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Author Topic: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)  (Read 8246 times)

IainB

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Looks like a handy comparison tool from Microsoft: http://windows.micro...-US/skydrive/compare
It also shows you price differentials for additional storage.

I came across the above whilst doing some research on the Microsoft Windows Essentials 2012.

I also found some other, potentially useful info.:
It appears as though MS are phasing out Live Mesh, by homogenizing/"upgrading" it to SkyDrive in Windows Essentials 2012, per:What is included in Windows Essentials 2012?
- but you can still install/reinstall (revert to) Windows Essentials 2011 if you want.

Note:
  • The Windows Essentials 2011 and 2012 versions are apparently mutually exclusive and cannot both be installed on the same PC.
  • The Windows Essentials 2012 version's features (e.g., the handy MovieMaker anti-shake/smoothing feature) are not all enabled unless you have MS Windows 8.

See also these posts and embedded hyperlinks for more info which helps to explain changes/differences to the sometimes confusing MS product range:

kunkel321

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If you use Vista, you must have your User Account Control (UAC; that annoying thing that pops up everytime you try to do the slightest thing, asking you if you approve or deny it) turned on.  The only way you can avoiding the constant pop up is to turn it off.  For some godawful reason, though, they made Skydrive such that it won't run on Vista if the UAC is off/disabled.  

Unfortunately this was a deal-breaker for me.  Unfortunate because I do like the SkyDrive service and the Webapps.

Edit:  I see that the comparison chart indicates GoogleDrive does not provide "Remote Access."   That's not correct is it?  I think GoogleDrive is the same thing as GoogleDocs, which you CAN access from any computer (by signing in).  Or am I wrong?

IainB

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...I see that the comparison chart indicates GoogleDrive does not provide "Remote Access."   That's not correct is it?  I think GoogleDrive is the same thing as GoogleDocs, which you CAN access from any computer (by signing in).  Or am I wrong?

I'm not sure, but I had assumed that "Remote Access" probably referred to "access  by any device".
For example, as the 2012-08-14 post, here: A new modern SkyDrive.com, updated apps, and Outlook.com at 10 million users
Quote
SkyDrive for more mobile devices
Back in December 2011 we released the original versions of our SkyDrive apps for Windows Phone and iPhone. Since December, almost 4 million people have used our mobile apps to access their SkyDrive from their mobile phone—and we’ve released a number of feature updates as well as fixes and improvements over that time.

Today, as part of making sure SkyDrive is available to all Windows customers, we’re excited to announce that an official SkyDrive app for Android phones will be available in just a few weeks. The Android app is similar to our mobile apps for Windows Phone and iOS and allows you to browse your SkyDrive, upload files to SkyDrive, as well as share SkyDrive files with “Send a link.” You'll also be able to open SkyDrive files from other apps, as well as upload, save, and share to SkyDrive from other apps.

In any event, I didn't gain the impression that Microsoft were making any unfair claims in their comparison. (It looked reasonable to me.)

IainB

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 05:39:20 PM »
Just when I was beginning to think that maybe Google had run out of improvement/innovation ideas, there is a highly informative post quietly made on the Google Drive Blog (they don't use the cliché "exciting" at all!), and I have copied it below, sans embedded hyperlinks.

Note especially (as emphasised in the post):
  • 1. the introduction of OCR recognition of text in saved images, and used in searches.
  • 2. the introduction of new technology for image recognition, and used in searches.
  • 3. the simple structure of pricing for different size storage-paid accounts.

I wondered when Google were going to introduce the new features. I think this may be disruptive in the Cloud market - e.g., as it probably easily leapfrogs services such as Evernote. It will be interesting to see how the Cloud marketing and pricing for such services unfolds now.

Quote
Introducing Google Drive... yes, really
(Cross posted from the Official Google Blog)

Just like the Loch Ness Monster, you may have heard the rumors about Google Drive. It turns out, one of the two actually does exist. Today, we’re introducing Google Drive—a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond.
With Google Drive, you can:

  • Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items.

  • Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just... there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet. We’re also working hard on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.

  • Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.

You can get started with 5GB of storage for free—that’s enough to store the high-res photos of your trip to the Mt. Everest, scanned copies of your grandparents’ love letters or a career’s worth of business proposals, and still have space for the novel you’re working on. You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB. Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. You can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+, and soon you’ll be able to attach stuff from Drive directly to emails in Gmail. Drive is also an open platform, so we’re working with many third-party developers so you can do things like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive. To install these apps, visit the Chrome Web Store—and look out for even more useful apps in the future. This is just the beginning for Google Drive; there’s a lot more to come. Get started with Drive today at drive.google.com/start—and keep looking for Nessie...

Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome & Apps
Posted 25th April by A Googler

Google also refer to this in a separate post - here:
Quote
...Last month, we launched a feature to let you search for text inside the PDFs in your documents list. Now, using the same optical character recognition technology, you can search for and copy highlighted text when you open a scanned PDF, like a fax or hotel receipt.
It’s not just stuff in your documents list: we’ve also made text in PDFs and images uploaded to Google Sites searchable...
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 05:51:19 PM by IainB, Reason: Added new note at end. »

barney

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 06:04:52 PM »
Have you actually tried the Google Drive yet?  I'm still exploring it, but kinda time-limited right now, so haven't done a lot with it yet.  Even though I'm not, to date, a strong user of Google Apps, the integration/collaboration aspect looks promising.  A friend of mine, a sailing instructor, is using Google for payment processing, so that integration could be quite convenient (since I'm currently his ad. hoc. admin  :o).

Renegade

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 08:33:47 PM »
I sometimes wonder just how good an idea it is to use any of these *services*. Web companies have a long and rich tradition of either folding up products or folding up entirely, and leaving customers in the lurch. Anyone remember Xoom?
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IainB

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 09:21:25 PM »
Have you actually tried the Google Drive yet?...
Yes, I have been using it for ages - since before it was rebadged as Google Dive, when it was Google docs.
It has been progressively improved by Google.
The only problem I currently have with Google Drive is inconsistency:
  • When it was Google docs, it used "labels" (tags) as pseudo-folders - you could attach as many labels to a document as you wanted - Many-->One relationship. You only had the one copy of the file though.

  • When Google later produced a Google docs Sync-to-PC tool, you gained the ability to read the docs offline. The labels however manifested as actual folders on the PC sync copy, and a document in the Cloud with "N" labels was replicated "N" times. It was thus automatically downloaded and synced "N" times and the "N" duplicate copies were put into the "N" folders on your PC disk, named the same as the labels. One-->One relationship. This was confusing, and greatly increased disk space and bandwidth utilisation.

  • When Google Drive was introduced, the labels seemed to have become logical folders, so you can now apparently only have a One-->One relationship.

  • The Google drive sync now mirrors the actual Drive folders/files in a One-->One relationship.

  • In Google docs, documents that someone else had shared with you would sync as entire documents to your PC, so you could read them offline. Now in Google Drive, they sync as links only. To to be able to read them offline you have to manually copy the docs in Drive to your main Google Drive folder. This seems cumbersome and unintuitive.

barney

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2012, 11:05:50 PM »
Had minimal experience with Google Docs.  However, have been in love - or lust? - with Gmail's ability to allow multiple tags, as it very much simplifies finding a particular email.  Downside, of course, is inability to download/backup while maintaining those same tags.  However, considering the possible future usages of the Google Drive nee Docs, that should not be an insuperable problem.  Thanks for the insight.

IainB

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 01:01:07 AM »
Interesting  article by PC Magazine - seems like they did their usual comprehensive comparison. Of the main user Cloud services (Apple iCloud, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, and Amazon for price comparison), SkyDrive was the Editor's Choice. (Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks or graphics.)
Quote
Microsoft SkyDrive
   Review Date September 11, 2012
   editor rating: excellent
   MSRP $0.0
ProsConsBottom line
  • Simple, clear, consistent interface.
  • Clients for Mac, iOS, and Android, as well as Windows and Windows Phone.
  • Fetch any file from a PC you set up.
  • Syncing.
  • Web interface to files and media.
  • Photo slideshows.
  • 7GB free storage space.
    ------------------------------
  • No music matching or Web streaming.
  • Synced folders not for collaboration, just your own files.
  • Windows 8 desktop mode requires separate installation.
    ------------------------------
  • With Web, Android, iPhone, Mac, and Windows clients, and a nifty "fetch" feature, Microsoft's cloud solution, SkyDrive, is one of the most complete offerings of its type.
    ------------------------------
Apple's iCloud and Google Drive made big splashes at their recent launches, but Microsoft's cloud service, SkyDrive, has been quietly hosting people's documents, photos, and more for more than years. And all the while Microsoft has been honing the service, most recently redesigning it to give it a modern, tiled look and folding in the syncing capability that formerly was handled by a separate service, Windows Live Mesh. The company has also made SkyDrive a cornerstone of its next big operating system version, Windows 8. So how does Microsoft's cloud service stack up against the other tech titans'? Read on to find out.

