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1) Lightroom licenses allow installation on two computers that you own for your own personal use, as long as you are not using LR on both computers simultaneously.
2) I can't answer specific questions about MS Cloud, but in general for LIghtroom use the photos must be stored locally, on one of your hard disks, or on a network drive. Cloud storage of the photos, if possible, will slow you down greatly (and it may not be possible). Furthermore, the idea of inputting keywords via two different sources of "organization" (Lightroom and Windows Explorer) will cause problems for you, because the information that you provide using one source will not automatically be recognized by the other organizer. And this causes problems because your two different sources will differ in their content. Even if you manually update each source to match the other source, humans aren't perfect and make mistakes, and you will have mismatches in the content, and of course, it is extra work. So, I strongly recommend doing all keywording in Lightroom and then have Lightroom automatically write the keywords to the files. The general rule which I advise everyone is to use only one organizing software!
Also, you can certainly produce "on-the-fly" slideshows using Lightroom.
Thank you for the prompt response! I will consider the slideshow feature.
One more clarification -- I noted that when i loaded a photo into the Lightroom trial version, which was keyworded/tagged in Explorer, Lightroom recognized the tags and would sort on them. Does that mean that they are not stored in the "catalog", however?
All keywords used by Lightroom are stored in the catalog file. When you import a photo, if the photo has keywords, Lightroom reads them and then stores the keywords in the catalog file. If you add a keyword via Windows Explorer after the file is imported into Lightroom, this is not used by Lightroom unless you manually tell LR to read the metadata from the file.
Thank you -- excellent explanation. I'll proceed as you advise. - Leisha