Dropbox revamps Dropbox for BusinessNovember 13, 2013: 3:37 PM ET
The file-syncing startup wants you to mix business and pleasure.
FORTUNE -- If you're a working professional and Dropbox user, you're in luck. With the revamped Dropbox for Business, accessing -- and separating -- your business and personal content on the cloud storage startup should soon be a quicker, simpler process.
At a San Francisco press event earlier Wednesday, Dropbox demonstrated how its business tool enables users to link together and securely access their personal and work via one tabbed interface. "People think there's this consumer version of Dropbox, and there's this enterprise version of Dropbox," said CEO Drew Houston. "We think that's ridiculous: There should only be one."
Houston explained the company toyed with the idea of merely enabling users to quickly switch between accounts -- much in the same way Google (GOOG) currently allows Gmail allows users to -- but explained the 15 seconds or so it would take for them to do so would add up over time and make for a lot of time wasted. So instead, those with separate business and personal accounts can pair them so they can view personal files in one tab and work files in another without resorting to multiple windows.
A notifications bar alerts users about both sets of files, and a new administrator dashboard offers deeper, granular controls, so a manager can see when a folder's contents have been shared, who's shared it, and when it's been accessed. Want to give a new employee access to an outgoing employee's folder content? A feature called Account Transfer cuts off access to the latter and grants access to the former. And Dropbox says the process is just as easy for employees who want to unlink their professional and personal folders for whatever reason.
Dropbox for Business currently charges $795 per year for five users and $125 per additional user per year, and Houston explained the number of businesses using Dropbox in one way, shape, or form continues to rapidly grow. To wit, the number of businesses using Dropbox doubled from 2 million last year to 4 million this year, including 97% of the Fortune 500. Businesses can sign up for early beta access today, but other users should look for this feature to roll out in the next year.
Dropbox's announcement is clearly intended to speed growth even further and comes on the heels of WorkSpaces, a similar offering from Amazon (AMZN) announced earlier Wednesday. Houston veritably shrugged off the competition. "Every major Internet company competes with us," he said. "We get it."