Back in October when Windows released their latest update to Windows 8 it was assumed that there would be a focus on cloud computing. This was primarily due to their focus on the Surface Pro line of devices. When these devices first came out Microsoft bundled them with 7GB of free cloud storage, encouraging users to upload their larger files to the cloud. As tablets had rather minimal local storage this made sense.
Now its 2014 though and Microsoft has come out swinging, they have announced that with the purchase of any Surface 2 device customers will receive 200 GB of free storage! That is the largest amount of free storage ever given away by a company so far. The real cloud influence and direction that Microsoft is taking becomes even more evident when you look at how Windows 8.1 operates.
Now that Windows 8.1 has been out for a few months and the bugs have been worked out it is receiving good reviews, especially on its cloud integration. It is now incredibly easy to use the cloud on Windows and Microsoft is clearly pushing for personal and enterprise users alike to move in that direction.
As you start 8.1 and open an explorer window you will see the usual quick links down the side, (‘This PC’, and your ‘favorites’) but there is also another link titled ‘SkyDrive’ which will allow you to save to the cloud. SkyDrive is very similar to Apple’s iCloud or DropBox except Microsoft has gone to another level in integrating it into their new OS. Now that SkyDrive is integrated into the explorer you can treat it just like any other folder, making it incredibly easy and instinctual to use. The benefits here are how quick and easy it is to save and access files on the cloud, making for a seamless relationship between your office computer and tablet.
Many apps within Microsoft also take complete advantage of this by opting to save your data to the SkyDrive. Take a picture with the camera app and it is saved right to the SkyDrive making sure you never lose files. This also makes keeping a backup of your files incredibly simple, no more external hard drives needed, just stick it in the cloud.
Clearly Microsoft understands the opportunity the cloud presents, now the question is how will Google and Apple respond, and what will the next advancements in cloud storage be…