Microsoft creates Cloud comparison chart, SkyDrive is King

With the announcement of Google Drive and yesterday’s major update to Skydrive, you might be wondering how all of the products look when you place them head to head.

We already took a quick peek, of course, that was at Google Drive and Skydrive’s TOS which highlighted each products stance on privacy, but Microsoft has conveniently put together a chart to show why Skydrive is best.

Yes, we know this has a Microsoft slant as it comes from the company but let’s be honest, they aren’t exactly digging deep to make the comparisons to prove their point.

The chart speaks for itself and compares SkyDrive, iCloud, Good Drive and Dropbox in a head-to-head matchup that clearly puts SkyDrive in the spotlight. Microsoft touts that SkyDrive works seamlessly with Office and Windows: 

  • Save a document from Microsoft Word on your PC to your SkyDrive folder. Keep writing at work using SkyDrive.com and Word Web App. Unlike Google, there are no conversions and no formatting issues.  
  • Use fetch to access any file – not just ones in your SkyDrive folder - on your Windows PC from anywhere
  • Access and save to your SkyDrive from any app in Windows 8 – automatically

Did Microsoft overlook any key points or features from the competitors? If you spot one, let us know in the comments. 

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This is going to sound like an old-fashioned question since nowadays no one monitors their memory usage, but do any of the services run using significantly less ram?

Just curious.

The only thing I don't like about SkyDrive is that I can't prevent some folders from syncing with certain devices. I really don't want 2 GB of photos syncing with my laptop.

Some people just tend to crack me up with their justified reasons why they can hate a product they have not tried, not want to try or just because. The linux comment is classic and I am sure the world will miss your participation in the MS cloud.

This quote to me is too funny:

"I like my free 50 gigabytes on Google Drive, plus the fact that if I upgrade to more storage I'll pay half the price of the competitors and get up to 16TB of space."

You don't know what 16TB of space will run you yet do you? Oh I am sure you need all 16TB of space and willing to pay for it.

In the end who cares as long as competition drives innovation in this market space let it. Files are files and they show no prejudice where they end up as long as they end up somewhere.

I will enjoy my 50GB Dropbox along with my 25GB Skydrive. The Desktop app is a nice touch and will only continue to mature on all fronts.

FlawedBlake said,
Wish that MS would not assume that I want my local skydrive folder to be on my somewhat size restricted solid state primary...

Same problem. My doc, pics, videos are redirected to my 1TB drive, these are the folders I want going up online

FlawedBlake said,
Wish that MS would not assume that I want my local skydrive folder to be on my somewhat size restricted solid state primary...

When I installed the desktop client, I simply chose my USB 3.0 2TB external. I would uninstall and reinstall and during installation choose a different location. The option is there. Don't forget to add the folder to libraries. Makes it easier to find for save/open dialogs from apps.

Drossel said,

Do you have an invite? I'd like to try it.


It appears they little bit distorted word invite. You can apply for account in http://disk.yandex.ru by entering your yandex mail. Got an access 10 minutes after applying for it. They say they have over 150 thous beta testers already
Beta test is only in russian at the moment

Shortly what they offer. 3gb space, +3 if you install windows client, +2 if you upload a file using one of clients (there are windows, mac os, ios and android clients) and +2 if you share with a friend. So 10gb in total. Narod (old file sharing service) is unlimited, but has 1 month inactivity timeout for files. WebDAV support. Unification with Yandex.Narod and Yandex.Mail (for mail attachments). Private and public folders.

No office editing features, but few days ago there were news - they acquired some start up on this. So i guess it will be later.

My home server is still king. ~ 1.5 Terabytes and I can access from any device I want. Plus I don't have to pay any monthly fees!

recursive said,
Plus I don't have to pay any monthly fees!
But you had to buy the server, have to deal with backups and pay to keep it running.

In the mobile line I found this interesting, WP will only work with sky drive and android is supported by everything except iCloud.

