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SAN FRANCISCO – As the battle for free cloud storage develops, Amazon has unveiled a desktop app for its Cloud Drive service, which gives consumers five gigabytes of free storage in the cloud.
The desktop application for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS 10.6 or later is said to allow users to drag and drop files as if they were transferring files to a local hard drive – much as millions already do with Dropbox.

Cloud Drive, launched last year, gives users tiered levels, starting with 5 gigabytes of free storage, or enough to hold about 1000 songs or 2000 photos, Amazon says.

Extended services are available for US$20 to $100 per year, maxing out at 1000 gigabytes.

This compares with Google’s recently announced Drive service, which also offers five gigs free, or 25GB for $2.50 a month and 100GB for $5 a month; DropBox’s 2GB free and 50GB for $99 a year; or Microsoft SkyDrive with 7GB free, or $10 a month for up to 25GB.

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