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All posts tagged Skydrive

Welcome to OneDrive

Today marked the rollout of the rebranded OneDrive (the cloud storage formerly known as SkyDrive) across devices for web, desktop and mobile.

Today is about 1 year since the official launch of Outlook.com the outstanding Microsoft web-mail replacement for Hotmail.

SkyDrive was around to see Hotmail evolve, to see the end of Windows Live services (as a distinct entity) and to integrate fully with Outlook.com

5 Things You Might Not Know About OneDrive

  • OneDrive is about as ubiquitous cross-device / cross platform / cross-browser as you can get for personal, shareable cloud storage. I’m using it through the browser, the Windows 8.1 app and on Windows Phone 8 (which updated today to OneDrive). (As of now the SkyDrive folder in Windows 8.1 File Explorer and the Metro / New Windows UI App have not updated to OneDrive)
  • When you sign-up, as a new user you get 7Gb of free storage but Microsoft is giving existing users extra free space all the time (I have 48Gb now) and when I went into SkyDrive today as it became OneDrive I was greeted with this two-fold offer:

OneDrive rebrand wizard

  • OneDrive includes Office Web Apps. Yes FREE Office. This is obviously not full-featured Office Professional but if like most people you barely scratch the surface in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote then this is for you. Especially if you work with others on the shared documents then productivity and collaboration will become your new buzzwords. If you do have Office 365 / 2013 then you will see the integration at folder level in the main File menu.

OneDrive Main Menu

  • Apps: yes there are Apps that work (again cross device / platform) on OneDrive and the ambitious Developers amongst you can find the API here.
  • OneDrive differentiates between documents and photos but stores and allows sharing of both.

The Warptest POV

With a matching flat UI/UX to Windows 8.1 and elegant, ease of use I can strongly recommend to anyone looking to either move or backup to personal cloud storage that they sign-up for OneDrive.

The team working on this seem to understand the need for rapid iteration of robust, user friendly new features and I can recall maybe one occasion where server issues prevented access to my files. This compares very favorably to other services I have used who seem to suffer more frequent outages.

I’m giving OneDrive a strong recommend and if you aren’t using a cloud service for backup/sync or primary storage then you should seriously consider this as one of your choices.

This Is A Story About More Than Powerpoint

Yesterday I posted this on Facebook about a Powerpoint presentation I had created that had taken on a life all of its own…

 

Facebook - Powerpoint

Anthropomorphizing your Work

The Powerpoint in question was a bit of practice and fun and after showing it to a couple of professional acquaintances on my Windows Phone, I found myself checking to see if I could actually buy the URL for the web app I had imagined.

At the end of the day I got to sharpen my skills with Powerpoint 2013 (BTW accept no substitutes it rates a killer app from me) and my writing skills, and provided a bit of amusement to some of my Facebook followers and friends.

One tip for those not in the know: If you have SkyDrive, soon to be OneDrive then you have the free versions of Office on the Web: Word, Excel and Powerpoint all there for creating, sharing and presenting right from your browser or mobile device.

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.

crush

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.

Technorati Tags: ,,,,,CloudOS

Skype Warptest-ed

Skype, the popular VOIP application has been under the microscope lately. I’ve looked at it on Windows PC, Windows Mobile (legacy but working version), Symbian, Linux and other platforms. Why you ask, mainly because I frequently get asked about it in a support context.

image

As you know in May 2010 Microsoft announced their acquisition of Skype.for $8.5 Billion. Since then the biggest thing we have heard was the news that it will be developed for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. ((Since I began writing this I found way more interesting news about Skype for PC incorporating HD video, Facebook and Bing Bar integration))

As I looked this popular app both as a day-to-day user and as a tester I found it frustrating at times and was hard pressed to put my finger on why.

Great expectations

So I sat down with a tumbler of scotch and mulled exactly was bothering me. I came to the conclusions that: –

  • It hasn’t really progressed from a Desktop Application (even the versions ported to mobile platforms).
  • It is the kid in school who always gets the could do better  and  does not play well with others on their report card.

Perhaps one of the reasons that Ebay and Skype themselves before Microsoft didn’t fulfill Skype’s potential was that they simply didn’t see what they had.

Is Skype simply a VOIP application? Definitely not.

Warptest Predictions or 2 Things Skype needs…

Once again I’m going to indulge in something between predictions and the hope that someone at Redmond reads this and says “”Hey great ideas, let’s hire this guy and run with this”: –

  • Full integration into Windows Live. Skype is at its core a Desktop app but the way to drag it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century is to make it part of Microsoft’s cloud ecosystem. Just as a small example, if I send or receive files via Skype the best place to store them as a default location is not the local device I’m using, it’s my Skydrive. For those who don’t favor Live add an option here for Dropbox, Box.Net, Google Apps and that way when it hits Europe you can avoid those pesky EU non-compete suits.

Skype - SkyDrive

  • Turn it into a social media hub. Yes, Skype needs to maintain it’s core VOIP functionality but it already has some Facebook integration. Adding full integration allows a user to also post to Twitter and other Social Networks; VOIP / IM were the natural precursors of the Real-Time Social Networking Revolution so this would be a case of natural evolution. Skype as a Social Networking Hub would open a huge can of whup-*ss on applications like Seesmic or Tweetdeck.

I’m not even going to get into the potential as a commerce or pay-per-service platform that would be well served looking at models like Linden Labs’ Second Life for just how easy an application can make it for their users to pay each other for services or products.

I guess my last question is if Skype should be proudly 100% Microsoft then will I be able to search accounts via Bing and where does this leave MS Messenger?