Save Word Documents to Windows Live Skydrive

SkydriveI would love to have a nickel for every time the word “cloud” is used in some marketing piece these days. Are your marketing numbers down? No fear, just stick the words “cloud-hosted” in front of your product, and watch your numbers soar! For a lot of people, “the cloud” is just some mystery term that makes no sense. Let me put it to you in the simplest terms. If you take data from your computer and store it on another computer outside of your location, via the internet, you’re using “the cloud”. Why is it a “cloud”? Mostly, because you really have no idea of the physical location of the computer storing your information, or of the physical path it takes to get there. Today, I want to describe how you can save Word 2010 documents directly to “the cloud” using Windows Live SkyDrive.

Windows Live SkyDrive is a service of Microsoft. It provides 25GB of free online storage. Two of the greatest features it has are document sharing between yourself and  other Windows Live users, and in-browser editing of the documents that you store there. Let’s open a Word document and see how this is done.

In the picture below, you will see a Word document with a grocery list on it. Let’s say that you and your spouse would both like to be able to access and edit this document remotely. An easy way to do this is to use a shared folder in SkyDrive. To begin the process, you click the “File” tab on the ribbon toolbar in Word.

Word Document

 

Under the “File” tab, there is the option called “Save & Send”. Look at the picture below to see what this looks like. If you click this option, you will see a sub-menu with an option labeled “Save to Web”. Finally, clicking that option will take you to a sign in box.

Save & Send

You will need a Windows Live account to use this feature. If you are a Hotmail user, then you already have one. Just use your Hotmail account ID.

Windows Live LoginOnce you are logged in, you will see a list of folders available on your SkyDrive. In the picture below, you will see a folder highlighted under the heading of “Shared Folders”. Selecting this folder will make this file accessible to all the people with whom you have shared this folder.

Skydrive Folders

Now that you have selected the appropriate folder, click the “Save As” button at the bottom of the dialog box. You will see a window pop up similar to the one pictured below. Give the document a name and click the “Save” button to finish the job.

Save As Box

The Word document is now saved in “the cloud”. You can access the document by logging on to http://skydrive.live.com from any computer. When you do, you will see your SkyDrive folders listed.

Skydrive Window

Open the folder that contains your Word document, and you can view, as well as edit, the document right there in your browser. Below, you can see a picture of what the Word document looks like in the browser, as well as the location of the edit button.

Word in Browser

Using Word with SkyDrive is a great way to collaborate with others on a document.  It is also a good safety net because it keeps files backed up in an offsite location.  Hopefully, you can think of other creative uses for this feature.  Feel free to comment on this post at the bottom of the page, and let me know your thoughts on the subject.

 

Desktop is Past, Mobile is a Parallel Universe and the Cloud is Where Stuff Really Happens

Over the last few years, there has been a paradigm shift in computing and data storage from desktop to cloud to mobile. The transition has overlapped at many places and it has seemed more than once that the whole issue is bloated. Mobile processing is getting stronger by the day, and the cloud drives major online services. In the midst of all this development, the desktop is losing importance very fast and it attracts very few developers nowadays. Making a choice among the three is hard.

cloud-computing

(Image Source)
Right now, we make do with a perfect blend of all three. Mobile computing, mobile data storage and access have allowed us to remain productive for prolonged hours. Apps make hot news and success stories every day. An increase in the processing power of cellphones has made it possible to bring popular services to the mobile platform. Not only this, new dimensions in development like location awareness can be used to create compelling products and services.

The cloud has become increasingly popular and forms the backbone for all web-services. Cloud computing and storage has become a major business and Amazon has taken cloud to the very next level by building a strong business around it. For a company that has perfected the cloud so efficiently, it is interesting to see that Amazon always stays out of news.

Whether it is the mobile or the desktop, the very idea of software as a service makes cloud an essential part of the process. If we rule out the cloud completely, the mobile will end up being just like the desktop is today.

Cloud Storage on the PS3 with FW 3.60

It seems that the PS3 is in for a major update after quite some time. Remember what they said about Portal 2 for the PS3 also incorporating Steam Cloud? Well Sony is really pleased with this idea and want to generously put up this service for PlayStation Plus subscribers with the newest update.

psn

Calling it the very unimaginative Online Savingprocess, Sony has informed developers about this new axis of storing files and save data with their forthcoming 3.60 firmware update. Cloud storage has the dual advantage of not only making sure the gamer has his/her peace of mind, knowing that their save data is safely backed up on a remote server, it also enables the gamer to play the same game from the same save point on multiple consoles, since the save data is tied to a specific PlayStation Network account.

There is a catch with all this generosity, as mentioned before only PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to utilize this Online Saving process. The general public (also known as Those-Who-Refuse-To-Pay-For-Demos) is largely barred from this process. Also, since the game data is copied beyond the gamer’s console, some game developers might not be happy with the idea and can thus choose to opt out their video game’s data from being saved on the cloud.

Hopefully it will be implemented well by Sony.

Ubuntu One For Windows Enters Beta

ubuntu one logoUbuntu One, the cloud storage service available with Ubuntu, is coming to Windows as well. The Windows client was first announced at the beginning of 2010 and now it has entered the public beta stage.

Ubuntu One is a cloud storage service which allows users to sync files between different computers and to share it with others. It also has other features like streaming music to Android devices, 7digital Music Store integration etc.

