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Dropbox ‘Project Infinite’ Shows Cloud Files as Local on Windows, OS X


Dropbox on Tuesday at the Dropbox Open event in London showcased a new feature dubbed Project Infinite that as per the firm will “reimagine how people find, access, and collaborate with large amounts of data.”

With Project Infinite, Dropbox is aiming to solve a common issue everyone faces these days – accessing large amount of data from the cloud without saving it locally and hence compromising on the storage space. It plans to do this by showing files stored in the cloud the same ways as files stored locally on Windows and OS X. The feature should be immediately useful to users of devices with limited storage space, such as ultraportable laptops.

Essentially an expansion of how files are shown to users in the Dropbox apps for desktop, users will see their cloud files – whether they are synced or not – as regular files in the Windows File Explorer or OS X Finder interface.

As before, files and folders synced with the cloud and the local storage on your PC will show a green tick mark and will open like they generally do. Files that are not synced locally will show a cloud icon, and users can open those files in an almost regular fashion to local files – but of course, Dropbox will first have to download the file before it can be opened, slowing the process for large files. Any edits will be synced with the cloud.

“Every file you’ve been given access to-even ones that aren’t stored locally-will appear in Windows File Explorer and Mac OS X Finder,” says the company blog post. “You can view key info like file size, and creation and modification dates through your desktop file system, no downloading required.”

Project Infinite also gives you the ability to organise files and folder simply by drag-and-drop functionality from the desktop. Companies can also use the service for IT teams. Project Infinite can support cross-platform access and backwards-compatibility on any computer running Windows 7 or higher, or Mac OS X 10.9 and up.

It is not yet clear as to when the company plans to bring this feature for general users, with the blog post saying the feature was being tested with select businesses.

Dropbox last month announced that it has touched the 500 million registered users milestone. The service hit 100 million users in November 2012, 200 million in November 2013, and 300 million users to the service since.