SkyDrive, the latest competitor for student loyalty

SkyDrive - a cloud-based storage facility. Is it better than other services for student project collaboration?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

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.


Editorial standards