Cristian Parrino of Canonical explains why porting Ubuntu One to Windows is important:

Expanding to Windows is actually a fantastic thing for Ubuntu users. There are many of you out there that use Ubuntu at home and Windows, for example, at work. This platform expansion will make it easier to integrate Ubuntu into more aspects of your digital world.

Right now the Windows client is rather limited in features. It allows for only the basic synchronization of files between Windows computer(s), Ubuntu One personal cloud and Ubuntu computer(s).

In the coming months Canonical plans to add new features like:

  • Automatic sync when files change
  • Information about your account, added devices, and more finite sync settings
  • Sync folders outside of the Ubuntu Onefolder
  • Enhanced desktop sync notifications
  • Support for contacts, notes and bookmarks
  • Support for notes and the music store – Tomboy and Banshee as optional components of the application installation

Ubuntu One for Windows is under limited trials now. If you uses both Windows and Ubuntu, you can click here to request access.

[via: Ubuntu One Blog]

iDuple: Another Indian Internet Tablet – 5 Sec. Boot Time, 50GB Cloud Storage

We have already told you about a lot of Internet tablets from India. Here is iDuple for you – yet another Indian tablet PC but this one is with a difference! This tablet from iDuple basically has one app – just a web browser. It does not have a hard drive and the tablet boots in just 5 seconds.

So does the lack of a hard drive mean you can’t install apps, store files, and perform other activities that you do on a PC? No, because the iDuple tablet is designed in such a away that when you turn it on, the tablet remotely connects you to a server that runs a virtual operating system.This mean you will be requiring an always-on internet connection just for turning on the tablet.

Actually the OS, your storage and your apps – everything is in the cloud. This way the tablet won’t require a lot of storage or a fast processor to handle resource-intensive applications as they’re   run by a remote server. This is a valid reason for the price of the tablet to be on the lower side. However you do need a pretty good internet connection for using the tablet. Users also get 50GB of cloud-based storage space for their files. You can take a look of the virtual OS that is being run on the tablet, here: iduple.com/webtop.

CloudFail Monitors Popular Cloud Hosting Services

With all the hoopla about the whole world moving to the cloud soon, how does one make sure which cloud hosts are working fine and which have crashed? CloudFail is the answer to that question. It is a free web service that constantly monitor popular hosts and post status updates if there is any down time, maintenance or other issues.

The list of hosts include Amazon Web Services, DropBox, OpenDNS, Google Apps, RackSpace, VPS and many more. Several status updates are posted daily about services going through any activity that may affect users or performance. You can also click on any of the service and see current historical status updates. Each status update also gets a permanent URL so you can share it with your friends.

If you are the service provider or think that the information is not accurate, there is an option to post comments on each update. It is a great tool to keep track of whats going on with your service provider and take appropriate actions to  accommodate  for any down time and  performance  issues.

Visit Cloudfail

NASA Leaving The Eucalyptus Cloud For Real Open-Source

NASA is leaving its Eucalyptus based cloud in favor of “real” open-source alternative for its Nebula infrastructure. According to NASA, not only are Eucalyptus clouds unable to achieve the scale they require, they are also not entirely open-source. NASA engineers were unable to contribute codes in Eucalyptus to improve its scalability because of conflict with Eucalyptus System Inc., who maintains a partially closed version of the platform.

So, they are leaving Eucalyptus based clouds and building their own platform which has been licensed with the Apache 2.0 license. NASA is building this new cloud platform, called Nova, with Rackspace as part of Rackspace’s recently announced OpenStack project.

It has been reported that the scale NASA is aiming Nebula to span one million physical machines and 60 million servers. According to NASA chief technology officer Chris Kemp, Eucalyptus cannot even get close to such scale. So they have to develop their won platform, Nova, to power Nebula.

This is what Kemp said:

Nebula is designed to be both massively scalable and incredibly cheap. You cannot certify commercial software in Nebula. We’re not even going to think about that.

[source]

Peppermint Ice – A Cloud Focussed Linux Distro

The team behind the Linux distro, Peppermint OS, has come up with another OS called Peppermint Ice. Peppermint Ice is not an update to Peppermint OS; it is another version of Peppermint OS with greater focus on the cloud.

Peppermint OS itself was released only two months ago. It is a fork of Lubuntu and is extremely light. It actually started as an experiment to combine the desktop computing with cloud applications.

With Peppermint Ice, they are aiming to extend the usage of cloud applications than what was done in Peppermint OS. Peppermint Ice will have a Site Specific Browser, called Ice. Ice has been developed by Kendall Weaver, the creator of Peppermint OS, as a means to launch web applications and cloud applications (Software As A Service). Peppermint Ice will also have the Chromium browser as the default browser. They want to take the reliance of Peppermint Ice on the cloud to such an extent that they are considering dropping printer and scanner support in  favor  of Google Cloud Print.

This is what Kendall Weaver said to Distrowatch about Peppermint Ice:

In the near future we’ll be releasing Peppermint Ice.   It will feature Chromium as the default browser and will likely be even more cloud focused as we’ll likely drop printer and scanner support for it and replace more of the default applications with either smaller ones or cloud based alternatives. Once we launch Peppermint Ice we will be working towards bringing integration with Google Cloud Print as the next logical step in development for Ice and all other Peppermint versions. Essentially, we were finding a large group of people who were experimenting with the combo of Peppermint and Chromium and getting great results. We listened to these skilled users of ours on the forum, picked their brains a little, and now we can offer Peppermint Ice as a crowd sourced product.

Peppermint Ice is available for download here -> Download Peppermint Ice.

[source]