Like iCloud, SkyDrive serves a lot of functions. If you just want access to documents or media files, it offers simple online storage accessible from the Web. If you want the same set of files replicated on multiple PCs it provides folder syncing. For users of Windows 8 and Windows Phone, it backs up settings. Because of this diversity of function, there are several different cross-sections from which you can view the service—by type of data, client, or function. The data types include documents, photos, video, music, or settings. The clients include computer, mobile, and Web, and the functions are things like syncing, viewing, playing, and simple storage. Let's take a look at the service from these various angles.
View all 5 photos in gallery

Your SkyDrive Account
Everyone gets a SkyDrive account--well, everyone who's created a Microsoft account, which includes everyone who's signed up for a Hotmail or Outlook.com account. All users get 7GB free storage space, and, if you're a longtime SkyDrive account holder (since before April 22, 2012), you get 25GB free. This compares with 5GB free for iCloud and Google Drive (though if you convert docs to Google format, storage is free), and 2GB for Dropbox. You can add 20GB to SkyDrive for $10 a year, and 100GB for $50. Here's how the pricing compares with the other services:
SkyDrive
iCloud
Google Drive
Amazon Cloud Drive
Free storage
7GB
5GB
5GB
5GB
Add  20 GB
$10
$40
N/A
$10
Add 50 GB
$25
$100
N/A
$25
Add 100 GB
$50
N/A
$60
$50
------------------------------
Device Syncing
Microsoft likes to refer to SkyDrive as a "device cloud" and with Windows 8 PCs and Windows Phones, the moniker makes sense. The service can sync settings and apps on those types of devices, while clients for iOS, Android, and Mac OS X give users of those devices access to the files stored in SkyDrive's online folders. Like iCloud for iPhones and iPads, SkyDrive lets Windows Phone users automatically upload photos taken with the phone's camera to SkyDrive's camera roll, so that the photos are quickly available for viewing online, in a SkyDrive folder on a PC, or in a Windows 8 PC's Photos app.

Google Drive and Android Play don't provide this functionality, which, once you've gotten accustomed to it, is pretty slick and convenient. And in the SkyDrive Web interface, you can view the photos as a slideshow, and even see a map of where they were taken along with EXIF camera info. A similar Web interface of this type is completely lacking in Apple's iCloud, though that may change with iOS 6.

Another service in the realm of device syncing is the ability to sign into your account and magically reproduce a previous machine you've set up—color and background themes, social accounts, user photo, browser favorites and history, and even apps. SkyDrive accomplishes this for both Windows 8 PCs and Windows Phones. In Windows 8, the service goes even further, by allowing third-party apps to take advantage of your cloud storage. Apps and sites can even use the service for single sign-on with your permission.

SkyDrive Clients
SkyDrive is built into Windows 8 and Windows Phone, as long as you've signed into a Microsoft account. But what if you use other technology platforms? SkyDrive includes apps for not only Windows 7 and 8, but for Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. For other mobile platforms such as Blackberry, a mobile Web interface is available, and for desktop access when you're not at your own computer, a full feature Web app is available. The last is particularly important, and one thing that's long disappointed me about Apple's iCloud: Why can't I access photos in my iCloud Photo Stream from a Web browser, if the stuff is actually in the "cloud?"

Another SkyDrive option for mobile users is the OneNote app. It's available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, and on the Web. This lets you create notes that will be automatically synced to all your SkyDrive access points.

IainB

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2012, 04:11:34 AM »
There's a new announcement from Microsoft on The Windows Blog: New SkyDrive recycle bin available today and Excel surveys coming soon
As well as introducing the Recycle Bin feature, it begins to look like they are starting to compete 1-for-1 against Google Drive. For example, Google Apps./Scripts/Forms make for a pretty useful toolset, but rather requires technical expertise. I suspect that the Excel surveys feature will be easier to use and thus generally more appealing to a wider audience as they say:
Quote
"And unlike competing services, you can easily use the power of Excel Web App, Excel for Windows, or Excel for Mac to sort, analyze, or chart the results of your survey."

The only bad thing about the announcement is that they seem to have copied the use of the moronic cliché used in Google announcements:
Quote
"Today, we’re excited to release..."
Perhaps eventually Google and Microsoft will end up with virtually identical Cloud service product sets, indistinguishable from one another, same as their clichéd product announcements...

Tuxman

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2012, 04:27:48 AM »
My Dropbox has 7.8 GB free space. Just saying.

