I have written previously about cloud storage and backup solutions and how to use those to synchronize data between your many systems at different locations on differing platforms. Most cloud storage and synchronization services can synchronize between differing operating systems too! You can share and access files from Windows, OS X, Linux and even Smartphones. With this post I’d like to just add update some information on how you can use Windows Live services (OfficeLive, and Skydrive) and Dropbox.
There have been some exciting recent announcements regarding Microsoft’s cloud storage and synchronization services that have made their offering even more compelling than ever. If you’ve read my previous post (link above) you already know I am a fan of SkyDrive. You can use SkyDrive to upload, store and share photos, documents and data both privately and publicly - it offers a whopping 25GB of free cloud storage and it integrates nicely with Office 2010. You can use this free service on both a Windows PC and a Mac computer.
Microsoft’s Office Web Application is now live on SkyDrive! It’s called Office Live. You can access Microsoft’s Office web version on your browser.
Office Live now provides for access to Microsoft’s Office suite of applications even if you don’t have MS Office installed on the system you are on! If you just use the Office Live portion you get a default 5GB of storage, but by using your SkyDrive account you get the full 25GB of storage.
While Goolge Docs has allowed for the sharing and publishing of individual documents to the web for a long time, Office Live(and SkyDrive) and Dropbox provide for true sharing of folders with individual, groups or the public. With Office Live you can create a truly amazing collaborative workspaces. Check out this video!
Instead of going through a long and detailed walk through I’ve put together a bunch of links and videos that YOU can go through. Suffice it to say I believe you should use at least one of these services to backup or synchronize your data across the ‘cloud’.
Here is a good how to on SkyDrive
You can get started with Office Live here.
Here are some very good Office Live and SkyDrive Links. I would highly recommend spending a few hours and going over these. The future of data storage and retrieval is tightly integrated to web services and the ‘cloud’. Here are some links:
I have also found this service highly useful for sharing files with other people with whom I am working.
What is Dropbox?
Dropbox is a “cloud computing” Web2.0 file hosting service offering both free and paid services. The free version offers 2GB of “shared storage”. The difference between SkyDrive/OfficeLive and Dropbox is that Dropbox requires software to be installed onto your system. Something I am not always fond of but this does work well.
Dropbox is file hosting service which enable users to synchronize files and folders between computers across the internet.
This is done by installing a software and then picking a “shared folder” on your computer. From that moment on, that folder will be synced with any computer you choose to install the software on (for example, your home/work computer, your laptop – and so on).
DropBox also enables users to share some of their folders with other DropBox users. This seamless integration of the service with your OS file system (Windows, Mac or Linux) is what’s making this service so comfortable, by allowing me to work with co-workers and have the same “project tree” of folders, all of which are always synced.
You could also share a file “online”, by getting a link to it which you could share with others.
While I will always believe in ‘hard storage’ especially for highly sensitive and personal information you should also look into ‘cloud storage’. You should always have a rocks solid local backup solution but collaboration and the ability to have your information available nearly everywhere is invaluable. If not to store and backup your data, at least for it’s huge collaborative possibilities. That is what I primarily use it for.
I really hope some of you will use this information to make your life, and possibly jobs easier and more productive. As we head into the second decade of the 21st century it’s exciting to see how we can have our information available nearly everywhere and be able to usefully share that information with anyone in the world.