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Microsoft melds SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint

Local access still matters

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Microsoft has released a new SkyDrive Pro client that offers users of Office 365 and SharePoint the chance to store files locally. The application is the heir to the My Site feature from previous incarnations of Office 365.

SkyDrive Pro has most of the the same functions as the consumer version of the service, which is one of many store 'n' synch clones that see the contents of a designated desktop folder shunted cloudwards and, from there, made available on any other device running the client software.

The key difference with the Pro version is that data resides in Office 365, a designated secure storage cloud or SharePoint 2013.

As Microsoft puts it, The new SkyDrive Pro client means “users of SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online in Office 365 [can] sync their personal SkyDrive Pro and any SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 team site document libraries to their local machine for access to important content on and offline.”

Microsoft's a little hazy with its description of the software's security features, promising it is possible to control access to share documents stored in SkyDrive Pro so they can be shared with select colleagues or external partners, provided they can log in to either your own server or Office 365. It's also possible to send external users a link that allows them to view, but not work on, documents.

That may not be enough to calm those who worry about local storage offering a chance for unintended or unwelcome distribution of documents. It will, however, give security companies a chance to warn, yet again, about the potential perils of the cloud. ®

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