Microsoft to challenge iCloud with SkyDrive OS X client

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014


Microsoft is readying a significant update to SkyDrive in Windows 8, and reportedly leaked screenshots of the revamped file syncing and cloud storage service show that a Mac OS X client could be poised to compete with Apple's iCloud.



The purported SkyDrive images were posted on Saturday by Brazilian blog Gemind, and show demo downloads () for Windows or Mac apps that will allow for automatic syncing, storage and remote access to files from the cloud.



Also of note are paid storage options that can be purchased in 20GB, 50GB or 100GB flavors for approximately $10, $25 or $50 per year, respectively.



The extra space will supplement the already copious 25GB in free storage offered by SkyDrive. In comparison, iCloud only offers 5GB of free cloud storage, however Apple's system does not count Photo Stream, iTunes' media, apps and iBooks against the limit.



According to Microsoft's blog, the Metro-style cloud-based Windows 8 app will share characteristics with Dropbox in that users can sync and backup certain files automatically, though SkyDrive goes further and allows limited remote access to files not synced to the cloud. Maximum file size for remote file fetching is pegged at 2GB.





Screenshot of purported Microsoft SkyDrive Windows and Mac client downloads. | Source: Gemind







Ars Technica points out that website LiveSide.net also posted screenshots that showed SkyDrive would support file sharing through social networks like Twitter and Facebook, BitLocker recovery keys, OpenDocument files from Office Web Apps and URL shortening.



iCloud's current file-syncing implementation is aimed mainly at iOS users who can backup device profiles and data to the cloud. Apple's free service does support certain automatic syncing to OS X programs such as Photo Stream and a clunky Pages document syncing procedure, but the process is not as smooth as other third-party solutions.



This situation could change when OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is released this summer as many iOS features like Notification Center and iMessage will be ported to the desktop operating system, though no official word has been given regarding iCloud upgrades.



Apple has invested heavily in iCloud, and the service which was introduced alongside iOS 5 could be getting more features, as previous reports that the company offered to buy Dropbox in a failed nine figure deal point to a definite interest in automatic file storage and syncing.





SkyDrive's social network sharing feature. | Source: LiveSide.net







The SkyDrive update is set to launch later this year with support for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 already announced.



It remains to be seen which Windows 8 SkyDrive features will be implemented in the rumored Mac client, if any, and to what extent the service will affect iCloud.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

«134

Comments

  • robin huberrobin huber Posts: 2,641member
    Nothing but good can come of this. iCloud needs competition.
  • oskiooskio Posts: 60member
    I use Microsoft Live Mesh already on all my Macs. It gives me UNLIMITED GB of syncing across three machines. There is no cloud storage, but I don't need it if it is syncing to all my machines (about 230GB and works flawlessly).



    It looks like SkyDrive and Live Mesh have a lot of overlap...I don't know why they can't just combine the products into one.
  • prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Nothing but good can come of this. iCloud needs competition.



    True.



    Seems like more of a DropBox killer than an iCloud killer to me though.

    Maybe it will make Apple bring back some kind of unstructured file storage to iCloud which is really the only thing missing.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Maybe it will make Apple bring back some kind of unstructured file storage to iCloud which is really the only thing missing.



    There are APIs for iCloud that would let Dropbox, SugarSync, anyone with some Objective-C knowledge, and even MS create their own hierarchal storage system that syncs via iCloud.



    Also, even with the Open dialogue box in apps for iCloud there is a structured file system, but it's been simplified to match that of the iOS Home Screen as access from iDevices is the main reason for its inclusion.
  • xsamplexxsamplex Posts: 214member
    Apple is going down! Daddy has come to the party!
  • braden99braden99 Posts: 45member
    Much more info has been announced today on the Building Windows 8 blog, the best overview I have seen is here:

    http://www.winsupersite.com/article/...kydrive-142301

    Video of Skydrive on Windows 8 here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjGwfden3sU

    While Skydrive and iCloud may be different things, most of the functionality (except iTunes Match), will also be present in Windows 8, with roaming of system settings, app settings and current states, passwords, customization, etc.



    The supposed screenshots of Skydrive on OSX, just show the current web interface, with the option of buying more space. I'd expect Microsoft will anounce a standalone Skydrive app for OSX at a later date.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2...windows-8.aspx
  • shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    I've used SkyDrive a few times and found it to be cumbersome, slow and very poor. I switched to Dropbox last year and it's brilliant. Like night and day. If they offered a bit more than 2GB free more people would switch.



    Also, I had a friend who uploaded some "adult" content to their SkyDrive account. Within a few hours they received an email informing them that they had breached the terms of their account and it was being closed. How did Microsoft know? They must monitor what people put into their SkyDrive accounts.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,815member
    I see this as a good thing. Even though I will never, ever use any Windows OS, I don't have anything in particular against MS.



    I have 2.5 Gb on my dropbox account, and if MS is offering basically the same service, but with 25 Gbs, then that's great!



    I have iCloud, but I don't really see that as the same thing. I just use iCloud as an extra backup system for my iDevices.
  • blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,179member
    I think the best strategy for MS at this point is to fully embrace both OSX and iOS. They should stop the practice of artificially limiting what they sell on Apple's platforms just to prop up Windows. I hope this is a step in that direction.
  • jpellinojpellino Posts: 555member
    Maybe - just MAYBE - this will make up for snubbing us Mac users for so long on the Zune sync client. I'll hafta think about it.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by jpellino View Post


    Maybe - just MAYBE - this will make up for snubbing us Mac users for so long on the Zune sync client. I'll hafta think about it.



    Microsoft is Apple's second-oldest enemy. Steve trusted Bill, but Bill stole from Steve. Nobody can forgive that.
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,151member
    Pretty telling that Microsoft are offering PC or Mac! Not feeling so dominant now eh?
  • wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    If you're an all-Apple user, no other cloud solution makes more sense than iCloud..
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    If you're an all-Apple user, no other cloud solution makes more sense than iCloud..



    iCloud seems geared toward personal use, not for sharing. Dropbox and other services are absolutely great for sharing with others.
  • shadowxprshadowxpr Posts: 162member
    Agree competition is great. Now where is he iPad app?
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,815member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    If you're an all-Apple user, no other cloud solution makes more sense than iCloud..



    Not true at all.



    Can somebody upload whatever they want to iCloud and either store it or share it with somebody else?
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


    Also, I had a friend who uploaded some "adult" content to their SkyDrive account. Within a few hours they received an email ......



    A "friend"?
  • stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    iCloud, Skydrive ... Dropbox sounds so ... down to earth in comparison.
  • larryalarrya Posts: 278member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    If you're an all-Apple user, no other cloud solution makes more sense than iCloud..



    Well, you did say "all-Apple" user, but I am a mostly Apple user, and if this creates a non-Google calendar syncing solution for me at work without having to use iTunes (prohibited), that doesn't force me to manually drag each item to iCloud folders, I am in!
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


    Also, I had a friend who uploaded some "adult" content to their SkyDrive account. Within a few hours they received an email informing them that they had breached the terms of their account and it was being closed. How did Microsoft know? They must monitor what people put into their SkyDrive accounts.



    If you compress your file in .RAR, especially if password protected, their system won't be able to weed out copyrighted material by looking for code sequences. I don't think .ZIP would work as that that can be read in a compressed form.
Sign In or Register to comment.