New Leak Shows Microsoft Gearing Up To Battle iCloud On Mac Desktops

New Leak Shows Microsoft Gearing Up To Battle iCloud On Mac Desktops

In addition to iCloud, there are a number of other cloud services available to Mac and iOS users. Dropbox, Box.net, and Google Docs all come to mind immediately and each offers its own set of features. Another option that isn’t discussed so much by Apple users is Microsoft’s SkyDrive.

Although SkyDrive has offered a basic iOS app and web access from Macs and iOS devices, the functionality has been a bit limited. Newly leaked details of an OS X SkyDrive app, however, indicate that Microsoft may be planning to compete against iCloud on Apple’s home turf.

The move shouldn’t come as a surprise, Microsoft already offers some integration with SkyDrive in Office for Mac 2011 (as well as integration with Microsoft’s SharePoint in business environments). Offering a more robust sync solution is simply an expansion of that vision. The move is  part of a personal cloud push on Microsoft’s part around the company’s plans for Windows 8.

Exactly what sync functions Microsoft will offer Mac users isn’t clear. Neither is how much integration Microsoft will be able to pull off when it comes to some of the Mac apps that Apple has integrated with iCloud.

iPhoto offers a great example of where Apple might impose limitations that Microsoft could have to accept. It’s the go-to solution for most Mac users when it comes to photo management and it offers incredibly effortless syncing with iOS devices in the form of iCloud’s Photostream feature. Although Apple does allow iPhoto plug-ins that connect to third-party services like Shutterfly and Picassa, they don’t offer that same level of automatic integration.

Where Microsoft may not be able to compete on integrated features, it may be able to compete on capacity. Each free SkyDrive account comes with 25GB of storage compared to iCloud’s 5GB. For people that share large files that could be attractive though it’s worth noting that Apple doesn’t count Photostream or iTunes Store content against that limit.

The feature may be particularly attractive for users that switch between Macs and PCs quite frequently. Apple does offer an iCloud control panel applet for Windows, but more Windows-centric users may prefer a deeper level of integration on their PCs.

  • joewaylo

    I’m assuming that’s an old photo. Looks very blurry and non-metro like.

  • vistarox

    Microsoft and Apple seem to be the only ones innovating nowadays. 

  • imajoebob

    To illustrate how worried I believe Apple to be about SkyDrive, I’d never heard of it until this post.  Ever.  And I read crap like this religiously.

  • bootak

    Interesting. What does Microsoft have to gain? They aren’t in the ad business like Google. That said, 25GB free storage sounds tempting especially if it can actually be used to store whatever you like unlike iCloud. However, interface is key. If it doesn’t integrate like Dropbox = no go.

  • David John

    There are quite few other tools also which can be used.Tools such as CollateBox http://www.collatebox.com/ looks like a combination of Google docs and DropBox. It’s a must app for most of the tablets today. I’ve just registered with it. Can any body share some more facts about these new tools.

  • Maggie

    bootak: I think Microsoft’s main problem is they fixate not on if they’re losing, but if someone else is winning. They seem to have in their head that if anyone else is is winning something, then they’re losing it. The old miser’s dilemma: worried so much about someone making a dime that could be yours that you lose sight of your own business.

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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