Found In Cyberspace

Where's that phone number, address, budget, important memo? Everywhere-at least with an online data storage solution.

What will computing look like tomorrow? According to Bill Gates, tomorrow's PC will be a wireless tablet that's the centerpiece of a broadband, always-on network of convenient devices, many of which will be used away from home and the office. The network backbone? Surprise, surprise-it's the Internet.

So where does your 25GB-or, by that time, 250GB-hard drive fit in? How about somewhere out there in cyberspace as part of a Storage Service Provider's (SSP) virtual hard-drive farm? In the past 18 months or so, about a dozen SSPs have popped up to give you megabytes worth of free remote storage-in return, of course, for the opportunity to market your eyeballs off.

Don't worry, we're not yanking your data out of your desktop PC just yet. In fact, that may never happen-entirely. But expect at least a portion of yours and your company's data to start moving "out there"-and soon.

"Your virtual hard drive will eventually become as important as your PC hard drive," predicts Ari Freeman, co-founder of MySpace.com, which, along with companies like Xdrive, i-drive.com, netdrive.com and Driveway, offers 25MB to 300MB or more of free online storage and the opportunity to buy more.


Mike Hogan, Entrepreneur's technology editor, can be contacted at mikehoganentrepreneur@juno.com.

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This article was originally published in the October 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Found In Cyberspace.

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