, like AV. Software companies still pay for the privilege. The questions is the upgrade conversion.

    Certainly the biggest opportunity is small business.

  2. The bigger opportunity would be to crack the Business market -both Enterprise and SMB. I doubt it plain vanilla online backup/restore would suffice for that space. We would need QoS/SLA at premise as well as Cloud..

    Also, it will be interesting how VAR/SP fit into this mix.

  3. Completely agree David’s comment on where we’re headed, i.e.; PCs to be sold with online backup that’s seamless. I actually smell an opportunity here for Microsoft’s Live Mesh project in that regard. I think this topic also points out that whether people are ready for it or not, there’s a fundamental paradigm shift taking place right now with netbooks and cloud computing in general.

    Instead of looking at netbooks as full-featured notebook replacements, I see them more as companions to use on the run with web apps and limited client installs. The benefit to netbooks isn’t to have yet another XP system to carry around; it’s to have a browser with a usable display, keyboard and connectivity. With that kind of package, seamless online storage is a perfect complement.