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Dropbox and Box are irrelevant. Google Drive needs to worry about Skydrive and vice versa.

Dropbox and Box are irrelevant. Google Drive needs to worry about Skydrive and vice versa.

Be Afraid, Very Afraid.. or not?

Venturebeat had an article last week about how companies like Box and Dropbox need to be worried about the pending arrival of Google Drive.

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The truth is some will flock to Google Drive simply because of the Google halo effect. Many Dropbox users will remain in place and adopt Google Drive as yet an additional cloud storage option but few will abandon their existing cloud storage.

Really there is no fight between Dropbox or Box and Google Drive. This is all about Google Drive, SkyDrive and possibly iCloud.

This is Your (Next) Cloud OS

We are going to wake up and discover that our “desktop” applications, files, storage and more are all in the Cloud and the choices we made will ultimately require us to say “Yes that’s my OS.” Or, “Oh well, call IT and let’s start migrating everything.”

The fight over your data and where it’s stored is the fight over which ecosystem you choose to work with next.

SkyDrive already provides organic application functionality with Office Web Apps and Windows Phone / iPhone integration. For the professional or company user simply think Office365. We can expect Google Drive to integrate with Google Apps, Gmail Attachments, Picasa and Apps in the Google Marketplace.

Warptest Predictions

Google’s mystery outage several days ago may have been connected to their roll-out of a new Network but many Google Apps and Gmail users were left hanging; once again not selling me on the reliability. However, to roll as massive an undertaking as Google Drive would need a serious upscale of available storage, improved performance and redundancy.

Was this Google Drive infrastructure rolling out?

In a previous blog post I wrote about things Microsoft needs to change to fully adopt a Live OS philosophy one being full SkyDrive-Windows Explorer integration .. Some has been done with Windows 8 but there is more:

For SkyDrive to compete and maintain any advantage it needs to: –

  • Make SkyDrive integral in Windows Explorer (as above)
  • Kill file size upload limitations. 50 Mb, really, REALLY?
  • Work 100% with any Smartphone OS or browser
  • Seamless Antivirus / Antimalware integration
  • Better file management with apps to manage your SkyDrive just the way you do locally
  • Ultimately: I want to be able to install my own apps and run them from my SkyDrive just like my C:/ drive

Basically, for a winning UX the user should not feel any difference between using local or cloud storage and yes, it’s time for this to stop being an add-on to any OS but instead it should come as an integral part of the OS functionality. Will you be moving your files to Google Drive or maybe it’s time to take a look at SkyDrive?

==== 23/04/2012==== update =====>

Since writing this I was contacted by @Arcadiy over twitter. He is the Program Manager for Skydrive and he corrected a mistake I made that the upload cap was increased to 300Mb from last week and hasn’t been 50Mb in over a year. So first let me say  sorry for the error. Secondly, nice to meet you (virtually) and finally thanks for the amazing work on Skydrive.

In addition Skydrive launched a new App today for PC / Mac allowing the user to upload their data via the app which sits in the System Tray of your PC (sorry I don’t have a Mac myself to check the Mac version). Let me just say that first impressions are very positive and I shall be deep diving this over the next few days.

Finally and at last check this was still there, Skydrive are offering a great freebie: existing Skydrive users can upgrade their storage to 25GB from here or actually pay for additional storage.

I don;t know about you but I continue to be impressed by the outstanding work being done on Skydrive, keep it up guys.

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Comments

The problem with Google Drive will be the same as Google Apps, i.e. that the compatibility with MS Office apps is far less than 100%. You often get documents reformatted, or spreadsheet columns that don’t display correctly.

Up until very recently I was a Google Apps user. Then I tried Skydrive. I love that I can open a document in an online version of Word or Excel and it behaves EXACTLY like the desktop version.

Google Apps integration with GMail is really the only benefit. Downloading an attachment and uploading to Skydrive is a pain, but it’s worth it!

You totally hit the nail on the head.. I love Skydrive for all those reasons and I love working on collaborative projects where I can encourage others to do the same or who already have Skydrive

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