Personally, I want an app that will sync my clouds! That way if I owned a WP, iPad and had google docs/gmail I could use all 3x. Not an unreasonable scenario!

Drossel said,
SkyDrive need selective sync and custom folder location.

I agree, but to date the skydrive team has been very good with updating the service and adding new things. I expect a updated skydrive client to add those things unless for some odd reason they're thinking of keeping live mesh around? But I doubt it.

I've signed up to them all and tried them all.. i'm currently sticking with dropbox, it definitely feels the most polished. I also have 50GB free from BOX that i need to get stuck in to.

I don't know why they included iCloud in this comparison it's not the same sort of service.

If i needed more space then i would be tempted to look elsewhere as the other pricing models are much better than Dropbox.. They do throw space at you though i'm currently on 8.2GB for free which beats any of the other free offerings.

Uplift said,
I've signed up to them all and tried them all.. i'm currently sticking with dropbox, it definitely feels the most polished. I also have 50GB free from BOX that i need to get stuck in to.

I don't know why they included iCloud in this comparison it's not the same sort of service.

If i needed more space then i would be tempted to look elsewhere as the other pricing models are much better than Dropbox.. They do throw space at you though i'm currently on 8.2GB for free which beats any of the other free offerings.

I think they are comparing Cloud services in general. Not just Cloud storage. Anyways I got 25GB on my Dropbox account. It comes in handy.

Uplift said,
I've signed up to them all and tried them all.. i'm currently sticking with dropbox, it definitely feels the most polished. I also have 50GB free from BOX that i need to get stuck in to.

I don't know why they included iCloud in this comparison it's not the same sort of service.

If i needed more space then i would be tempted to look elsewhere as the other pricing models are much better than Dropbox.. They do throw space at you though i'm currently on 8.2GB for free which beats any of the other free offerings.

I think they are comparing Cloud services in general. Not just Cloud storage. Anyways I got 25GB on my Dropbox account. It comes in handy.

BumbleBritches57 said,
I got 50GB for free from Box.net, and they didn't try lowering it arbitrarily Microsoft. **** you.

MS lowered the free amount for "new" users, if you had skydrive before the 7GB change you could still get the full 25GB. This was posted all over the place, guess some still managed to miss it.

BumbleBritches57 said,
I got 50GB for free from Box.net, and they didn't try lowering it arbitrarily Microsoft. **** you.

I have a box account too, shame the free version doesn't have a desktop sync tool. For that reason alone this service is not being used by me and many others. I guess I should copy yourself at this point and shout **** you?

jasonon said,
the new desktop client is great! they should've done this years ago

Agreed. Microsoft has become such a bloated bureacracy, they don't do anything worth while unless pushed by competition. They've lost their customer first focus.

I'm really pulling for SkyDrive but I think Microsoft needs to step its game up and better promote the service, add features that other services have, but better versions, and hopefully the press will give some love to the service.

One feature that I hear Dropbox has is the ability to right-click a file on your desktop and get a link to it online. That sounds so nice! With SkyDrive you have to go to the Web interface and get the link from there.

A340600 said,
I'm really pulling for SkyDrive but I think Microsoft needs to step its game up and better promote the service....

How can you promote better than having prime time TV shows like Hawaii 5 0 and Human Target name dropping your service?

Leave it to Microsoft to create a checkbox in every column of their product. As if people have no common sense. Maybe most people who don't will fall for it.

xpclient said,
Leave it to Microsoft to create a checkbox in every column of their product. As if people have no common sense. Maybe most people who don't will fall for it.

As much as I hate putting their name out there, the verge.com has an article comparing all the available cloud drives out there. SkyDrive ranks at the top among the others, although the article was written in to the usual verge style of "we hate to give MS any credit, so we have to criticize them for the things the competition also does (without criticizing the competition) and criticize MS for what they don't do, while the competition gets a pass for not doing it."

xpclient said,
Leave it to Microsoft to create a checkbox in every column of their product. As if people have no common sense. Maybe most people who don't will fall for it.

