Microsoft has a couple of similar services that help you access your files (documents, pictures, mp3s etc). These are Skydrive (stupid name, I much preferred Windows Live Folders) which is an online document storage facility with 5gb of free space and FolderShare that allows folders between multiple machines to be synchronised. However, there is one area of clear overlap and that is in that they both allow you to share documents in a folder with multiple people – the difference being that with Skydrive they are held in the cloud and with FolderShare they are on you PC.
I have been using both services for a while now and think that they have great potential. I am using FolderShare to synchronise my draft blog posts created by the excellent Windows Live Writer. While I have been using Skydrive to host documents I want to access from anywhere, including from my Asus EEE PC when I am out and about.
While both services look similar, sharing graphics and the same website style FolderShare currently seems the poor relation of the two as it hasn’t been integrated with the Microsoft Live services. This means that FolderShare is not integrated into Microsoft Passport and so you need separate credentials for the two services. This I find surprising as Microsoft purchased FolderShare in November 2005.
It is easy to see that the two services could be even stronger if they were merged. The ability to use FolderShare to synchronise between not only physical machines but also your Skydrive account in the cloud would be a really compelling offering. So come one Microsoft, how about it?
One final thought on online storage – where is Google in all of this? What has happened to the rumoured Google Drive?