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Windows 8 deep-dive: Get to know your SkyDrive app

Alex Wawro | Nov. 14, 2012
Most cloud storage services already offer apps for accessing their servers from every major platform, but Microsoft is taking the model one step further by weaving its cloud storage service directly into Windows 8—if not every major component of the new Windows universe, including Windows Phone 8 and the new Office Web app.

Also, as of this writing, the Office Web apps are available only if you access SkyDrive via the website. If the notion of collaborating in real-time on documents with remote coworkers sounds appealing, make sure you open the document in question from the SkyDrive website and not from the SkyDrive Windows 8 app so you can see what changes your collaborators are making as they make them. We hope Microsoft will update the SkyDrive apps, but, in the meantime, you can always access the SkyDrive website via the Chrome mobile browser if you want to edit Office documents on your iPad or Android phone.

Alternatives to SkyDrive

As mentioned earlier, there are a number of excellent cloud storage services to choose from if SkyDrive doesn't suit you. Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive are all excellent alternatives, but only Box has a Windows 8 app at this time (Microsoft confirmed during the Build 2012 keynote that a Dropbox app for Windows 8 is coming soon).

Fellow editor and PC enthusiast Alex Cocilova recently published an overview of 11 winning alternatives to Microsoft's Windows 8 apps, and he called out All My Storage as an excellent alternative to SkyDrive, because it lets you link your accounts on Dropbox, Box, and SkyDrive and see all your disparate cloud data in a single unified app. You can download an ad-supported version for free in the Windows Store, but I recommend shelling out $3 for the full version if you need a Windows 8 app that lets you manage your cloud storage without locking yourself within the Windows ecosystem.


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