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screenshot_05Amazon just unveiled a new collaboration and document sharing service called Zocalo — using its leadership position in cloud computing to compete more aggressively against Box and others in the market for enterprise applications.

Zocalo lets users store, share and collaborate on a variety of file types across devices including iPad, Kindle Fire and Android tablets. The service works via web browsers, mobile apps and desktop sync applications available for Windows and Mac OS X.

The company is releasing Zocalo as a limited preview for Amazon Web Services customers. It works with Word docs, PDFs and other files, and it’s fully managed, allowing companies to oversee file access and set controls on documents and users.

As is its tradition, Amazon Web Services is also competing on price, offering the Zocalo service for  $5/user per month, which comes with 200 GB of storage per user. That compares with Box’s entry-level premium tier that charges the same amount for 100 GB of storage per user, with a 10-user limit.

Users of the Amazon Workspaces desktop virtualization service will get a free Zocalo tier with up to 50 GB of storage, and a discounted rate of $2/user on the premium service.

Update: In an emailed statement, Box CEO Aaron Levie had this to say: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the cloud content category, and Amazon’s entry underscores the scale of the market opportunity. Amazon Zocalo looks like a useful service for file storage and sharing. At Box, we’re laser focused on offering the security, scalability, collaboration and cross-platform support that enterprises require to be more productive and competitive across workforces of hundreds of thousands of employees.”
The name Zocalo is a Spanish word referring to the public square in the center of Mexico City. Here’s a video overview of Zocalo from Amazon.


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