What is there to fall for?

ShareShiz said,
ROFL @ iCloud. Apple really put their money to good use there.

Actually, they did. Especially with the upcoming OSX Mountain Lion. Music, contacts, notes, messages, photos, videos and whatever else they choose are all synced across all of your Apple devices via the cloud. Wasn't as much meant for Dropbox style cloud as a sync service per the description on its site... http://www.apple.com/icloud/

SkyDrive has no Linux support. That's a big minus right there. The charts conveniently omit that. DropBox has top notch Linux support.

simplezz said,
SkyDrive has no Linux support. That's a big minus right there. The charts conveniently omit that. DropBox has top notch Linux support.

SkyDrive has an API. Linux people are always talking about how great Linux is because because of the massive army of developers ready to fill in with open source what commercial software provides. So why not get the community to write a program to call the SkyDrive APIs - or, you could do it yourself to prove how great OSS development is.

nohone said,

SkyDrive has an API. Linux people are always talking about how great Linux is because because of the massive army of developers ready to fill in with open source what commercial software provides. So why not get the community to write a program to call the SkyDrive APIs - or, you could do it yourself to prove how great OSS development is.

Microsoft is claiming that SkyDrive is better than other cloud offerings based partly on platform support. It doesn't matter whether they provide API's or not, Microsoft doesn't provide a Linux client and DropBox does. It's that simple. Therefore for many users DropBox is the clear winner and these pretty charts don't reflect reality.

simplezz said,

Microsoft is claiming that SkyDrive is better than other cloud offerings based partly on platform support. It doesn't matter whether they provide API's or not, Microsoft doesn't provide a Linux client and DropBox does. It's that simple. Therefore for many users DropBox is the clear winner and these pretty charts don't reflect reality.

LOL by "many" users, you mean a couple hundred?

simplezz said,

Microsoft is claiming that SkyDrive is better than other cloud offerings based partly on platform support. It doesn't matter whether they provide API's or not, Microsoft doesn't provide a Linux client and DropBox does. It's that simple. Therefore for many users DropBox is the clear winner and these pretty charts don't reflect reality.

Just what I thought - when given a chance to do what the OSS community has been claiming for years, a great software community that can do any replacement for commercial software, it is a bunch of excuses.

Looking at the Windows Phone marketplace, I see no official Drop Box apps, but I see 3rd party apps that people wrote. Therefore, Drop Box platform support is not there for me. But people still wrote apps for it on WP7.

So once again, I ask, where are all the developers that make OSS great? Where is that can-do attitude? Or are you just looking for an excuse, to come back and say that a Linux SkyDrive client does not work on 1 of the 328403 different distros, or that MS does not release the source code and therefore not a good OSS citizen?

And don't forget, the fact that there is no Linux client being a big minus for you, is only a minus for what? a few dozen people?

nohone said,

SkyDrive has an API. Linux people are always talking about how great Linux is because because of the massive army of developers ready to fill in with open source what commercial software provides. So why not get the community to write a program to call the SkyDrive APIs - or, you could do it yourself to prove how great OSS development is.

we already know that the OSS community (that deals with Linux side of things) hates Microsoft to the core. so even if Microsoft provides the APIs, they will not use it just because it's from Microsoft. they act like kids sometimes. but yet, here is some one complaining.

ctrl_alt_delete said,

we already know that the OSS community (that deals with Linux side of things) hates Microsoft to the core. so even if Microsoft provides the APIs, they will not use it just because it's from Microsoft. they act like kids sometimes. but yet, here is some one complaining.

I think the really big issue here is that as far as the OSS community has seen historically Microsoft has restricted some APIs to their own applications and provided incomplete or sometimes inaccurate API documentation. This has never been the case in Linux for the most part nor on Android. In fact for Android the only APIs that are not documented are the ones that are manufacturer specific and therefore not actually part of Android at all.

