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Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive still playing catch up, says Dropbox founder

19 Nov 2013

SAN FRANCISCO: Dropbox founder and chief executive Drew Houston has blasted Microsoft and Google, saying their storage services are copying rather than innovating.

Houston attacked the services during a question and answer session at Salesforce's Dreamforce conference, arguing that they are still battling technology and usability issues Dropbox fixed years ago.

"We've had competitors since the beginning. The problem we're solving is hard and it took us many years to build the product we have. You only discover and solve many of the problems we experience by actually building the product and collecting enough data to spot them," he said.

"You can't accelerate this process and we've had a pretty good head start on the other guys. Now thanks to our experience we can look for problems and fix them before people realise they're there."

He highlighted Dropbox's cross-platform nature as another key selling point for the service "We pay attention to what others are doing but the reason people use Dropbox over things [such as SkyDrive and Drive] is it's easy and doesn't tie you to any one platform," he said.

Salesforce Dreamforce 2013 Dropbox interview

Houston said Dropbox's unique strengths have already proven a hit with consumers and businesses alike. "We think about what's broken in the world and come up with ideas. The canvas we're painting on gets bigger and bigger," he said.

"People like what we do. Last year we had 100 million users and now we have 200 million. We've had the same with businesses. Previously we had two million businesses and that's now doubled. Today it's four million businesses."

Houston said the company is actively recruiting new skilled professionals to ensure it will retain its alleged lead on Google and Microsoft.

"At the moment I'm a full time recruiter. We're at this stage with the company where for any position we need we can think, 'Who are the five best people for this position?' and go out and get them. It's surreal to be able to get these people," he said.

The news comes just days after Dropbox unveiled a new secure business service. This followed widespread concerns about Dropbox's security. Dropbox has suffered several data breaches since launching. F-Secure web reputation service expert Christine Bejerasco listed Dropbox's track record of poor security as a key factor fuelling developments in the black hat hacker community.

Box founder Aaron Levie attacked Dropbox during an interview with V3 earlier this year, claiming its lack of understanding about what enterprise needs makes it unsuited for professional use.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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