Western Digital Buys Upthere

Western Digital is a big name in the world of physical data storage. Headquartered in the city of San Jose in California, it is one of the largest hard drive manufacturers in the world.

Recently, this company announced that it is buying a firm called Upthere to enter the world of cloud storage. Upthere specializes in apps that sync files and folders across many devices. Founded in 2011, this company made its apps available to the public only by 2015. After that, there hasn’t been much activity which suggests that the apps did not get a good response from the market.

By 2015, companies like Dropbox and Tresorit have established themselves as good cloud storage options and all of them offer this sync feature. That could possibly explain why Upthere’s apps did not take off well.

To make up for it, Upthere decided to include a search feature, but that wasn’t effective either because Google and Apple have some of the advanced search features that’ll make it easy to find files. Why do we need an app for this when the same service is offered for free? So, that pitch didn’t help either.

Considering these aspects, this buy out was probably the best way forward for Upthere. At this point, it looks like Upthere will continue its operations under Western Digital, so the chances for lay-offs will be fairly less.

From Western Digital’s perspective, is this really a good move? How is it going to integrate cloud with its physical hard drive business and even if it does, how it take on competition head on? There has been no clear directions from Western Digital in this regard.

That said, Western Digital’s cloud business will be led by Barbara Nelson. She has an excellent entrepreneurial track record and was the Vice-President of a cloud security firm called IronKey before she joined Western Digital. She may be able to turn around business for this company and can even accelerate the entry of Western Digital into cloud storage.

Will all this really happen? Well, time is the answer. Let’s hope this acquisition really helps Western Digital to further its cloud ambitions.

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