Competition between consumer cloud services is hotting up with Amazon’s CloudDrive, Google’s Music Beta and Docs, Apple’s iCloud, and everyone’s favourite start up DropBox – and Microsoft has finally come to the conclusion that needing an extra free but proprietary software download to use the Windows SkyDrive has been working against them.
Instead of Silverlight Microsft has moved towards using open web standards like HTML5 and CSS3 which should help adoption especially as Microsoft is still the most generous in terms of free storage space. They already offer a great free storage sync that works seamlessly in a similar fashion to DropBox with Windows Live Mesh, and now the HTML5 SkyDrive gives users a much easier time of viewing and sharing their files from within the web browser. It also gives easy access to the Office Web Apps for creating and editing documents, and adds further group collaboration options.
SkyDrive has turned into a very polished file locker with a good amount of free space, but with Apple’s iCloud service bringing music matching, streaming, and backup alongside its sync and storage solution Microsoft find it a tough task convincing people to use its services over it many competitors.