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Comment Re:Worked out for me... (Score 1) 212

Googles apps compare reasonably well against the online Office apps, but Microsoft also includes the full desktop apps in the subscription cost, and includes applications that have no Google analog (like Publisher and Access).

In terms of the online features, as far as I know there is no transcoding available through Google Drive, and they partition their music and photo hosting into separate services, which I personally find annoying. And of course Microsoft has native support for all Windows devices, while Google only supports desktops. As a Windows Phone user, that makes Google something of a non-starter.

You can call me a shill, but I'm just a satisfied customer. Reluctantly, at that, since I used Linux exclusively for about twenty years.

Comment Re:Worked out for me... (Score 1) 212

Works fine for technical consumers as well, depending on their specific needs.

I have a wide variety of data types, so I use a wide variety of approaches to redundancy. Traditional block and filesystem level approaches are fine as far as they go, but are not appropriate or ideal for all

For example, my VPS has a local backup, source code gets pushed to remote git repositories and mail gets synced via IMAP. My video collection is large enough that backing up to the internet would be cumbersome, so that goes to an external drive.

But stuff like music, photos, ebooks and documents (encrypted if they're sensitive) work just dandy in OneDrive. If anything, the home server acts more as a backup, since my primary point of access is through OneDrive, but I still consider the content on the file server to be the original, even if it is more sparsely accessed.

Comment Re:Worked out for me... (Score 1) 212

I'm thinking that an offsite redundant copy of data on highly available hardware is an offsite redundant copy of data on highly available hardware. Whether it is "cloud" or not is largely irrelevant.

And yes, under the promotional terms of my surface, it included a one year Office 365 subscription at no cost beyond the goods I was already buying (rather, it was at a discount). Again, my acquisition and maintenance costs are zero.

Comment Re:OneDrive? OneDrive? (Score 1) 212

It's totally awesome plugging a hard drive into your phone so you can access your whole music collection. Or manually maintaining duplicated copies on an SD card (if that's even an option) instead of using something like Google Play or Groove which will manage a cache of recently accessed content (thereby avoiding redownloading) while still retaining access to the full data set.

Comment Re:Worked out for me... (Score 1) 212

It's was thrown in with a bundle of products I was buying anyways, so yes, my acquisition cost was zero. And my operational cost is also zero. Hence free.

We could get into a semantic argument of the meaning of the word free, and you could probably spout tanstaafl or some variant of the same argument, but let's just nip that in the bud because I was referring to the net budgetary impact.

Comment Re:Worked out for me... (Score 1) 212

Actually, right now I'm paying $0/mo for storage since I got two years free. And even when that runs out I will be paying $7/mo for hosted storage, related services and a full office suite. For less than the two major competitors (Google and Dropbox) charge for less features (and again, no office suite).

I have plenty of storage at home (around 10TB usable) but OneDrive provides me convenience and backup. I suppose I could go through the trouble of installing something like OwnCloud, then configuring all my devices to use it, but you know what? Not only would it still be difficult to match the feature set, I am far more likely to have power or network go out in my house than in their data centers.

Comment Re:Worked out for me... (Score 1) 212

Wow, Western Digitial includes geo-redundant data centers with multiple backbone links with their consumer products now? And an office suite? Awesome!

Oh, it's just a non-redundant network drive with a remote access app that allows you to browse remotely (which is useful) but without streaming for anything but audio, no indexing, no versioning, no collaboration, no transcoding, no option for encryption at rest, no IFTTT channel, etc. And of course no office suite.

Certainly a good option for sensitive information, but again - different product category.

Comment Re:Worked out for me... (Score 1) 212

Yes, and a bare drive is exactly the same as a geo-redundant storage service which provides automatic file versioning, media file indexing and streaming (including transcoding), document collaboration, platform integration with Windows devices (including the Xbox), ifft support, etc. Oh, and a full office suite for your browser, desktop, tablet and phone. Exactly the same.

Comment Re:Rent-Seeking (Score 1) 157

Possibly, but that means someone needs to know to lock down the devices before deploying them, which is far from guaranteed. And even if they know, all it takes is one teacher successfully arguing that their students "need" some particular Android application before the floodgates are opened (especially if the OS/2 effect kicks in and ISVs stop targeting Chrome because Chromebooks can just run the Android app instead).

Comment Worked out for me... (Score 1) 212

I was vaguely annoyed when I heard they were dropping from 15GB to 5GB since I had taken to storing music in OneDrive since I like the Groove interface a lot better than Google Play (especially the web interface), but when I went to manage my space it offered my a free year of Office 365 with 1TB of storage. I also have a free year from the Surface bundle I bought last year, so I'm good for a while.

But even after that expires, a one year subscription is $69.95, which is cheap compared to dropbox ($99 for 1TB or $10/mo). Google also runs $9.99/mo for 1TB, though they still offer 15GB in their free tier and a 100GB plan for the same price ($1.99/mo) as Microsoft's 50GB upgrade.

So yes, this is almost certainly a way to drive users to use Office 365, but it's a good value. The pricing is even better with Office 365 Home, since that is $99 for a year or $9.99/mo but gives you 1TB of storage for each of five users.

Comment Re:Rent-Seeking (Score 1) 157

There are a ton of Android applications which strictly use local storage for state data, configuration and state. It doesn't matter that ChromeOS supports back-end services if the applications don't use them.

So you log with your Google account to a new machine, and maybe it restores the installed set of applications (or at least gives access; you probably don't want the same set of applications on every single device associated with your Google account), but your shopping list app is empty, your RSS feeds are all missing, your downloaded podcasts are gone, etc, etc.

Chromebooks were essentially the descendants of thin clients and dumb terminals. The limitations were deliberate and net positives for their intended use cases. Removing those limitations has benefits, but it also has costs.

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