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Clearing Up Microsoft SkyDrive Pro Confusion

Jonathan Hassell | April 12, 2013
Microsoft SkyDrive Pro gives storage space to individual users in an organization with SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise. It's conceptually similar to, but not the same as, the free consumer SkyDrive cloud storage service. Here's what else you need to know about Microsoft's SkyDrive services.

Here are four takeaways when thinking about SkyDrive Free:

There's no corporate control over what's stored on SkyDrive Free. Other than preventing the client extensions from being installed on corporate-owned devices and blocking access to skydrive.com from your Internet connection, there's no other way IT can control what a user stores on SkyDrive Free.

In Office 2013, SkyDrive Free is the default location where users are prompted to save documents and other objects. SkyDrive Pro spaces are not the default.

SkyDrive Free has absolutely nothing to do with SharePoint, won't work with either SharePoint Workspace 2010 or SkyDrive Pro client applications, and can be used by shops that have no link to SharePoint whatsoever--even all-Mac shops with no Windows machines at all.

Finally, SkyDrive Free does not support advanced functionality such as document versioning, file alerts, quick preview and deeper Office client integration. That's all exclusively reserved for SkyDrive Pro spaces.

The idea behind both SkyDrive services is the same--a place to store documents, files and other things so they're available from multiple places. But SkyDrive Pro is clearly oriented at businesses and provides enterprise features that are useful for collaboration, while SkyDrive Free is a consumer service available to anyone, for free, across a wide variety of platforms.

Confusing? Yes. But now you know the differences.

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a consulting firm based out of Charlotte. He's also an editor with Apress Media LLC.

 

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