Kohive launches premium services – is anyone using the free ones?

[UK] London-based Kohive, a startup in the collaboration space, has announced the launch of its premium services. This will be of interest to its users – however it’s not clear if it’s being used that much. Most of the people tweeting about it are trying to win an iPod touch in their promotion. Usually startups launch premium services when they have lots of users of their free version. However, admittedly there’s no reason not to create a premium version.

Kohive is an online collaboration platform with a desktop-like interface. There’s a dock of applications on the left and a tab panel at the bottom. Each of these tabs, or “hives” as they call them, provides a completely separate space from which to invite people, share content and communicate with them live. The first impression you’ll get when using the app is that the user interface and experience is very slick. I’ve embedded below a video that shows how the app works.

The new premium plans boast a task management application increased file storage, “pro” hives and multiple identities management. Premium users will also be able to enjoy the iPhone and desktop applications that will be released in the near future.

Kohive has a pretty ambitious roadmap that includes, a part from the desktop application for file synch (Dropbox-like) and an RSS reader app, a Gmail viewer, a Bug Tracking app for developers, iFrame apps and, more interestingly, a “platform-like API”.

The API will allow developers to build more apps on top of their platform, integrate other services (Twitter and Flickr are already implemented) and share revenue. There will in fact be an “app store” where users can pay for the applications they need. I think this is a smart approach though whether it is enough to set them apart from the tough competition that includes Huddle, Basecamp and Google’s newcomer Wave.

So, not much competition there then.

Edward Sanchez, Kohive’s CEO/founder, says he is intent on building a ‘social desktop’. Unfortunately, this is semantics – the desktop has been made social by the Web and the Web cares little for the desktop.

We’d like to hear from you to find out if you’re using Kohive – leave a comment.

Here’s a video that lets you see how the application works:

Kohive Intro from Edward Sanchez on Vimeo.