What is Windows
The short answer to the question
is: Windows Live SkyDrive is the free service offered by Microsoft to host files in the "cloud" to all
owners of a Windows Live ID. SkyDrive offers also other features like
allowing you to store, sync and share files with other people and other computers across the web. Files hosted on it can be
accessed directly for a web browser or via other tools offered by Microsoft: the applications included in Windows Live Essentials
or Microsoft Office 2010.
it offer in terms of space?
Windows Live SkyDrive
is quite generous in terms of space offered to users: 25GB. You can host any file types on it, as long as files are not bigger
than 100MB each. Files bigger than 100MB cannot be uploaded to Windows Live SkyDrive.
How to Access Windows Live SkyDrive?
Windows Live SkyDrive is the central point to hosting and sharing files online
via Microsoft services and applications. The only way to access it "independently" is via a web broswer. Simply
go to the Windows Live SkyDrive page, enter your Windows Live ID
and sign in.
Once signed it, you can see all the files you hosted and you can open them directly from your browser.
Internet Explorer 9, you can also pin Windows Live SkyDrive to your taskbar and get fast access to your files.
Online Collaboration on Documents
One of the great
features of Windows Live SkyDrive is that it allows you to collaborate on documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote)
with others, as long as they also have a Windows Live ID.
You can create documents directly from the browser. You have a "light"
version of Microsoft Office 2010 which gives you access to most common editing tools.
You can also create documents directly in Microsoft
Office 2010 and save them directly on Windows Live SkyDrive.
Or, if this still doesn’t work for you, you
can create documents in any office suite you desire and then manually upload the documents yourself.
Sharing documents for collaboration is very easy. Simply edit the permissions of the document
and decide if you are sharing this with people from your list of friends, with everyone or with a specific e-mail address.
Your Default Host for Storing, Synchronising and Sharing from Windows Live Essentials & Windows Phone 7
One of the key aspects of Windows Live SkyDrive is the fact that
it is deeply integrated with all applications included in the Windows Live Essentials suite: you can publish & share your photos via Windows Live Photo Gallery, or
your videos via Windows Live Movie Maker.
can also use it to automatically backup files via Windows Live Mesh and synchronize them across computers.
Another important aspect is the fact that it is also integrated with Windows
Phone 7. You can upload files to it from your phone and access them at any time.
As you can see,
Windows Live SkyDrive is quite a great service, even though it can be confusing to figure out what it is and how
it works. There are many tools included in Windows Live Essentials, but SkyDrive is not properly explained and emphasized.
It just shows up everywhere, without a clear explanation of what you can do with it. Hopefully, this article helped you understand
what it is and how you can use it.
is shaking things up with SkyDrive. The new features and capabilities move it out of the Microsoft-centric shadows and pit
it more directly against Dropbox, and possibly the imminently rumored Google Drive. However, Microsoft also announced a change to SkyDrive that many won’t appreciate.
- The big
news is that Microsoft has done away with the convoluted Live Mesh system, and adopted a more streamlined syncing system very
similar to Dropbox. Microsoft has an app for Windows and for Mac OS X that integrates SkyDrive with the local OS. Files can
be stored in the SkyDrive folder, and they will be automatically uploaded to the
cloud, and synced to other computers or devices.
SkyDrive is providing more free storage, and cheaper paid storage
than rival Dropbox.For Mac users, Office 2011 for Mac has already
offered SkyDrive integration, but the new app makes SkyDrive available to other software, and integrates with the Finder tool
in Mac OS X. Microsoft also introduced a new version of the iOS app that provides a native experience on both the iPhone and the iPad.
suddenly much more capable as a cross-platform, cloud-based data storage option.
The down side is that Microsoft is cutting the default SkyDrive storage capacity from a very generous 25GB down to
7GB. It is actually a dramatic improvement, though. Even with the 25GB of storage, you could only sync 5GB using Live Mesh,
and the maximum file size was limited to 100MB. Now, you can upload files up to 2GB, and you can keep the entire SkyDrive
The drop from 25GB to 7GB is dramatic, but Microsoft
shares some data in a blog post indicating that less than one percent of existing SkyDrive accounts are using more than 7GB of storage. Combine that information
with the fact that Dropbox only provides 2GB of free storage, and SkyDrive still seems like the better deal by comparison.
For users who need more space, SkyDrive is an even better deal. The cheapest option available
from Dropbox for those who exceed the 2GB is a 50GB plan for $10 per month.
Microsoft will offer paid plans starting
at 20GB for only $10 per year. The 50GB SkyDrive plan is only $25 per year--nearly 80 percent less than the same storage capacity
Microsoft is rewarding those who already use SkyDrive. Existing
accounts can upgrade for free for
a limited time from the 7GB allotment to the previous 25GB capacity. Just log into your SkyDrive account and click the link
at the top to claim the upgrade. Existing accounts that are already near or over the new 7GB limit have already been automatically
upgraded by Microsoft.
Linux users will still prefer Dropbox because there’s
no SkyDrive app available for the open source operating system.
But, with the new changes Microsoft has rolled
out for SkyDrive, Dropbox may face some very serious competition on Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS.