Almost immediately after Apple had unveiled its iCloud, its cloud storage/sync service, Microsoft goes on the defensive, and have posted a blog entry reminding everyone that it already have cloud offerings in the form of Hotmail and Skydrive.
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Its blog post (titled “Don’t wait for your cloud – use Hotmail and SkyDrive today on your PC, Mac, or Phone” ) also revealed that it upcoming Windows Phone release – Mango, will also come with pre-installed apps that will be integrated into the Skydrive cloud, allowing the user to sync and share photos, videos and documents. However, it was clarified on Liveside.net that there will be no syncing of music and streaming from Skydrive.
From the looks of it, Windows Phone Mango’s cloud integration is not as rich as what was offered by Apple, and clearly pales in comparison, despite having been ahead of Apple in offering cloud features (Skydrive). But to be fair, it’s not just Microsoft who had been out-maneuvered by this late entrant. I think Apple has caught Google and everyone else off-guard this time in providing cloud services that is not only feature-rich, but also in being able to seamlessly integrate into the users’ user experience.
Microsoft has announced that they have integrated Office Web Apps into Skydrive and has rolled it out to its users in US, UK, Canada and Ireland. Apparently, users not residing in these regions could also access it; it was mentioned in the same blog post, and I had also managed to access it (from Singapore), so I think “available to everyone in the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland” was refering to the availability of localised versions.
There is also mention of a mobile web version of Office Web Apps that allows the user to read Word and Powerpoint documents on a mobile browser (I can’t seem ti get this to work though…)
Credits: Windows Team Blog
As mentioned in a previous post, this is long overdued, and while a great move on the part of Microsoft, there’s nothing spectacular. Also, I wonder when they’ll integrate Docs.com with SkyDrive as well. Docs.com’s GUI is almost identical to that of Office Web Apps and I can’t imagine why they are not merged!
Office Live Workspace blog announced that Office Live Workspace will be merged into SkyDrive in the “coming months” and that all workspaces, documents and sharing permissions will be migrated over to SkyDrive.
Some funny excerpts:
In an effort to improve and simplify the customer experience for our Live services, we’ve made the decision to integrate Office Live Workspace with Windows Live SkyDrive into one set of services.
We think it is the right move, and will result in a simpler, richer, better online experience for you, the customer.
Err…. Why did they not leverage on SkyDrive for Office Live Workspace in the first place??? This was what was puzzling me.
So, what do you need to do to get these great new features?
Right now, nothing. We’ll notify you in the coming months when you can upgrade your Office Live Workspace account to SkyDrive with the Office Web Apps. When you do, all of your workspaces, documents, and related sharing permissions will be available directly within SkyDrive.
Duh???? Isn’t that what cloud computing is about???
Don’t get me wrong, this is a great move, and I am all for it. Just that I can’t help making snide remarks when someone states the obvious or when someone tries to hide their being late to the party