18 minutes ago, cbae wrote
Backup is backup, and version control is version control.
If you're maintaining a backup for disaster recovery, you don't want the different copies to be of different versions.
This isn't like DFS from Server->Offsite location. The problem is you really don't have a single source of ultimate truth, if it were simple data mirroring then I may be able to see this argument.
You can possibly have a multitude of sources with at times wildly varying connection speeds, all trying to overwrite a file at relatively the same time, or files. This is why you'll occasionally see a "Filexx-PC.LivingRoom" in your Skydrive folder if you've been jumping back and forth between systems and their internet connectivity is not constant. Skydrive doesn't know if it should overwrite the file for a multitude of reasons, so it saves the recent version as separate.
Ironically this was one of the reasons given why Mesh's great PC->PC LAN sync was killed as the sync across multiple devices could apparently prove problematic (so let's do it over 1mbit uplink speeds I guess?).
So cloud storage IS backup. What cloud storage is not is version control.
Yes. In other words, a very crappy backup system.
If you want to play the war of figurative vs. literal, knock yourself out. But there's a reason those of us in IT have this mantra of "Duplication is not backup" - it may not be 100% accurate with respect to the language, but it's meant to foster a mindset and instill the discipline that simply having a "copy" of a single point in time is nowhere near sufficient to refer to it as a viable backup system for any business.
The point is that with your most important files in Skydrive, you do not have the option to make that distinction even if you're aware of it. It's either/or which is ridiculous. You can certainly make the argument that Skydrive should not store versions of your files going back to perpetuity, of course not - there's not enough storage for that. So you put the responsibility of that on the consumer if they want that level of control. The problem is 8.1 specifically removes it. Why in the hell would MS care if I'm backing up my own Skydrive folder? It's mine, the files are local on my system - how does this make things simpler?
With Previous Versions in Windows7, you at least had that distinction. It was indeed a versioning system, and it worked well - one, because it was enabled by default on your boot drive without any further config. Two, because it used VSS, the data required to keep the versions was minimal. That, and the fact they're stored on your same drive - it's obvious that they won't survive a hardware failure. People generally know that to have a solid backup, it has to reside on another source.
So, you also ran Win7 backup. One program. Backs up your entire system. It doesn't skip certain directories, "just 'cuz". What, will 8.2 scan for DropBox and iCloud/Gdrive folders and "assist me" by skipping them?
Backup should backup my files. Simply because one of the folder structures is replicated to the cloud does not mean I don't require to go back in time to a specific period and restore a specific version. If anything, the nature of cloud storage where a single change can suddenly effect a whole slew of systems with no ability to go revert that makes versioning more important and inherent to the backup system.
I mean really, the entire point of revisiting MS backup was to make it simpler and easier, especially for consumers. This does not. It requires them to understand that backup is backup - except you know, when it isn't.