I’ve been trying out different cloud services over the past year in search of the perfect service for my lifestyle. So far I have tried Box.net and Dropbox. Both of them serve a specific purpose so far, I’ve divided the services into work and personal areas. Due to restrictions at my current job, Dropbox is blocked so I no longer could use it for work stuff like storing copies of my expense receipts. Hence I decided to get Box.net since that service isn’t blocked. Each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses to be sure but both are decent enough at storing my crap.
I decided to go to my Hotmail account one night and since it had been a while, there were plenty of new buttons to click on. One of the services that I saw that was new was SkDdrive which is Microsoft’s cloud service offering. Just like Dropbox or Box.net, it provides a place to store all your crap and it gives you 25 gigs to boot! That’s way more storage than any of the other service providers by far. I think the reason that not that many people have seen it is because it’s part of Windows Live and it’s really buried in there, it’s not even prominent on the front page of Windows Live or appears at the top of the navigator of services offered.
I’ll admit that I haven’t really tested out the service yet because I already use two, using one more wouldn’t make sense. Not to mention a big thing that’s missing is an app for iPhone or iPad. With Box.net and Dropbox I can see my documents on my iPad easily which is a big thing for me and probably a lot of other people. A lot of apps that I use to edit my cloud files also don’t connect to SkyDrive as far as I know which is also another minus. I guess on the plus side it is a cloud storage service for the masses but it needs to be advertised way better so people actually KNOW it’s out there and can be used to store crap on there. There also needs to be apps for Android, Apple, and webOS devices so that it is more universal. I don’t know how MS will make money from it but I’m sure they’ll figure something out. I hope MS doesn’t mess this up like they have the rest of their online strategy. They need to do some major advertising like they did with Bing to get the word out and maybe do a rebrand of their services or something or at least re-launch their online products to make people aware of their existence.
Even though I have been a loyal Hotmail and Microsoft user for over 15 years, that may not continue if MS doesn’t do something to reach out to the consumer and give us products that WOW is like the Connect did for Xbox360. I saw how iCloud is going to change how Apple interacts with it’s customers data and music and I gotta say I was impressed. Sorry SkyDrive, when you finally get integration with my iDevices and other apps maybe I’ll give you another look but for now I’m sticking with Dropbox and Box.net.