Windows Phone 7 also requires a $99 per year developer subscription in order to put their phone into developer unlock mode which some people may not want to pay or can afford to get. This has been a huge holdback for the OSS community. There was an effort to provide a more economical method but it was also found that people may of had other intentions in mind so they mutually agreed with Microsoft to discontinued it.

Link: http://www.chevronwp7.com/ (Note those that paid for a token were offered a free year of the existing App Hub)

As far as Android and iOS is concerned. Android doesn't have a developer membership. If the phone manufacturer allows installing apps not on the market or you can sideload an app you can test it on the platform. For iOS jailbreaking the application is usually available and while not sanctioned by Apple it allows members of the OSS community to test their apps before they go and drop the money in order to get a developer subscription so they can officially submit it for approval. That's assuming their app follows the rules set by Apple.

I agree SkyDrive is good but the lack of proper Android support is what kills it for me. I know MS has no love for Android (just like Apple) but still, is it too much to ask to get a proper SkyDrive app for Android? I use Dropbox now but still, would be nice to have a SkyDrive app for Android.

Xerxes said,
I agree SkyDrive is good but the lack of proper Android support is what kills it for me. I know MS has no love for Android (just like Apple) but still, is it too much to ask to get a proper SkyDrive app for Android? I use Dropbox now but still, would be nice to have a SkyDrive app for Android.

Agreed! They bothered to make one for iOS, so Android should get a little love as well.

Xerxes said,
I agree SkyDrive is good but the lack of proper Android support is what kills it for me. I know MS has no love for Android (just like Apple) but still, is it too much to ask to get a proper SkyDrive app for Android? I use Dropbox now but still, would be nice to have a SkyDrive app for Android.

Microsoft may not have an official one, but they do approve of a few:
https://apps.live.com/skydrive/allapps

Mohitster said,
In the 4th para, "google" is misspelled as "good".

I almost believed that Good drive is also some kind of a service that I don't know of!

While SkyDrive seems like a nice offering, the Mac client is pretty lacking in functionality right now (no selective sync and no sharing from Finder being the big two).

Dropbox also seems to do the best job of maintaining extended file attributes and resource forks which is important for syncing certain types of data. Dropbox also has the most third-party support and, in my opinion, the best web UI.

Julius Caro said,
what is it that they call 'remote access'?

You can log into the SkyDrive website and remote into your machine to get files. You can access files that aren't even synced with SkyDrive - like your DVD drive or a network share.

rfirth said,

You can log into the SkyDrive website and remote into your machine to get files. You can access files that aren't even synced with SkyDrive - like your DVD drive or a network share.

Worth pointing out that this is Windows only at the moment

mantequillas said,
Last time I tried to upload a large file I was told 50 MB max, ever since then I never looked back. Dropbox works great for me.
Apparently they've upped it to 2GB per file as long as you're using the desktop client.

For me, Dropbox has a few pluses over Skydrive: Linux support, 30 day undo history, and direct hot linking to files.

For the mobile apps, Dropbox supports marking files as favorites so they can be viewed without a network connection. However you can rename files in the mobile Skydrive app.

Denis W said,
For me, Dropbox has a few pluses over Skydrive: Linux support, 30 day undo history, and direct hot linking to files.

For the mobile apps, Dropbox supports marking files as favorites so they can be viewed without a network connection. However you can rename files in the mobile Skydrive app.

Seeing how you can use Skydrive APIs to access the service for use in your apps and stuff then maybe, dunno for sure, there is a way for someone to write a linux skydrive app if they wanted to.

Denis W said,
For me, Dropbox has a few pluses over Skydrive: Linux support, 30 day undo history, and direct hot linking to files.

For the mobile apps, Dropbox supports marking files as favorites so they can be viewed without a network connection. However you can rename files in the mobile Skydrive app.

Don't forget also that SkyDrive is going to be used extensively in future versions of Windows, starting with 8 to auto sync things from your PC up to it, and then down to other devices you log onto.

