Ok, so I have been playing with both SkyDrive and Google Docs and the first thing I have to say is that Google Docs is, for me just a whole lot more intuitive and by that I mean I don’t have to spin around in circles hopping on one leg whilst reciting a secret mantra to work out how to use it.
Example One: Document sharing and collaboration — from the desktop to the cloud.
Firstly, when I sync a document from Microsoft Word to Google Docs using their Google Cloud Extension for Microsoft Office it all works seamlessly, automatically syncing my document to the cloud on Google Docs, I don;t have to go to the Docs home page, find an upload button, load an activeX control, brose to where my file is located, then choose upload. Google, doesn’t get in my way I just open word, click the Goggle Cloud Extension “Sync” button and Google Docs handles the rest for me--brilliant.
But it doesn’t end there, if I want to edit that same document on Google Docs, I can, by just clicking on it and GDocs will ask me if I would like it to be converted so I can work on it--in the cloud. From what I can see SkyDrive does not have this feature. My only way of working on my OneNote notebook that I have uploaded to SkyDrive is to …wait for it… download it again and open it inside of my OneNote desktop application. I mean, what part of “cloud” does Microsoft not understand?!
Example Two: Document sharing in the cloud
Ok, so now we have uploaded our document how does the whole sharing thing work? Well, on Google Docs I simply clcik the share button and type in the email address of whom I wish to share the document with. Microsoft Skydrive however, is a whole lot more complicated. If I want to share my document I must first set the appropriate permissions on the My Documents folder on SkyDrive. These options are basically give all my friends access to view the files in this folder or full access to the files in this folder including adding new files--WTF!? What if I only want to share this particular document? Well it appears that I would have to create a new folder and provide the email address of the person I want to edit the document. Now, there is a problem with this because unlike Google Docs where the person just has access to edit a particular document. on SkyDrive because I have to create a purpose built folder as a sandpit for the document I want the person to edit, that person now also has rights to add new documents in to that folder as well--security …what security?!