Microsoft is pushing users of Mac Office to use its cloud service Skydrive on the official Office for Mac blog. Microsoft says that Mac users can store and save their important documents and place them in the SkyDrive folder in the Mac’s Finder feature. Once stored, users can access the files from anywhere.
Microsoft’s pitch won’t fall on deaf ears since Microsoft has hit a tremendous homerun in the Mac ecosystem with the success of its Office productivity suite for the Mac. The Redmond Washington software giant is hoping to leverage the large base of Mac users using Office to try SkyDrive instead of iCloud. This is quite a tall order since Apple owns the Mac OS and has a definite homefield advantage when it comes to touting its add-on services like iCloud. Microsoft is making the case that Skydrive is a better option than iCloud because of the Mac service’s limitations on twocrucial fronts: iCloud cannot access and store all kinds of files and iCloud offers limited collaboration. Indeed, the Apple service looks limited when stacked up against Dropbox or Skydrive. While iCloud lets you store some OS X file types, specially those created by Apple’s answer to Office, iWork, iCloud does not allow for easy drag and drop operations. Also, it is not integrated with the Mac’s file manager, Finder. As a result, you can’t save Office for Mac documents to iCloud. It also doesn’t let you open files from iCloud.
While Apple lets developers hook iCloud to their applications, Microsoft won’t go this route because it not only has the Skydrive, Apple also insists that any integrated app must be sold on the Mac App Store. Apple gets a hefty 30% chunk of the revenues of any software sold on its store. As part of pushing Mac users to migrate to Skydrive, Microsoft published instructions on how Mac users can transfer iDisk-stored files over to Skydrive. iDisk is being phased out by the end of June. IDisk, an Apple service, has been superseded by iCloud.