That's all very nice but how about the comparing the WHOLE service, the WHOLE cloud service being provided - you know, how Microsoft's cloud service doesn't support the synchronising that iCloud does and Microsoft insists on lumping non-Windows users with the crappy pop3/smtp which leads to a clusterf-ck inconsistency between the different devices synchronising with the email account - why not provide delta sync functionality to non-Windows users or at the very least use IMAP that iCloud uses?

Mr Nom Nom's said,
That's all very nice but how about the comparing the WHOLE service, the WHOLE cloud service being provided - you know, how Microsoft's cloud service doesn't support the synchronising that iCloud does and Microsoft insists on lumping non-Windows users with the crappy pop3/smtp which leads to a clusterf-ck inconsistency between the different devices synchronising with the email account - why not provide delta sync functionality to non-Windows users or at the very least use IMAP that iCloud uses?

Huh? Hotmail works perfectly across all my devices (laptop, three mobile phones, desktop).

Mr Nom Nom's said,
That's all very nice but how about the comparing the WHOLE service, the WHOLE cloud service being provided - you know, how Microsoft's cloud service doesn't support the synchronising that iCloud does and Microsoft insists on lumping non-Windows users with the crappy pop3/smtp which leads to a clusterf-ck inconsistency between the different devices synchronising with the email account - why not provide delta sync functionality to non-Windows users or at the very least use IMAP that iCloud uses?

Hotmail has Exchange Activesync in addition to pop3 access. Which is arguable better than IMAP vs pop3.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
That's all very nice but how about the comparing the WHOLE service, the WHOLE cloud service being provided - you know, how Microsoft's cloud service doesn't support the synchronising that iCloud does

Huh? Syncs across all my devices quite nicely.

Upgraded it to 25 GB yesterday. hope i can upload upto 25GB unlike the previous 5GB limit.
I haven't gone pass 5 GB yet.

still1 said,
Upgraded it to 25 GB yesterday. hope i can upload upto 25GB unlike the previous 5GB limit.
I haven't gone pass 5 GB yet.

What 5gb limit? You get 25gb on your skydrive and 5gb on synced storage, giving you a total of 30gb.

Live mesh uploads to the synced storage bit, whereas the new skydrive program syncs with your actual skydrive.

-Razorfold said,

What 5gb limit? You get 25gb on your skydrive and 5gb on synced storage, giving you a total of 30gb.

Live mesh uploads to the synced storage bit, whereas the new skydrive program syncs with your actual skydrive.

I'm pretty sure that 5Gb for Live Mesh comes from your 25Gb from SkyDrive (as in 20Gb for SkyDrive and 5Gb for Live Mesh). Well that was how I understood it anyway.

-Razorfold said,

What 5gb limit? You get 25gb on your skydrive and 5gb on synced storage, giving you a total of 30gb.

Live mesh uploads to the synced storage bit, whereas the new skydrive program syncs with your actual skydrive.


I mean live mesh had a 5 gb limit on syncing files through desktop live mesh app.
they give 25 GB but can only use 5Gb out of the 25 for sycing files through desktop app(Not 25+5 its 25-5). Can i sync and use all 25Gb using the new sky drive app??

still1 said,

I mean live mesh had a 5 gb limit on syncing files through desktop live mesh app.
they give 25 GB but can only use 5Gb out of the 25 for sycing files through desktop app(Not 25+5 its 25-5). Can i sync and use all 25Gb using the new sky drive app??


Yes you can. But now Live mesh gives you 5gb extra Probably is a recent change or something: http://i.imgur.com/QzobO.png

Same live id.

-Razorfold said,

Yes you can. But now Live mesh gives you 5gb extra Probably is a recent change or something: http://i.imgur.com/QzobO.png

Same live id.