IainB

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 05:05:23 PM »
My Dropbox has 7.8 GB free space. Just saying.
Good point. Dropbox hadn't been properly mentioned in PC Mag's above table. Just out of curiosity, I have added Dropbox details (from their site) to the FREE/Cost pa. table, below - presumably you somehow got to your 7.8GB FREE storage allocation with referrals(?) - and I have updated the SkyDrive and Dropbox FREE storage allocations to show the min/max FREE storage allocations. Interesting table. I might put it into a Google Drive collaborative spreadsheet if people in the DC Forum would be interested in helping to update/maintain the table. (It's seriously tedious and constrained doing it in a table in the Forum like this.)

FREE/Cost pa. Cloud storage allocations:
SkyDrive
iCloud
Google Drive
Dropbox
Amazon Cloud Drive
Free storage
7-25GB
5GB
5GB
2-18GB
5GB
Add  20 GB
$10
$40
N/A
N/A
$10
Add 50 GB
$25
$100
N/A
N/A
$25
Add 100 GB
$50
N/A
$60
$99
$50
NB:
  • SkyDrive offers a FREE default Recycle Bin facility that holds deleted items for 3 days from the deletion date.
  • Dropbox offers a "Packrat" unlimited undo history for $39 pa.
  • Google Drive offers Google Apps./Scripts/Forms as a useful toolset, though this probably requires some technical expertise to use fully.
  • SkyDrive is to introduce an Excel surveys feature which could be easier to use than the Google Drive toolset and thus generally more appealing to a wider audience.
    Quote
    "...you can easily use the power of Excel Web App, Excel for Windows, or Excel for Mac to sort, analyze, or chart the results of your survey."
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 05:15:02 PM by IainB »

Tuxman

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2012, 05:07:50 PM »
So SkyDrive is better than Dropbox which still beats the other 3 when it comes to pure space. OTOH, Android support was not really impressive when I checked it last time.

I used referrals and random "tests" and "quizzes" and whatever Dropbox events to get 7.8 GB. I'd assume it will be more in a while.

IainB

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2012, 04:51:07 AM »
I hadn't known this before, but apparently you can Access and fetch any file on your Windows PC remotely using SkyDrive
Step-by-step instruction are given in the post.
Quote
Many of us must have used SkyDrive for accessing files anywhere and sharing with anyone. With SkyDrive, you can securely store your files and get to them from any of your devices be it your PC, Mac, Smartphone, iPad or iPod. Another cool feature of SkyDrive many of us may not have used is, if you have forgotten to put your files in the SkyDrive Folder, you can access your Windows PC and fetch that or any file from it remotely. As long as your PC that has the file is ON and running SkyDrive, you can access any file you need, from anywhere.

Renegade

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2012, 05:48:42 AM »
I think Box.net is giving out 50 GB for free. Might want to check that.
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yksyks

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2012, 06:19:39 AM »
  • Dropbox offers a "Packrat" unlimited undo history for $39 pa.

Just a small addendum: Dropbox also has undo history for free, but only for last 30 days. Details are here.

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2012, 10:30:54 PM »
Just to throw this question out there because many people will want to know, which of these various services are accessible natively by those running XP or Linux on their desktop? (and I am not referring to being able to use the services from a web browser)

The SkyDrive app will not install on systems running WinXP. And as far as I know, no app to offer Linux desktop support, either.

Also missing from the chart is SugarSync, which offers 5G free, allows sharing of files and folders, public sharing through links, and some other nice features.

I am actually using SugarSync to host downloadable files for one of my Blogger based sites. While it is not as seamless as using Dropbox and requires a little bit more fussing to make a file public and then get the links to publish on my site, it does have the advantage of letting me know the total number of downloads, which is something Dropbox doesn't do. That alone made the fuss worth it and why I switched from using Dropbox links to the same files.

IainB

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2012, 08:13:06 AM »
Also missing from the chart is SugarSync.
Yes. I think it could be useful if we collaborated on maintaining a Cloud-based table of these Cloud services. I shall start one off.

edbro

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2012, 08:59:22 AM »
Dropbox has the ability to host personal sites. This is essential for me as I keep an OPDS catalog of all my ebooks online and I can access them anywhere from within my ebook reader program.

IainB

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Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions)
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2012, 01:46:20 AM »
Dropbox has the ability to host personal sites. This is essential for me as I keep an OPDS catalog of all my ebooks online and I can access them anywhere from within my ebook reader program.
I was very interested in this. I presume your website catalog is in an OPDS format.
Could you provide a link to it please?