Ahead of its deep Windows 8 integration, SkyDrive has some serious competition.
Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage service is one of the most popular, but it’s got some serious competition
The SkyDrive integration into Windows 8 is encouraging, particularly as the service wasn’t a main part of the experience in previous operating systems, but Windows 8 is changing that. However, Google’s announce of its cloud service – Google Drive – means Microsoft now has one more competitor to deal with. So, how do they compare?
SkyDrive offer users 7GB of storage for free, though those who have used the service actively up to April 22 get 25GB of storage free. That’s more than Google Drive offers for free – just 5GB.
Google Drive offers a similar drag-and-drop interface to Dropbox, the leadsing cloud storage service with over 50 million users. The advantages of Drive are that users can open 30 types of different files from within the browser, including Photoshop. However, Drive can’t be used on multiple Google accounts and SkyDrive is integrated directly into the Metro interface. While users can go to SkyDrive.com to access files, content can be uploaded directly through the OS. Different tile sizes in Metro indicate a folder or file, so it’s simple to use.
As far as features go, SkyDrive syncs Office documents such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Documents can be edited in groups, and can be edited and deleted from the browser. Drive features a similar built-in document editor, though it can’t be used with multiple accounts for now. That’s unfortunate for people who use multiple accounts across different environments, such as work and home.
Comparing the services to Dropbox, it has the ability to share files with groups. However, everything that you sync can only be inside one Dropbox folder. While that allows for a focused area, it results in lots of folders that can only be found in one place.
SkyDrive’s pricing in full is $10/year for 45GB, $20/year for 75GB and 125GB for $50/year. Google Drive is available online, along with Windows, Mac and Android devices, and iOS apps are coming soon. More storage options are available from $2.49/month for 25GB of extra storage and $4.99/month for 100GB, along with $9.99/200GB.