June 15, 2009, 4:40 PM — Not only have more online “cloud based” services appeared lately, many of doing well enough to continue to improve with new versions on a regular basis. That's the news today from Acrobat.com from Adobe and Box.net.
Let's take a look at Box.net first, since their news appeared a couple of weeks ago. Although started as an online storage “box” for users to leave files, Box.net has grown up to be a collaboration workspace with some workflow tools and custom branding (for a few extra bucks).
In fact, this past year, Box.net introduced a new interface, some social elements, full text search, and a wiki-like feature for creating content within the Box.net workspace. It appears better branding, tasks, and also global folders are just continuing a series of regular improvements.
You can try the service for free for a limited time, and there's a personal version available for no monthly fee. Expanded features and more storage space, of course, costs a few dollars per user per month. But the prices are far lower than buying a fully featured file server, and make great sense for distributed companies with employees and partners scattered across the Internet.
As you may have read here on ITworld already, Adobe's Acrobat.com Collaboration Services Emerge from Beta today. Want to write, connect, create PDFs, share files, or store files online for free? Acrobat.com offers one option, and it's a pretty good option. Even better, they offer over 5GBs of file storage space for free. More features, including more Web meetings with ConnectNow and more PDF file conversions are the lure for paying a few dollars per user per month.
The days are long past where you could run your entire small business online, depending on how much extra effort you put in to keep things in the cloud. Improvements like those from Box.net and Acrobat.com mean you can run more things online with less hassle. More features and less hassle are great goals for any sized business.