Why SkyDrive, Not iCloud ? Feature Comparison and Review

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Days are for cloud computing. Several cloud storage services like DropBox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Microsoft SkyDrive etc exist which provide features which are different to each other. Now we are going to do a rave review that tries to compare two popular services –  iCloud and SkyDrive.

iCloud SkyDrive Comparison

Free File Storage and Access

In this section we are going to see how much cloud storage each service is going to provide and the type of access to this storage. SkyDrive provides free 7GB storage while iCloud provides 5GB. But the disadvantage with Apple service is that it only allows photos to be stored on the cloud. To store iWork documents on the cloud you need iWork apps. Though I don’t have a Mac to check this difference, I really like SkyDrive for its usability to store different documents without much fuss. (Ya, I’m a Windows user). Coming to accessibility, SkyDrive works with both Mac and Windows. iCloud is just a Mac thing. SkyDrive can be accessed using a browser. But that’s not possible with iCloud. I presume that you need an Apple Account to store files in iCloud. But both services provide remote access.

Accessibility from SmartPhones and Devices

Apple cloud storage can be accessed from iPhone and iPad only. SkyDrive is versatile in this regard that it can be accessed from Apple devices, Windows Phone, Android and even Mobile Web.

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Collaboration Features

Now if you have Office documents in the cloud, you can work with them across PC, Mac and the web. Whether the same thing works with iWork documents can only be told by a Mac user. The feature that I like is you can edit your documents and notes simultaneously and work as a group using SkyDrive and iCloud services. Another important feature that both services provide is version control. You can track different versions and go back to an older version when you need.

Note Taking Apps and Sync Later

While you are on the go, you can capture or write anything using note apps. This can be later transferred to your main system or computer when you are back home. Free apps are provided for smartphones to incorporate this feature. EverNote kind of app may be available for phone users.

Photos Supportive Features

Online slideshows, Captions and showing Geotags for images and photos are supported in both the services. But what Microsoft boasts about its service is that we can even email slideshows and post these images to Facebook and Twitter.

Simple File Sharing

You can share with anyone your SkyDrive files.  Also, just like Google docs you can view your Office files online. The maximum file size supported in SkyDrive is 2 GB. While in iCloud case, its 25 MB for a free user and 250 MB for a paid user.

In addition to the free storage provided by both the services, there are paid options. You can add 20 GB by paying $10 annually for SkyDrive and $40 for iCloud annually.  If it’s 50 GB then you need to pay $25 and $100 respectively.  If you are a huge cloud storage adder, you can get 100 GB for $50 using Microsoft service, while you need to shed $100 for 50 GB of storage using Apple service.

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Conclusion :

Some comments on “ComputerWorld” are little eye opening in the fiasco between SkyDrive and iCloud. SkyDrive for Mac (probably the client version) stops working on re-booting and you need to re-install the package. Many have still not upgraded OSX 10.6 and if Microsoft supports it, that can be negative vote in the competition. On the other side, Live.com tries to get at the contacts using the “share” features.

But the positive aspect of SkyDrive is that it is available on mainland China where big players like DropBox, Google, Box are blocked.

The biggest plus comes in the arena of MSOffice 2010. SkyDrive is integrated using the “Save & Share” interface. But the “sync” part is totally messed up as in-numerous number of versions are created when you upload an Office document.

From the above review, its possible to say that SkyDrive is meritorious over iCloud in most of the attributes, but still may not be the outright winner among cloud services.

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Palla Sridhar - Blogger, Writer, Civil Engineer

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