In the last couple of years we’ve seen a major push into the clouds when it comes to computing, and even gaming with services like OnLive that stream games directly from the Internet. While a huge revolution that pushes operating systems and more onto the cloud is still likely a little ways away, we are starting to see that cloud technologies are very important for many users.
This being said, two of the arguably most important cloud solutions are iCloud (Apple) and SkyDrive (MS). Granted these aren’t the only major cloud platforms, they just happen to be the ones that are most tightly integrated into major operating systems like Windows 8, iOS, and Mac.
With Mac and iPhone support, iCloud certainly seems to have a pretty big advantage anymore. That being said, they aren’t alone. That’s right, there is actually an existing iOS app for SkyDrive, and according to rumor, there is text within the SkyDrive site that referes to the a Mac Client.
If Microsoft really is planning a Mac version as well, will this help them steal away iCloud users on the Mac platform? Almost guaranteed that it won’t. The truth is that users generally go with options that are integrated into their OS, reasons why both Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer found a great deal of success over the years.
So what could be a reason for Microsoft doing this? Well, first off, to attract users that do happen to be tied into the Microsoft world in other ways. That being said, where I see the most potential for this is by offering a unified experience for business users that use multiple different platforms across their work.
This is pretty important in a world where it isn’t uncommon for a user to have Macs, PCs, i-Devices, Android, and even (sometimes) Windows Phone systems within reach. I really think that the most dominant cloud technology will be the one that is the easiest to reach across all platforms.
With this in mind, reaching out to Android users with a SkyDrive app would also be a pretty wise decision for Microsoft. While Apple does offer a Mac, iOS, and Windows version, you can pretty much bet they wouldn’t bother with an Android or WP version, due to competition.
If SkyDrive has accessibility on all major platforms (maybe even Blackberry?), they could have a clear advantage among certain niches that need a wider variety of OS support.
While cloud technology is certainly interesting, I have found myself taking adoption of such methods very slowly.
I do have a little bit of web-server storage I put a few files onto via FTP, but I’ve yet to really use any of the major cloud storage options. Personally I find my 1TB external HDD good enough for my back-up needs, and can easily take a small thumbdrive with important files on the go.
What do you think of cloud storage? Are you using it? Do you trust keeping your data out there on the net? Share your thoughts below.