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SkyDrive and iCloud: Why choose?

Microsoft pitches its SkyDrive as superior to Apple's iCloud, but the reality is that most of us will use multiple cloud services.

Microsoft is pitting its SkyDrive cloud storage against Apple's iCloud and makes many valid points. However, cloud services aren't a zero-sum game.

The software giant has launched a SkyDrive vs. iCloud comparison and makes a bevy of good points. As far as marketing SkyDrive goes, Microsoft's effort is good for awareness.

But the idea that any one cloud storage service will dominate is pure folly. The reality is that most of us will use multiple cloud services. Small businesses will too. This cloud service multiplication will become more prevalent as uploading content -- say an iTunes library -- becomes even easier.

My cloud landscape looks like this:

  • Google Drive.
  • Amazon's Cloud Drive.
  • Apple's iCloud.
  • Dropbox.
  • Box.
  • Microsoft's SkyDrive.

Add it up and I see no point in specializing in one. Amazon is used most heavily because I'm in the e-commerce giant's ecosystem more often than not. As an Android user, I'm increasingly using Amazon services over Google's. That said, I also frequent Google services.

And yes there's Apple's iCloud too, which is handy for my family's gadget universe -- iPod Touch and iPhones.

SkyDrive will also be a core option once I buy a Windows 8 laptop in the second half of the year. SkyDrive is also pitching the ability to work across multiple ecosystems. In the long run, Microsoft may have a winning message.

In the end, my cloud storage universe will likely be the norm. We have bring-your-own-device in the enterprise, and your personal life will increasingly be heterogeneous. Your cloud usage will also be diversified.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "Microsoft SkyDrive vs. Apple iCloud and the folly of cloud poaching."