Driveway Smartens Up Web Storage

SAN FRANCISCO (06/01/2000) - Online storage used to be just a place to stash files and documents. Not anymore. Web-based storage spaces have added features that help you organize, share, and manage what you keep there.

Driveway is the latest to move beyond simple storage. With the release of Driveway 2.0 on Thursday, the company adds collaboration, sharing, and organization features. Sporting a redesigned, simpler interface, Driveway now supports categorizing documents, two-way sharing, Web-page clipping, and an account summary and activity page.

Through Driveway's two-way sharing, someone you authorize can read and edit your stored files. The recipients don't need to have Driveway accounts to view files you send. You send your collaborator an e-mail with a link to a sharing page. The page looks just like your Driveway storage space, but contains only the files you have authorized them to see. You can also password-protect shared files, and can limit access to read only, instead of read/write.

You can now also share files by category, using a new Driveway feature that lets you mark certain files or folders by category to organize your storage.

Personal and Business are the default categories, but Driveway allows you to add your own.

Driveway 2.0 also adds a Web-clipping tool, which lets you save Web pages with one click. The "Save to Driveway" tool resides in the "links" bar on your browser. (To pick up the link at the Driveway site, just drag it to the links bar.) Then you simply click on the link whenever you want to save a Web page.

It saves the page as a file, not as a bookmark, so you retain it even if the Web page is updated.

Also new is the "Driveway Today" window, which lists your most recently accessed files, and shows who has accessed your shared files. Driveway now shows how much of your allotted 25MB of space is in use. You can earn up to 100MB of additional space by referring new Driveway members.

Competitive Functions

Driveway's latest release comes just a few weeks after competitor I-drive revamped its service to include some similar features. I-drive.com offers a Web-clipping tool called Filo, as well as Web storage organization functions.

The two services seem to have a different focus, however. I-drive's tools, which include streaming MP3 playlists and online photo albums, are more recreational. Driveway's tools are aimed more at business people.

Driveway's Web-clipping tool offers some advantages over I-drive's Filo.

I-drive requires that you download and install Filo in order to save Web pages, while the "Save to Driveway" feature does not require any downloads. You must, however, add the links bar to your browser, which can take up valuable screen space. And while Driveway has a 25MB limit, I-drive sets no limits on the amount of Web content that you store. (I-drive does limit the non-Web content that you store online.)Driveway also offers a convenient Web folders feature that I-drive lacks.

Driveway will place a folder on your desktop, so you can drag and drop files to save them to your Driveway account. Or, you can save using the "Save as" function in Microsoft Corp.'s Office 2000 applications

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