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RapidShare tries a fresh start with a revamped UI and new pricing

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Swiss cloud storage provider RapidShare really would like you to give it another try: RapidShare launched a revamped website and new pricing options Tuesday, positioning itself more closely as a competitor to Dropbox and other cloud storage vendors.

Can a European cloud upstart compete with established US vendors? That’s a question we are also tackling at our Structure:Europe conference this week in London.

RapidShare’s new site offers consumers 10GB of storage for free, but limits daily data transfer to 100MB. Up to 300 GB of storage are 10€ (about $13) per month, with traffic limited to 10 GB per day. 700 GB of storage and 40 GB of daily traffic cost 20€ per month. The company offers desktop integration for Windows(s msft), OS X(s aapl) and Linux, but is discontinuing support for its previously-used download manager.

RapidShare was at one point the internet’s most popular one-click hoster, used by millions to store and share files. But the company tried to curb the sharing of unlicensed files after it got repeatedly sued by rights holders.

For a while, RapidShare tried to appease the entertainment industry, offering to convert file sharers into paying customers through the launch of an entertainment store. But those plans fell through, and the shutdown of its competitor Megaupload eventually forced RapidShare to enact strict traffic limits, which effectively drove anyone interested in sharing popular files to other sites.

A press release announcing the new offering Tuesday quoted RapidShare’s new CEO Kurt Sidler, who joined the company earlier this year, with the words:

“RapidShare has been in this business for many years and has gained significant expertise. This provides us with plenty of scope for future innovations.”

One has to wonder whether RapidShare will manage to succeed with its latest attempt to reinvent itself. The company was forced to lay off the majority of its staff earlier this year after similar efforts to emphasize personal file hosting and backup solutions failed to win back customers.

4 Responses to “RapidShare tries a fresh start with a revamped UI and new pricing”

  1. i use to have premium account and was well worth up to1mbps speeds each time but now with the focus on banning piracy and all that hooha, other smaller sites have beaten rapidshare to the pulp, poor rapidshare u were good now your dead. :(

  2. Rapidshare may want to become a Dropbox but that opportunity sailed away ages ago. The company changed its policies so often I wouldn’t trust it as a long term solution for anything. They became so desperate to proactively please the RIAA and MPAA I wouldn’t assume your content (regardless if planning to share or not) is secure and private.

    RS never seemed to learn that RIAA and MPAA believe even if the “sharing” is only between the person and themselve is still piracy as any copy of a file should be a new buy as far they are concerned. By this I mean if have a copy of a music file on your computer, iPad, iPhone, thumb drive, and dropbox, you should have bought that file five times.

    So the sad reality is a successfully company committed suicide in desperate attempts to please the RIAA/MPAA who fundamentally believe the internet is inherently evil, its users are all thieves and any company (Dropbox included) that allows users to store files and share files is automatically helping the thieves. Companies that think like that can only be pleased when you go out of business.