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Box Drive Lets Users Access Cloud Files From Their Desktop

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Box hopes to make its cloud platform as easy as possible to use and encourage firms to sign up

Box is releasing a desktop application that lets users access files from its cloud platform to make the transition from a traditional network drive as easy as possible.

Starting today, Box Drive is available as public beta and is available for Windows, Mac and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), where users can edit and create new files.

Like Dropbox and OneDrive, the client is integrated with Windows Explorer and Mac Finder, but Box says its app is the only one designed specifically for the enterprise.

Box Drive 2

Box Drive

The idea is that by making Box appear as though its part of the operating system, more people will use it and organisations will be encouraged to make the shift from on-premise to the cloud.

This, the company claims will help IT departments save money by shutting down legacy network sharing operations that are more familiar to their employees.

“Box Drive combines infinite access to the cloud with an intuitive, natively integrated desktop experience that is familiar to hundreds of millions of people today in enterprises all over the world,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box.

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“Not only will Box Drive make collaborating on content easier than ever before, it also signals the beginning of the end for expensive network file shares. With Box Drive, enterprises can accelerate their move to the cloud, enhance security, and significantly reduce IT costs.”

User uptake  is one of the barriers Box is attempting to remove for business keen to try out its platform, along with the strains of migration.

Last year it launched a migration service called Box Shuttle, which provides tools and assistance, claiming that many customers are simply dumping files into Box without taking advantage of all the features or available, or are delaying migration because of the associated complications.

It has also worked to ensure regulated industries, such as health and finance, are compliant by offering them the chance to store data in local data centres using the IBM Cloud network and manage their own encryption keys.

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