Windows Explorer and Microsoft SkyDrive
Bit by bit more of our lives are moving in to the cloud. I have been a bit late to this party as I have never published my photos to Flikr or any other image sharing site. That is mainly because I want to keep them secret and I am really just after an off site backup solution. What I have been after is great easy storage with enough disk space for all my photographs. There are plenty of places out on the web which offer this service I know, but I want it cheap or free. This is where Microsoft SkyDrive comes in with a whopping 25GB of private storage.
Great, but what I was after was simple integration with the Windows UI without having to go through a web interface. This had deterred me from using it until I came across a piece of software called Cloud Desktop from Gladinet. After installation and a bit of minor configuration, it gives you access to your SkyDrive through a virtual network drive. It comes in three editions, with the Starter being free. The main limit of the free version is that you can only upload a maximum of 1000 files at a time. Simply drag and drop your files in to the virtual drive and you are away. A great resource to help you get up and running is this link from newbTech.
For easy synchronization between Windows directories and the cloud, there is always Live Mesh, but it would be great if Microsoft would release a SkyDrive API so we could have more control through our applications, perhaps hooking up the Sync Framework.