SkyDrive provides an alternative to local data storages. Taking the most from the cloud technology, it features file and document sharing, easy synchronization between devices, smooth collaboration, quick publishing of media via social networks, and more. The file you put into SkyDrive becomes available to you from almost anywhere, and 7GB of free space on the cloud literally eliminates the need of any USB sticks or CD/DVD media.
SkyDrive is built into Windows 8 and Windows Phones, although the full spectrum of supported OSes includes Mac OS X, iOS, and Android via separate application for each one. Importantly the entire cloud functionality is also available via the Web client – a relief for those working under an OS that’s not in the above list. And thanks to cooperation with Microsoft OneNote, you can create and sync notes between all your devices.
File and folder synchronization is a pretty much a standard option in the bulk of cloud storage services including Dropbox and iCloud. SkyDrive is no exception here. You can create a SkyDrive folder on your computer, place a file there and see it magically appear on all your computers having the SkyDrive client installed. Seamless integration of the folder into the system makes saving a document to SkyDrive 100% intuitive and straightforward.
Collaboration capabilities of the service are also outstanding. The service integrates into Microsoft Office allowing you to view and edit Excel spreadsheets, Word text documents, and PowerPoint presentations, as well as to open PDF documents via Office Web. Under Windows 8 you can also effortlessly open ZIP storages. A minor issue here is that you cannot see what changes others are making in the document in real time as you can in Google Drive. You need to refresh the document to make it reflect changes. Importantly, up to 25 previous versions of each document are stored so you can get back to any of them in a minute.
SkyDrive neatly supports most media types including videos, images, and music and allows you to view and share them on your cloud drive just as easily as any other documents.
Sky Drive serves a lot of functions. Convenient storage of documents and media files with the ability to access them via the web or from virtually any device is supplemented with options for sync editing and transferring files between work places and topped with a straightforward panel interface. And to enjoy SkyDrive’s capabilities you merely need to have an account at Microsoft including those at HotMail or Outlook.com.
The bottom line is this: With its simple and plain interface and clients for all major OSes and 7GBs of free cloud space, SkyDrive looks extremely promising even compared to other cloud storage services.