SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

Summary: SkyDrive - a cloud-based storage facility. Is it better than other services for student project collaboration?

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SkyDrive, a Microsoft sharing and storage facility, has recently attempted to extend its influence in the student market by promoting its sharing functions and making cheeky comparisons against DropBox and Google Docs.

In order to try and promote the use of SkyDrive by students, considering the fierce competition of DropBox, Google Docs and the latest threat of a BitTorrent sharing service, the company is fixated on an attempt to get students to make the transition from a simple storage service to SkyDrive, which also offers 'project' features that may be useful in future business settings or university projects.

Through their cloud system, SkyDrive want students to be able to work on group projects and share materials more effectively than through Google Docs or DropBox.

The SkyDrive service allows students to team up on projects -- whether using spreadsheets or creating presentations. It includes an automatic 'version history' element, so you can avoid editing incorrect versions.

SkyDrive and Office Web Apps integrate with Microsoft Office software installed on your PC or Mac, so project work can be completed together in the cloud via your home-based software. Tools such as OneNote Web App and PowerPoint embedding can also be used as part of the SkyDrive package. A mobile SkyDrive app is also available.

A statement from the Windows Skydrive blog says:

"You could use web-based apps like Google Docs. While they may work well for simple tasks, they may not have the features you need to create professional documents. You can also have formatting issues when you move between these apps and Office. You could also use a "file cloud" like Dropbox, but these tools aren't really designed for collaboration, and they don’t let you work simultaneously with others on a document."

In order to showcase their collaborative focus and promote the facility which does not enjoy the popularity of competing services, SkyDrive is also sponsoring a $50K Collaboration Challenge for students at 10 universities across the U.S. who are participating in business plan competitions.

Some of the participating schools include UC Berkeley, Harvard University, MIT, Stanford University and the University of Michigan.

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Topics: CXO, Browser, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Software, Software Development, Social Enterprise

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14 comments
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  • RE: SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

    They do make a good point! In our group projects we usually use google docs for the most part and then format and add graphics etc at the end on Word!
    germ161
  • RE: SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

    Microsoft has actually got a point. For quite a long time they didn't even get a voice on the Web!
    jrusinek
    • RE: SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

      @jrusinek The video is on point Google Docs editing sucks compared to Word 2010. But the online collaboration of Docs is better, plus it is free. So we use both in our projects with the free Syncdocs tool to move data from Word to Google and back again.
      GeeWoz
      • "but the online collaboration of docs is better, plus it is free"

        @GeeWoz last i checked, office web apps through skydrive is also free. and i've used it myself. it works better than google docs, especially on the formatting part
        kidjenius
  • Good marketing

    No denying, this is excellent marketing: what's in it for me, and get an aspirational candidate (like a top US university) to make it clear that this is about to become mainstream.
    If Microsoft's marketing has improved this much, it's very likely that their products will too! Imagine an operating system as easy to use as iOS and as robust and well-behaved as Windows!
    HugoM
  • RE: SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

    Sky Drive is the best cloud solution, bar none. Microsoft is the only company that gets what the consumer really needs.
    Stephen-B
  • RE: SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

    The School District I work for has been using Microsoft's Live@Edu service for a few years. The teachers absolutely love the SkyDrive and what it offers. Google Docs has a nice offering too but we find that very often formatting and presentation settings are lost or messed up after the document is uploaded. With Sky Drive the Document or Presentation does not lose formatting and can be collaborated on in real time in most cases.
    bobiroc
    • RE: SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

      @bobiroc nothing on this planet can even come close to the power of Microsoft's Sky Drive. Microsoft knows what the consumer will need years before the consumer knows it.
      Stephen-B
      • RE: Microsoft knows what the consumer will need...

        @Stephen-B

        Ok I am not sure if I would go that far. They seem to be doing a decent job adapting to the changes in needs of technology and I think their best step they have done recently is they seem to be more open and responsive to customer and user feedback. I have been working with Live@Edu for a few years since it was released in beta and they seem to be taking the feedback I have given directly or through their support sites pretty seriously.
        bobiroc
      • Ditto...

        @Stephen-B I totally agree with you. Now with the WP7 integration, I can do everything on my phone, laptop, public computers, etc. Fully accessible and doesn't screw up the formats of the docs. Very well put together.
        jackaaa7
  • RE: SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

    not many of my friends know the full strength of skydrive, but recently i've been showcasing it more and more ever since i bought a windows phone. they're absolutely amazed.

    some use tablets to read pdf files during lecture, and they laugh at me for typing all my notes onto MS OneNote on my asus zenbook. but then i show em that everything i type, including pictures of slides, are synced to my phone so i can review them anywhere. Plus, they're synced to skydrive and my desktop PC at home. MS online services are truly amazing
    kidjenius
  • skydrive is a kludge

    the Mac version of office doesn't work with skydrive which only support IE. Plus the fidelity of Mac Office isn't the same as the PC version. we actually tried using skydrive for our project and it was slow and not intuitive at all.
    qvhapsburg
    • RE: SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

      @qvhapsburg

      I am not sure what you are talking about but we have students that use it on MacOS under Firefox just fine. Also works under Windows in FireFox and Chrome and I suspect Chrome will work under MacOS as well. In fact Microsoft did some demos of features in all the major browsers.

      You are entitled to your opinion but the feedback I get from the school district I work for and several others that use it is pretty much all positive.
      bobiroc
    • RE: SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

      @qvhapsburg then why not get copy of Windows, and simply use the best? Everyone knows that MAC software is not as good as Windows software. That's because Windows is a better OS, than Ios.
      Stephen-B