By Paul Niemeyer
November 21, 2013
Microsoft is a trusted name when it comes to IT and software products. The SkyDrive from Microsoft is a cloud storage solution like Dropbox or JustCloud. For using SkyDrive, you need to install a small application which creates a SkyDrive folder on your computer. This folder stays synchronized with your SkyDrive account. The folder allows drag-and-drop for any file types along with online editing of those files.
The SkyDrive application is compatible with the most popular operating system platforms for computers and mobile devices. This includes Windows, Windows Mobile, Mac and iOS. Even if you’re not using an Apple or Windows device, you can still use SkyDrive for accessing your files by visiting www.skydrive.com from your web browser.
For using SkyDrive, you need a Windows Live account, which can be created for free. If you’re interested to run SkyDrive on a Windows computer, all you need to do is to turn on the User Account Control and SkyDrive can be installed. The User Accounts from the Control Panel can direct you with this installation process.
Cloud File Storage & Sharing
You can access your files from anywhere when they are in your SkyDrive. You can also share themwith people and work collaboratively with your team. Suppose you’re working on someone else’s computer and need a file on it. Upload it straight to SkyDrive using the browser and you’ll be free from taking the trouble of copying it using a flash drive. When you’re back at your office, your file is ready for you.
SkyDrive offers 7GB of free storage. According to Microsoft, this space is enough for storing 20,000 Office documents or photos numbering to 7000. Usually, that’s a pretty good space for most people. SkyDrive offers 2GB more space than Google Drive and 5GB more than Dropbox.
If 7GB is not enough for you, additional storage space can be bought at a price which is cheaper than Google Drive. The maximum limit of SkyDrive is 100GB. Read ZDNet’s article on SkyDrive Pro.
Microsoft has done a great job with the security feature of SkyDrive. Your files are encrypted using SSL during upload or download. Besides, physical and electronic security measures are there for keeping your files safe when they are stored in the server of SkyDrive. Different servers of SkyDrive store multiple copies of your files protecting your data from any type of hardware failure.
While using cloud storage, you do need to undertake some amount of risks considering the fact that you’ll need to trust a third party software with your precious data. The best part of SkyDrive is that any data on SkyDrive is fully protected just like the data on your own network.
What makes SkyDrive different?
SkyDrive is different from the other cloud storage solutions in a number of ways. One of its unique features is that it allows you to edit your files. Google Drive forces you to use Google Docs when it comes to any type of editing. The files on SkyDrive can be edited offline with Microsoft Office or any such other compatible office software. It can also be edited online using the free Office Web Apps from Microsoft.
Whether Microsoft should be monopolistic on the file formats it supports for business, can be questionable. But the fact is, when you need to share the files with other businesses, it’s always a better option to share them in MS Office format compared to any other alternate extensions.
Another benefit of using the MS Office format is that you can view and edit your files offline on multiple devices using different operating systems. The offline facility of Google Drive is limited to file viewing only and does not allow editing or viewing on a different browser. Microsoft’s SkyDrive has been integrated on Windows 8 and it’s a unique feature of the Windows 8 OS.
SkyDrive – The Pros
- The user interface is simple, clear and consistent
- Supports Windows, Windows phone, Mac, iOS and Android
- Share files easily from any device
- Easy file synchronization
- Files and media can accessed using web interface
- Features 7GB primary storage space
SkyDrive – The Cons
- Does not feature music matching and web streaming
- Collaboration not allowed on sync folders
- Separate installation required for Windows 8 desktop mode
With clients on web, iOS, Mac, Android and Windows, the cloud solution of Microsoft – SkyDrive is one of the most complete forms of cloud storage solution. Its nifty “fetch” feature is great for casual users or business owners. To wrap it up, the SkyDrive can be an excellent option for a cloud-based data storage system. Check out our comparison on the best cloud storage solutions.