Box rolls out Windows Phone app, bolsters Qualcomm ties

Summary:For Box customers, Windows Phone is the No. 3 platform---at least in terms of interest.

Box is betting on the Windows Phone platform with a native application. The cloud storage company is also forging an alliance with Qualcomm to offer preloads on select Snapdragon devices and deals for more storage.

Add the two moves up and Box is clearly betting that Windows Phone can be a viable No. 3 mobile platform for its core enterprise customers. Box is a platform agnostic cloud player, but has generally focused its efforts on Apple's iOS and Google's Android ecosystem. Nevertheless, Box said it "anticipates strong traction for Windows Phone devices."

For good measure, Box said it is developing a Windows 8 app as part of the Windows 8 Release Preview.

Based on market share---Microsoft has 4 percent of the mobile platform pie according to comScore---Box's move looks as questionable as its HP WebOS app. However, Matthew Self, vice president of platform engineering at Box, said Windows Phone was the No. 3 mobile OS in terms of customer questions.

"Windows phone hasn't shown the traction yet, but we get a lot of customer questions. Windows Phone is definitely No. 3 in terms of questions," said Self. "And that may indicate potential for the future. We're investing in Windows 8 too."

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For Box, the strategy is to be cross platform across numerous mobile operating systems including RIM and now Windows Phone. "Forty percent of our activity is mobile," said Self.

Box for Windows Phone is designed to utilize the live tiles in the mobile platform and share enterprise files and images. The Windows Phone Box app includes batch uploading, file sharing options and the ability to pin live tiles to the screen.

As for the Qualcomm partnership, Box said it will have its apps preloaded on Android and Windows 8 devices. Box will also offer deals like 50GB of free storage and other bundles.

The Qualcomm partnership largely creates additional distribution for Box. Self wouldn't comment on whether Box will cut additional deals with Nvidia or Intel.

Topics: Mobility, Cloud, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Storage

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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