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AOL Opening Free 5GB Xdrive Storage

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As part of the company’s shift to an audience-supported model, AOL will offer all Internet users 5GB of free online storage through the Xdrive service it purchased in August 2005.

The new service announced by AOL provides accessibility from PCs or mobile devices.

User tools enable drag and drop functionality for moving items between the system and the storage service, and can schedule of automatic backup of files and folders or the auto-upload of email attachments to Xdrive.

Xdrive has charged $10 per month for 5GB of storage. In September, that will change to the free model.

Users will be able to upgrade to a 50GB premium service if they require more storage.

All AOL and AIM users will have access to the free Xdrive storage by signing in with a screenname.

They can use the service to store any type of digital content.

People with photos to store can use AOL Pictures to purchase prints or gifts derived from the images they store on Xdrive.

The service has permission-based sharing functions, to permit users to make files or folders available to others on a controlled basis.

It is intended for the lawful sharing of content, and will undoubtedly be under the watchful eye of organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA.

AOL calls this announced change to Xdrive a “disruptive free storage offering.” While other online storage services exist, Xdrive has a substantial base of AOL and AIM users numbering in the millions today.

The 5GB of free space, AOL brand name, and Xdrive backup and security features could be a death knell to startups in the online storage space.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

AOL Opening Free 5GB Xdrive Storage
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