Dell quietly releases its cloud -

Maker of grey tin boxes, Michael Dell, has released his outfit's cloud product. Unlike the hype that surrounded the iCloud from Apple, or Office 666 from Microsoft, he does not seem that keen to tell anyone.

Dubbed Stage, the software began shipping last week, and Dell seems to have forgotten to tell anyone about it . It allows users who snap a picture with a Dell Streak or other Dell mobile device to automatically upload it to a pool of free, shared cloud storage. The new software also allows devices to remotely control and play back shared audio and video.

More obvious was the "More You" advertising campaign that Dell started in the States, which has been attracting all the attention because it is pushing the outfit more into the consumer area by getting people to personalise their grey boxes a little more.

But Stage is an attempt to take that digital content and allow users to control and manage it, and so far there is very little mention of the cloud and other buzz words.

Tim Peters, a vice president responsible for platform strategy within Dell, told PC Mag that Stage was still part of the consumerisation game.

He said that it cuts across Dell's XPS, Inspiron, and Alienware brands, and can be controlled from Dell's mobile devices.

But Dell has done little to make its cloud based version any different from earlier versions. The name Stage has been around since last year and appears as a set of square tiles on a user's PC, with various categories like "Books," "Photos," and "Apps". All the new version does is make the tiles appear 3D.

When you use a Stage-enabled device, the new software automatically uploads it to a free 2-Gbyte pool of storage. Users can buy additional capacity, including 5 Gbytes for $19.99/year, 25 Gbytes for $49.99/yr, and 100 Gbytes for $149.99/yr.

It is all very similar to the consumer based iCloud rather than the more business orientated cloud products of, say, HP.