Review: Is the Microsoft Skydrive Still Relevant?

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Part of the problem with technology these days is a lot seems to get obsolete in favor of more advanced versions. Think Terminator here. Yes, we loved Arnold, but let’s face it: the T-1000 kicked his tail to kingdom come. Because the T-1000 was more advanced.

But there are possible exceptions. Namely for the Microsoft SkyDrive! No surprise here.

Understanding the Prestigious Originator of Word Processing Cloud Computing: Microsoft SkyDrive

At least I think it’s the originator. SkyDrive’s been around for a while; and to be honest, Google’s been making major headlines for months, maybe years. This is, however, Google we’re talking about. While they may master everything internet, there are three companies out there that made it possible for the internet to even be, well, possible — Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and Linux.

All the auto attendants and Google apps integration in the world would praise this terminator of the digital frontier — Microsoft Windows. Hence, the Windows Live SkyDrive, also known as the Microsoft SkyDrive. Anything that has to do with computing, Microsoft is there. And this is why:

A Look at the Competition

Let’s, first of all, take a look at Google Drive (previously known as Google Docs). A handy little application and definitely worth working with. Offering 5 gigs worth of memory to save all kinds of documents (as long as they’re compatible with Google Drive).

You can even download Google Drive right onto your computer, save files on it, and it’ll automatically sync with your Google Drive online account. That means no opening a browser. Simply use your computer’s word processing software. Pretty handy.

A Look at Microsoft SkyDrive

That’s all fine and dandy. Know, though, that if you’re a small business out there, you need space. Tons of space. It promotes growth. 5 gigs are good — but you know what’s better? More memory.

And let’s face it: the SkyDrive actually offers much more, going anywhere around 25 GB of free storage. You’re looking at a virtual computer here. And it’s one that probably wouldn’t break down, right?

In addition, the SkyDrive includes all those favorite Office apps you know and love — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Even better, though, SkyDrive can work on any browser you can think of — Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari — and on any operating system — Windows, Macs, Linux machines, whatever.

But then there’s the unthinkable. SkyDrive can even work with the Microsoft Office alternative making waves in the word processing world — LibreOffice. In fact, SkyDrive can operate just fine with any word processor utilizing the ODF format. We’re talking convenient compatibility. No hassles.

And you know that no small business out there likes any hassle.

There Are Some Downsides, Though….

To be fair, Google’s all about synchronization. They know how to do it well. I think, in fact, Google’s the first to allow any user to be signed into multiple Gmail accounts at the same time! That’s unheard of, really.

Likewise, that’s something SkyDrive lacks — background file synchronization. In other words, there’s no SkyDrive application you can download to your computer or laptop, allowing you to save files on the computer and automatically back those files up online just like Google Drive.

Again, another benefit for businesses, unavailable (currently) on the SkyDrive. Being able to back up your files safely. It just doesn’t happen.

I put in paranthesis, though, the word currently, because in all honesty that feature is coming! It’ll apparently show up for Windows 8. Bad news for Mac users, I think. Again, though, Microsoft’s bringing their A-game to the corporate table.

However, many may notice that because Microsoft has gotten so massive in the realm of cyberspace, it’s so easy to be flooded by the hellish demon called SPAM. And you end up seeing a lot of it on Windows Live, the central operating hub for the SkyDrive. Simply being logged into your Windows Live account pretty much taps you into extremely unwanted ‘messages’ and ‘friend requests’ that as a business you don’t want to deal with. And they don’t seem to go away.

Does That Put a Damper on the SkyDrive?

Honestly, in my opinion, no. Not by a long shot. The fact is it’s reliable service, from a reliable company, that’s been around much longer than Google, much longer than many other services for businesses.

Here’s what you need to understand: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you have it, utilize it. This is one service that will always be back, just as good ol’ Arnold the terminator says.

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