Microsoft Opens SkyBox
On Monday, a site at Microsoft was briefly up, pulled down, and changed to a teaser offering of an online backup service for mobile phones. According to Engadget, the service will offer up to 200 MB for transferring contacts, appointments, tasks, photos, videos, music, text messages, and documents for Windows Mobile 6 phones and is “free at this time.” The page now labels the brand as “My Phone,” although the URL is www.getskybox.com, perhaps a tip of the hat to Sequoia backed DropBox (or was that Dropboks?).
The offering appears to be a direct challenge to Apple’s MobileMe service for synchronizing iPhones and iPod Touch devices to Macs and PCs, which offers 20 GB of storage for $99 / year.
Today there is a trend toward higher storage densities on smartphones, an increasingly dominant player in the mobile market (Apple), and vicious competition amongst web storage companies, including Microsoft’s own SkyDrive. Any player hoping to win in this arena will certainly have to make mobile compatibility a key piece of their platform without creating an additional “island” of data. It remains to be seen how Microsoft will offer additional storage, at what cost, and how it integrate across their other web offerings. We’ll be reviewing it here as soon as it becomes publicly available.