Your Thoughts on SkyDrive Please.


I wanted to get the thoughts of the extremely helpful and polite group of men and women of The Verge's Microserfs Forum. The topic of my curiosity today is SkyDrive.

I've been using SkyDrive for a few months now, but my usage has really picked up in the last couple of weeks. My first thought was that it is simply a Dropbox alternative that Microsoft came up with that would act as a user draw toward its Windows Live services. As a Dropbox user, I immediately saw the value in having another cloud service at my disposal due to the limited space in my Dropbox account. So, I'd store some documents on SkyDrive and pretty much forget about it until I needed to access those files again.

Then, I read somewhere that Microsoft had released a suite of web apps for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote. I thought to myself, "this could be really nice." I've used Google Docs in the past for light word processing, but that is pretty much it. I never really enjoyed the experience per se nor did I find it to be like poison. It was what it was, but it didn't really impress me or grab me in any meaningful way. What I like about my experience with the Windows Live Web Apps is that they feel very similar to the Microsoft Office programs that I have been using for a very long time. There's a reduced-function ribbon interface that puts a lot of options within a very short reach. When I get finished composing a document, I'm able to save it to SkyDrive, open it in Word on my computer, or share it with others to view and edit.

Comparison shots of Google Docs and Windows Live Word App:



There's a lot to be done on Microsoft's part to make SkyDrive and the Windows Live suite of services truly amazing, but so far it has put together something really great. One thing is for sure, 25GB of free cloud storage is hard to ignore. The ability to share folders with other people is a great feature, and combined with the free Office Web Apps SkyDrive is something I can see myself using for a long time.

My biggest hope for the future of SkyDrive and Windows Live is that Microsoft will create and launch a great cloud music service. I love the fact that I can purchase albums from Amazon and listen to them from any computer using their Cloud Music Service. I think Microsoft has the resources and the ability to do the same using the Zune brand and the great amounts of storage available with SkyDrive.

Every major player in the digital age is eyeing the cloud for the future. I think Microsoft's push to tightly integrate Windows 8, WP7, and Xbox will hinge greatly on its execution of cloud computing. We are heading for a seamless computing future, and it seems like Microsoft is laying the framework for just that sort of thing.

What I would like to know for all of you wonderful Verge readers is what your thoughts are on SkyDrive. You can even get into Windows Live as a whole if you like. I know there's a lot of people who have no clue what SkyDrive is or how it could benefit them. Thoughts on marketing strategies would be really nice to hear too.

I hope all of these words have not bored you, and I thank you for reading.