Welcome to Printing Industry News Digest (PIND) issue 98, providing a summary of major news items from the printing, publishing, packaging, digital, and communications technology sectors. PIND incorporates brief summaries and links to the week’s key news stories so that you can look up that all important detail, digging deeper behind the headline.
Drupa is obviously very much on our minds right now, with everything due to kick-off this next week of course, and a good number of players have been revealing their hand during the last few days. Check out PrintWeek’s Drupa newspage, and also get yourself signed up for their Drupa news bulletin too (see same page to action!).
Mr Murdoch has made his forecast: newspapers will be gone in 20 years. Most industry opinion says this is optimistic, but then Murdoch has spent a shed load of cash on UK printing presses – he just wants to get value for money. Johnston Press, meanwhile, posts a £144 million loss. The Guardian checks out progress with the New York Times paywall.
It’s been one big week for cloud storage! Google Drive has arrived, whilst Microsoft’s Skydrive has received one great big update (at last!). Add in timely upgrades for both Dropbox and Box and you have one very different picture to the way cloud storage looked this time last week.
Microsoft took its (very) big step forward first. With the arrival of a desktop app, Skydrive takes on a much more user-friendly format. If you were keen enough to have signed up for the product prior to this update, your 25Gb of storage will still be there (though you need to re-claim it). If you use more than 4Gb of space already, your storage will be automatically upgraded. For new kids on the block, you are going to start with 7Gb. Buying more space appears to be very cost effective (comparisons here). This greatly improved Skydrive package includes completely reworked iPhone and iPad apps – Android to follow they say.
All of this, you might suspect, was timed to steal some of Google’s thunder. We think it did. However, Google Drive became available, and we duly signed up. You can have 5Gb of space, which research suggests is probably enough for the vast majority of users. Again more space can be purchased. If you are using Google Docs, any regular files that you have stored will be automatically moved over to your Drive account.
Those long-standing cloud storage favourites have spent the week waving their flag and adding extra bits of functionality, just so as you don’t forget them! Dropbox says it is spreading its auto photo storage facility to the wider world, having launched it as a Beta product for Android users. This, we are told, could provide you with an extra 3Gb of storage. Worth having! Dropbox has also seriously tweaked its share facility, making it easier for users to collaborate on documents.
Box, meanwhile, takes a slightly different approach with the extension of the in-app capabilities of OneCloud. Considered by some as an essential tool for iOS. If you are new to Box you can sign up for a 5Gb chunk of space here too. Box space, in our experience, has grown significantly through various deals and offers (and no purchases), and we are now up to 50Gb. OK, we have used it quite a bit: great for sharing large picture files; so I guess the growth in free space is as a result of our consistent use of the product.
We appear to be ignoring iCloud and SugarSync: not at all. It’s just that they don’t appear to have made any great response to all of the above moves this week. Both will also give you 5Gb for free, by the way. See this useful table for a guide regarding costs of adding more space. A good tip here for sending files to your chosen service.
What does all of this mean? Lots of options for starters! What are you going to do with all of that free cloud space though? [NOTE: not extra space; the cloud files in both Google Drive and the new Skydrive are replicated on your hard drive - what you are gaining is flexibility!] Most appealing is surely (for the small to medium sized user) to make one of these services your regular “hard-drive”. Why not store the majority of your work files in the cloud? Access, add to and edit the very same document from your main PC, your laptop, your phone or your tablet – sounds great. Even for larger businesses, the ability to share large amounts of project files to a significant number of collaborators has to be very useable. Do plenty of testing first to make sure that things will work for you: applications being the main stumbling block. Skydrive possibly has the edge here, with cloud based versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint there for your free use. Google Drive is not far behind, however, as it has already conquered many of these issues in Google Docs.
Finally, do keep checking back to see what will be featured in our next edition, PIND 99. For an RSS feed of PIND, copy this link into your feed reader; and click here for the GenesisNews #Print Daily – you can even take out a free subscription for this daily news update on print, publishing, packaging and associated technology!
Issue 96: The role of print in communications
Issue 95: Ryobi/Miyakoshi B2 digital
Issue 94: DM Screening and Morgana