I knew I'd find something I wouldn't like about SkyDrive. I use Dropbox (up to 25GB free right now) and all my space is syncable. I'm not limited to only syncing 5GB worth of content.

shinji257 said,

I knew I'd find something I wouldn't like about SkyDrive. I use Dropbox (up to 25GB free right now) and all my space is syncable. I'm not limited to only syncing 5GB worth of content.


All your space is syncable now....

All I'm saying is if you use the skydrive app, you can sync upto 25gb. If you then use live mesh, you can sync a further 5gb. Giving you 30gb total space.

Jason Stillion said,
I tend to feel Dropbox is the current best, full client / intergration to Linux, Mac, Windows, Andriod, and Apple iOS, and would not be surprised if windows mobile was on its way.

I prefer how dropbox and google desktop folder seem to integrate better in these devices.

I like endgaget's comparison better
http://www.engadget.com/2012/0...on-dropbox-skydrive-icloud/

I'm lost! I think there're better ways to waste money than that. I get 25GB free with an option upgrade to 100GB for only $50. The desktop app for SkyDrive is still limited IMO but it's still better and versatile than the competition.

Jason Stillion said,
I tend to feel Dropbox is the current best, full client / intergration to Linux, Mac, Windows, Andriod, and Apple iOS, and would not be surprised if windows mobile was on its way.

I prefer how dropbox and google desktop folder seem to integrate better in these devices.

I like endgaget's comparison better
http://www.engadget.com/2012/0...on-dropbox-skydrive-icloud/

I suppose if one had a droid, iphone, ipad, pc, mac and linux, sure Dropbox is great, but I use an iPad, iPhone, PC and Windows and Skydrive works perfectly and I got 25GB. All good here.

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
Link to source?

Must be a new incarnation of the old compare sheet. They have the old one still listed on the SkyDrive site.

Does it really shock anyone that a company would suggest their version over another? I'm sure Apple will tell you how magical iCloud is even if Windows users can't use it.

Richeemxx said,

Must be a new incarnation of the old compare sheet. They have the old one still listed on the SkyDrive site.

Does it really shock anyone that a company would suggest their version over another? I'm sure Apple will tell you how magical iCloud is even if Windows users can't use it.

This is true, however it's hard to apply bias in comparison charts like this, not without lying about your competitors of course.

Mr Spoon said,
What promo link thing?
After logging into the SkyDrive website choose manage storage on the left-hand side, then choose the free 25GB upgrade.

yay.. they updated it to include file sizes. Except I've uploaded on the Free Version of Dropbox more than 2GB file size, with the free space additions.

brink668 said,
yay.. they updated it to include file sizes. Except I've uploaded on the Free Version of Dropbox more than 2GB file size, with the free space additions.

So you get "free space" on Dropbox after working hard to invite friends from Facebook & such...

I'll stick to my free 25GBs on SkyDrive any day. Ok, except for the fact that I can't use it as a back rather than just to sync files with my PC, online, & devices.

PoohGQ said,

So you get "free space" on Dropbox after working hard to invite friends from Facebook & such...

I'll stick to my free 25GBs on SkyDrive any day. Ok, except for the fact that I can't use it as a back rather than just to sync files with my PC, online, & devices.

I like my free 50 gigabytes on Google Drive, plus the fact that if I upgrade to more storage I'll pay half the price of the competitors and get up to 16TB of space.

I thought Google Drive only offers free 5GB? Pretty sure you'll have to pay for anything above, and I believe Skydrive offers cheaper pricing.

De.Bug said,

I like my free 50 gigabytes on Google Drive, plus the fact that if I upgrade to more storage I'll pay half the price of the competitors and get up to 16TB of space.

do you also like that the terms and conditions of google drive imply that they own all the usage rights to the content you upload? at least skydrive and dropbox got that fundamental part right.

http://m.zdnet.com/blog/btl/ho...-in-owning-your-files/75228

incidentally, you might be interested in The Verge's video review of google drive, which highlights some fairly serious usability issues with the client.. again, something skydrive and dropbox don't suffer from. :-)