I’ll rephrase: Azure should be Microsoft’s paid SkyDrive expansion option.
There are always some developments that excite you enough to stop slacking and start typing. Microsoft’s announcement of making uploads or as they call it, “inbound traffic,” free on Azure is one of them.
Reading Mary Jo’s post on the topic made me realize that this move could be more than just an enterprise play. Microsoft overhauled SkyDrive last week keeping the 25GB account limit. Apple’s iCloud is 5GB but with some smart tech in the background (read: Azure & AWS) they are able to serve media you bought through iTunes on all devices, without you having to download, upload, sync this data. Google, Apple and Amazon have their personal cloud services allowing users to upload songs of their choice to their servers, this is a key feature to the services.
Microsoft on the other hand has SkyDrive, it doesn’t do songs. A week back I tried to sync my Pictures library using Mesh and it failed since the folder was too big. This brings me to the Azure news, by making uploads free, Microsoft can attract a lot of power users who need more than 25GB for their data. SkyDrive is coming to Windows Phone 7 with Mango, the new web interface is very touch friendly (makes me think it has been done with Windows 8 on tablets in mind) and now free unlimited uploads has my business development mind[1. I had to put that in, I’m looking for a job] thinking of paid extra storage.
Streaming music, videos and images shouldn’t be a big deal since Windows Phone 7 Pictures hub already shows all SkyDrive images. I firmly believe that Microsoft isn’t late to anything. They have good products that need to be marketed right and updated frequently.
PS: “Free uploads” makes for a good marketing strategy too.