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Summary:

Microsoft’s SkyDrive is coming to an iPhone near you, the company said this week. A new app means that iPhone users can store and access their personal photos, files and documents in SkyDrive as opposed to, say, Apple’s own iCloud.

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Microsoft’s SkyDrive is coming to an iPhone near you, in a move that caused a bit of a ruckus among the Microsoft faithful who think the company should support its own platforms first and foremost.

SkyDrive is Microsoft’s cloud-based storage service for personal photos, files and documents. It competes with a huge array of offerings, including Apple’s own iCloud. SkyDrive already supports Mac desktops as well as the usual array of Windows devices, and other Microsoft services already support the iPhone, so this news of an iOS app is not all that surprising.

SkyDrive group product manager Mike Torres said in the blog announcing the news:

We realize that not everyone who relies on SkyDrive for sharing photos or accessing Office documents uses Windows Phone . . . yet. We have a long history of supporting iPhone customers with built-in support for Hotmail and with apps like Bing, Messenger, OneNote (with SkyDrive sync), and now Skype.

More generally, we believe you should have access to your personal content no matter which device you use. This is why we are excited to invest in HTML5 — both on the web and on mobile — on skydrive.com.

Microsoft also announced a new SkyDrive app for Windows Phone 7.5. There was no word on SkyDrive for Android phones, something pointed out by commenters on the blog post, but the scuttlebutt is that Microsoft is working on that as well.

Others on the thread said Microsoft is foolhardy to bring out apps on non-Microsoft devices, in some cases before supporting its own.

One commenter wrote, “love wp7. but i dont understand one thing if MS release its proprietary products to non – MS devices than who will buy wp7. for eg, i heard rumor that MS is releasing Office for iPad , if thats true than there are high chances that people wont buy windows 8 table[t].”

But given the iPhone’s wild popularity and Microsoft’s attempt to build cloud services for customers across the spectrum, it makes sense for it to support (and try to co-opt?) those Apple aficionados.
As Torres  wrote:
we view device access as “table stakes” for personal cloud storage. People are choosing where to put their files based on how portable and accessible they are across the various devices they use; therefore, it’s critical that we continue to extend the SkyDrive experience to the devices you use every day.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user getinet

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