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Monday, May 07, 2012, 02:27 pm PT (05:27 pm ET)

Microsoft looks to woo iCloud users with SkyDrive comparison webpage

In its bid for a slice of the growing cloud computing market, Microsoft recently launched a webpage advertising the company's SkyDrive cross-platform document storage and sharing solution by highlighting the advantages it has over Apple's iCloud.

The page (via The Next Web), titled "iCloud not enough? Try SkyDrive," points out that SkyDrive offers features not included in iCloud like collaborative document editing, note sharing and cross-platform accessibility.

A featured video, encoded in Microsoft's proprietary Silverlight format and thus not viewable on iOS devices, points out that SkyDrive users can access files on any device, while iCloud is currently limited to certain documents created in iWorks and files from third party apps that make use of Apple's API.

iCloud's implementation of document access and sharing is cumbersome when compared to other iOS-centric services like Contact and Calendar updates, and Microsoft Office files can be even more challenging to work with. SkyDrive expectedly handles the latter much more seamlessly by using a simple drag-and-drop UI that works between operating systems or the SkyDrive web app.

Like Google's recently-released Google Drive, Microsoft's service also allows for file sharing and collaboration, though only Office documents are supported at this time. The system is basically Microsoft's version of the Google Docs collection of web apps with expanded standalone desktop application integration.

Finally, SkyDrive boasts a note-sharing feature that is passed through Microsoft's service or the popular app OneNote. The webpage points out that while notes can be synced and accessed across devices with iCloud, the service lacks the ability to share your notes and to-dos.

SkyDrive

Microsoft's iCloud-targeted SkyDrive webpage video can't be viewed on iDevices. | Source: Microsoft


SkyDrive, initially the codename of Windows Live Folders, has gone through numerous upgrades since its launch in 2007. Most recently the service added mobile apps for iOS and Windows Phone devices in December 2011.

It remains to be seen whether Microsoft can draw any users from iCloud as Apple's service is the de facto standard for iDevices.

During Apple's second quarter 2012 earnings call in April, it was announced that the number of iCloud users had swelled to over 125 million, up from 85 million in January.