Amazon has introduced a desktop application for Cloud Drive, its consumer data-storage service, to better rival the recently launched Google Drive and other cloud storage services.
The new desktop application for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.6 and 10.7 allows people to drag and drop files as if they are transferring files to a local hard drive.
Cloud Drive, which launched last year, gives people tiered levels, starting with 5 gigabytes of free storage, or enough to hold about 1000 songs or 2000 photos. Services are then available for US$20 to US$100 per year, depending on disk space, maxing out at 1000 gigabytes.
Up to eight devices can access the service, and music files purchased and stored by Amazon don't count towards a gigabyte limit.
Amazon Cloud Drive's desktop app makes photo storage better integrated with a PC or Mac.
Google last week launched Google Drive, a similar service for storing and sharing files online, which also offers 5GB of free capacity — which is cheaper than the popular service Dropbox. With the desktop application, Amazon's service makes Cloud Drive a bit easier to use, and better integrated with a computer than its browser-based version.
Amazon Cloud Drive for consumers complements Amazon Web Services (AWS), its pay-by-the-drink cloud computing and storage services for developers.