Box makes good on hiring of Google docs creator, adds document creation to its cloud storage and collaboration service
Box, a rapidly growing online storage and collaboration service aimed at business, has announced a document-writing product that enables customers to create and share simple written notes and memos. Additional features are planned for the service, presuming it catches hold with customers.
It’s a fairly primitive service in features and capabilities, but to advocates of collaboration that is strength: in the cloud world, they argue, where people can access computing from anywhere, the point is to share information and move fast. Products like Microsoft Word, with hundreds of features accredited over generations, is more suited to individuals working alone at their personal computers.
“This is for the third wave of office computing,” said Mr. Schillace, who is senior vice president of engineering at Box. “With mainframes you had very scarce resources, and things were managed from the top down. PCs made for strong individual contributions. With the cloud you have things being shared continuously. I want to build tools for continuous iteration.”
Google Docs, which also works online, now earns Google more than $1 billion annually as part of an enterprise version of a storage and collaboration service called Google Drive (Microsoft says Office 365, which includes an online version of Word, is on track to earn $1.5 billion a year). Mr. Schillace said that Docs was still “backward looking, with too many features. We didn’t get into the issues of being quickly iterative. The first instinct is always to add functionality, but that may not be the right idea.”
Box is known primarily as a place where companies can store things like photos, business plans, videos and marketing documents. Longer term, and much like its competitor Dropbox, Box wants to become indispensable by being a place where developers can build new things as well.