Web-Based Storage Goes Wireless

SAN FRANCISCO (05/11/2000) - Web-based storage lets you access your files from any PC with a browser. But for X:drive, one of the leaders in the online storage space, that premise just isn't enough anymore.

X:drive on Wednesday announced a wireless version of its service, which gives users even more ubiquitous access to their documents. You'll be able to use a Palm VII to access and share documents on X:drive. Soon, any device that supports wireless application protocol will be able to use X:drive.

"We want to give people not only anywhere, anytime access to their files, but any device access as well," says Chris DeWolfe, vice president of marketing at X:drive.

To access your X:drive through a Palm VII, you simply download a small (under 6KB) file from the X:drive site to your PC and then sync the PC with your Palm VII. An X:drive icon will then appear on the Palm's screen, which lets you view, delete, or share X:drive files from the handheld.

With the Palm VII, however, you can only view files that were saved as text (.txt) files. All types of files can be renamed, deleted, or forwarded to another user. The service is not designed so that Palm users will create and revise elaborate Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, DeWolfe explains.

Instead, the service is designed for the mobile professional who simply needs to transfer documents to another user.

More Features in the Works

A similar service for WAP-enabled devices is expected to be unveiled within the next two weeks, DeWolfe says. X:drive also plans to add remote faxing and printing capabilities from these devices within the next two months. This feature will allow you to send a document stored in your X:drive directly to a fax number.

X:drive offers you 25MB of storage space for free when you sign up for an account. You can earn more space, up to 100MB, by referring friends and colleagues to X:drive.

Unlike many other Web-based storage services, X:drive can be accessed directly from your desktop. A small download will put an X:drive icon on your desktop, so that you can drag and drop documents directly to your X:drive storage space.

It also appears as a choice in the Windows file explorer, so that you can choose File, Save As when you're working in a document to save it directly to your X:drive.