Microsoft talks about SkyDrive and other cloud systems

Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud-based services are competing with a number of other companies that offer similar services such as Amazon, Google, Dropbox and Apple's new iCloud. In a new blog post today on the Windows Live site, Omar Shahine and Mike Torres. the group program managers for SkyDrive, take a look at the status of cloud-based services in general and how Microsoft sees these kind of services evolving in the future.

The blog post states that about 17 million people store content on SkyDrive every month with 360 million files being uploaded and shared every month. Five million different devices are connected to Skydrive every month. However as you can see from the graphic above, the vast majority of documents and photos are still stored on PCs.

Microsoft sees three different kinds of cloud services. One is what they call "file clouds" which mirror the kinds of file design that are found on PCs. Microsoft considers SkyDrive, along with Dropbox, to be a "file cloud" type of system. Another is "device clouds" which hides the basic file structure from the user in order to allow people to use them across several devices. Apple's iCloud is considered to be in this category. Finally there are "app clouds" where you download an app to access content from a cloud server. Netflix, OnLive and Spotify are all considered to be in this type of system. Microsoft's blog entry says, "Each category enables specific outcomes for its users. Each of these has its strengths, and we think that they’re all interesting."

Microsoft also sees three kinds of "power users" for cloud services. One are college students who need to collaborate with other students and teachers and may need to share files with them. Another are "gadget fans" who want to link files across their smartphones, tablets and PCs. Finally there are photographers who take lots of pictures and want to be able to store them on a cloud service.

Microsoft believes that for future cloud features, they should add ways to make storing files simple as well as making them secure, have a certain amount of storage space that can be used for free and can be accessed from most any Internet connected device. Cloud services should work well with apps like email and photo programs and be accessible from any PC.

Microsoft states, "We know we have a ways to go to deliver a cloud that seamlessly connects today’s files with tomorrow’s modern device and app experiences. We will measure our progress in meaningful releases that address feedback and bring us closer to our vision."

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22 Comments

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what makes dropbox so great is that its for so many operating systems... i can sync windows, mac, iOS, Android, etc... skydrive, not so much

DreadBoat89 said,
what makes dropbox so great is that its for so many operating systems... i can sync windows, mac, iOS, Android, etc... skydrive, not so much

They even have a Linux command line based sync app as well that I used to use.

DreadBoat89 said,
what makes dropbox so great is that its for so many operating systems... i can sync windows, mac, iOS, Android, etc... skydrive, not so much

That's why Microsoft is making Windows for all devices, so you can sync files between all your devices easily as well. One OS on all devices is a lot easier and simpler to manage than one OS for each device, so you don't have to use third party programs for everything.

Bern@rd said,
INTEGRATE MESH! INTEGRATE MESH! INTEGRATE MESH!

As I said, Microsoft is integrating Skydrive. I think they might have lost their faith with Mesh, unfortunately...

Bern@rd said,
INTEGRATE MESH! INTEGRATE MESH! INTEGRATE MESH!

They're building it all right in. No need for the app. Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox 360 all (will) have Skydrive and Windows Live integration.

Mouettus said,
we need better sync software other than mesh for uploading files.

Hopefully it'll be built right in to Windows 8. The back end stuff is great, but I agree they can still improve the user experience.

Mouettus said,
we need better sync software other than mesh for uploading files.

I'd like to see everything be handled automatically. It could automatically upload the files that you select whenever they are altered, but they would have to be very careful to keep it from becoming a bandwidth hog. I find that have Mesh on, even when not uploading, tends to slow down my internet.

Dashel said,
Still waiting on that private "file cloud" Microsoft...

I don't think they're talking so much about how Dropbox allows you to access your files on there right from a folder so much as the SkyDrive website & the Dropbox folder appear like an actual file system. (Especially Dropbox since, well, it's an actual folder.)

How could they have not been already working on this?? Skydrive is older than much of today available services and they're still slacking off.

Scumbag ms, create technologies (tablets, cloud service, monthly streaming music subscription) before anyone else.

Never actually improve and promote them.

flexkeyboard said,
How could they have not been already working on this?? Skydrive is older than much of today available services and they're still slacking off.

Scumbag ms, create technologies (tablets, cloud service, monthly streaming music subscription) before anyone else.

Never actually improve and promote them.


I guess you don't know that Skydrive is going to be heavily integrated into Windows 8 then.

I can agree that it's a sad things but it might not be entirely their fault. Microsoft has had a lot of great ideas that have fell into the oblivion just because of being done by Microsoft and thus scoffed at and brushed off by a certain contingent of people that claim not ever touching Microsoft products with a barge pole even though they're usually sitting on Windows 24/7, which for some reason doesn't count.

cralias said,
I can agree that it's a sad things but it might not be entirely their fault. Microsoft has had a lot of great ideas that have fell into the oblivion just because of being done by Microsoft and thus scoffed at and brushed off by a certain contingent of people that claim not ever touching Microsoft products with a barge pole even though they're usually sitting on Windows 24/7, which for some reason doesn't count.

Unfortunately, replace Microsoft with Apple & you pretty much have me... (Wish I had something better than my iPod Touch...)

MASTER260 said,

I guess you don't know that Skydrive is going to be heavily integrated into Windows 8 then.

And the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard is providing Cloud based storage for saves etc.

Aergan said,

And the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard is providing Cloud based storage for saves etc.


Not to mention it's already integrated in Windows Phone.

MASTER260 said,

Not to mention it's already integrated in Windows Phone.

And they've been improving the web interface for Skydrive as well. I'm pretty sure MS sees the importance of the cloud. Office 365 works great as well.

MASTER260 said,

I guess you don't know that Skydrive is going to be heavily integrated into Windows 8 then.

Isn't this something that will happen in the future?.....................

MASTER260 said,

I guess you don't know that Skydrive is going to be heavily integrated into Windows 8 then.

Isn't this something that will happen in the future?.....................

flexkeyboard said,
How could they have not been already working on this?? Skydrive is older than much of today available services and they're still slacking off.

Scumbag ms, create technologies (tablets, cloud service, monthly streaming music subscription) before anyone else.

Never actually improve and promote them.

I can partially understand where you're coming from there.. You would think Microsoft would be on the forefront of new and emerging technologies, right?