SkyDrive alternatives

SkyDrive is a cloud file hosting service that allows users to upload and sync files to a cloud storage and then access them from a Web browser or their local device. It is part of the Windows Live range of online services and allows users to keep the files private, share them with contacts, or make the files public. Publicly shared files do not require a Microsoft account to access.
Here are the latest news about SkyDrive:

2012 Top 5 Enterprise 2.0 April Fool’s Jokes

This year, marketers in Enterprise 2.0 companies haven't prepared  well for the April Fools' Day, perhaps because it fell on Sunday. The only diligent company was Google, that released several April 1 products. One of them - is GMail Tap - the new app for mobile GMail, which allows to quickly type text with just two buttons - dot and dash (watch video above). At the same time Microsoft, which recently was very productive in funny videos, at that time only unveiled the new interface for the online file storage and sharing service SkyDrive - SkyCMD. It allows you to manage your files using the classic DOS-syntax and the command line:

Skype has also introduced a new product - Skype for String, which allows to make voice and even video calls with the help of a string and special certified cups:

Amazon has introduced a new cloudy service - Amazon Fresh Server, that promises to deliver an EC2 server in 15 minutes right into your office in a box.

And guys from Bitbucket (which is now owned by Atlassian) invented a new couple-programming technology - Spooning. It's designed to replace the old Forking concept, which, on the contrary, suggested that developers work separately on a project tasks.

2012 Video: Google Docs vs SkyDrive

Microsoft continues to troll Google services with funny videos. At this time, they take on Google Docs. According to the scenario a group of young co-workers wants to creat a document and starts working on it in Google Docs. Naive guys don't know that Google Docs are only suitable for simple tasks and drawing a planetary system in Google Docs - is impossible. But it's possible in Microsoft SkyDrive. Even not in the Skidrive itself (it also can't do such complicated formatting) but in the desktop MS Office, that can edit the document simultaneously with the online SkyDrive editor. Note that Microsoft has removed the title Windows Live Office, which was used from the start to refer the online office, and now is using SkyDrive (that formerly was used to refer only the file storage).

2011 Word Web App adds almost-real-time collaboration

When the MS Office Web Apps launched, only  the Excel Web App allowed to collaborate on online documents in real time. Now the trick is also available in the online Word. Though it's not so cool as in Google Docs. To let co-editors see your changes you have to click the Save button, then co-editors will see the notification in the status bar, then click Save and only then see your changes. There is no chat / comments like in Google Docs, but at least you can see who is currently editing every part of the document. Meanwhile co-authoring in the online Word works only in the free Windows Live Office (SkyDrive) and is not yet available in Office 365.

2011 Amazon Cloud Drive vs. Microsoft SkyDrive vs. Google Docs vs.

Amazon Cloud Drive
Last week, Amazon launched the new online file storage service Amazon Cloud Drive. And taking into account reputation of Amazon, as the online storage market leader, this event, of course, deserves our attention. Let's consider the advantages and disadvantages of this service compared to key competitors. The main parameters - are shown in the table (below). It's turns out that the main advantage of Amazon Cloud Drive - if free 5GB account  with maximum file size of 2GB. However, its main drawback negates this advantage: you can not share this large file with anyone. Amazon Cloud Drive doesn't allow to share files publicly or protected by password. I.e. the only way of using this service - is a private storage for backup or enhancing your productivity.

Amazon Cloud Drive
However, taking into account the fact that Amazon Cloud Drive also doesn't provide online editors (like Google Docs or SkyDrive), nor a universal file viewer and a version control system (like, nor the mobile access, nor desktop synchronization - the competitiveness of this service is questionable. Although, it is quite simple and convenient tool.

Note also that the high free limits of Amazon Cloud Drive don't mean that it's paid resources are cheap. For example, the cost of 1TB in Amazon Cloud Drive - is $1000 per month, and in Google Docs, for comparison - $ 256/month.

2009 Microsoft starts free Web-based Office testing

Windows Live Office
At last (after the July announcement) Microsoft is opening web-based Office 2010  applications to beta-testers. The web Office will have a long official title: Microsoft Office Web Applications. As we already informed, it will be available in two editions: Free and Business. The business version will work on top of SharePoint 2010 (behind the firewall). And free version will work on top of the online file storage service  Windows Live SkyDrive (that provides 25Gb for free). Yesterday one thousand of SkyDrive happy users already got an access to online Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. And their reviews are quite different - from "awesome" to "tedious". Here are the most interesting points:

The online Office applications functionality hardly excels the functionality of Google Docs (and all the more Zoho Docs). So our hope for full-featured rich Office was not realized. Online editors provide only basic functionality. For example, online Excel allows you to edit tables and cells, format text, filter and sort columns, but it can't build diagrams. Though, documents, created in the desktop editors are displayed in web Office applications with all the bells and whistles (that is what Google and Zoho can't do).

Generally, Microsoft wants us to use online and desktop editors together. Any document in SkyDrive can be easily opened not only in the online Office, but also in the desktop editors. And after you edited the document using the desktop program it will be automatically updated on the web server.

All new online Office applications can share files for collaboration. But only online Excel allows to work with a file together in real time. Besides, to be precise, you can share not single files, but only folders, that is not always suitable. Вut the good news is that the users that you invited to collaborate can edit and comment the document in browsers even if they don't have Live ID.

Some beta testers complain that the online Office is quite slow, compared to Google Docs. One more disappointing point is that online Word and OneNote in the meantime can only display documents, but not edit them. Besides, there is no version for mobile devices. But Microsoft still has enough time to fix all these issues before the official launch, that is scheduled for the first half of 2010.