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When we designed SkyDrive for Windows 8.1, we thought a lot about how storage needs are growing much faster than device hard drives. So we invented smart files, which allow you to have your files always with you while being unconstrained by storage capacity.
In the Windows 8.1 preview we saw consumers using SkyDrive in two distinct ways. The first group of people are very conscious of what they have saved to disk and most of their files are online-only. We found that the majority of people using smart files take up 80% less disk space than they would without smart files. The second group of people are on the other end of the spectrum: they explicitly chose to have all their files available offline, and so have their entire SkyDrive stored locally. This showed us that users understand smart files and are tailoring the feature to their needs.
Although smart files are a fraction of their original size, they behave identically to any other file. A great example of this is how smart files show up in Bing Smart Search in Windows 8.1. This feature, which is rolling out over the coming weeks, allows you to search from the desktop for the content of Camera Roll photos that have had text extracted from them.
For example, you might have taken a photo 6 months ago of the menu of your favorite restaurant, but can't remember where it's buried in your Camera Roll and want to remember the dish you had. You can simply type in the restaurant name on your desktop and Bing Smart Search will search text of your Camera Roll photos and pull up the picture of the menu with the restaurant name printed on it. With the power of smart files, this will work even if your Camera Roll is marked for online-only access. The moment you open the photo, it will be instantaneously pulled from the cloud for you to view the full version.
People are starting to take photos not only to capture special moments, but also to keep track of everyday information, so we are really excited about this scenario and proud to unveil this valuable OCR search feature.
Just weeks away from the general availability of Windows 8.1, we're very excited to not only continue allowing you to have your files always with you, but to make your files smarter.
- Mona Akmal, Group Program Manager, SkyDrive apps
sorry clicked enter and the comment closed. I have from W8 SkyDrive with 25GB and some critical files sent there, which I update by using the Send To line. With W8.1, all my data files now are under the SkyDrive heading in File Explorer, and I have exceeded the @% GB storage. Can I remove some files form storage to get more space without also losing them from my data storage on my hard drive. (I presume this is o, but don't want a nasty surprise.) Also, what is a Smart file: can I make some Smart?
This time it worked, so here is my comment, but really question.
Failed before - will try again
I am agree.
Get 100Gb free space with surdoc tru privacy security policy
too bad that can only be used if you sign in with a MS account, all the users under a working environment logging into their accounts with the user provided by the IT admin can not use Skydrive anymore.... neither if yo do not want to use an MS account and want to keep using your local account... bad move from MS.
Agreed with the others that there needs to be a desktop tray icon to indicate the syncing status. We shouldn't have to launch a Metro app just to see what's being synced, the majority of the worlds population has much slower upload speeds as compared to download, knowing when your file has completely synced is critical.
However, the huge, glaring problem right now is you're encouraging people to put everything in Skydrive, but then removing it from the local backup. Cloud storage is *not* backup folks, there is no version control for files, and it's one central authority. What if someone gains access to my MS account? What if I corrupted file is uploaded then synced across all my devices? It's gone forever.
I understand with the way Skydrive works now you can't back up just metadata as it will confuse users, but to simply just excise the main file repository you're now pushing from local backup with File History is incredibly irresponsible. This should have been thought of beforehand.
Not to mention File History already excludes a massive amount of folders and file types when backing up with no way to add them. There is no way I could fit all the data I need to backup into my Skydrive folder, even if I'm paying a hefty sum for 200+ GB.
Cloud storage is convenience. It does *not* replace a local backup system. This is going backwards.
This is fantastic, no doubt about that, except for one thing: I recently tried transferring a few GB of files from Dropbox to SkyDrive by dragging a sub-folder from one to the other. I was utterly shocked at the pedestrian way the uploads to SkyDrive were done. It sat there doing nothing almost all the time, like it needed someone to nudge it to wake up. In the end I gave up, moved my data back to Dropbox, and paid the Dropbox annual fee.
Something else I noticed was that my JPG files changed, or rather this happened to the ones that made it to the SkyDrive cloud before I gave up and went back to Dropbox. It turned out that the changes were to metadata, plus conversion from Motorola to Intel format. It caught me by surprise so I wrote some code to verify that the actual image data was not affected. Nowhere have I been able to find anything on the web that confirms that this happens, which I find surprising. Has no one else noticed?
These improvements are fantastic. I love my SkyDrive in 8.1 RTM. I would like to see options to "mount" shared SkyDrive folders from other users. I work with my colleagues by sharing certain folders in SkyDrive where we drop OneNote files, Word Docs, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. However, in the new Modern app, visibility for those shared folders have disappeared. It would be cool to be able to mount shared drives in Explorer as well. This would enhance productivity immensely. Keep up the great work!!!
I think hiding the details of sync is a good idea (and it seams you almost totally hide it) but there are problems with use expectations. For example; I edit a file which gets locally hydrated, then loose connectivity, save and then go to another device to continue editing the file. You need to signpost the user clearly, obviously can only be done on save on initial device, unless you warn it was previously hydrated on another device so you may be out of date.
SkyDrive does not support EFS encrypted files (cloud storage should support encryption where only the end user knows the key).
With Windows 8.1 File History support for SkyDrive and Windows 7 Files Backup have been dropped, so no more built-in backup is available.
With these important features missing I consider the usefulness of SkyDrive severely limited.
Nice, what a great feature. If I may, this feature should have a way to glance at Skydrive folders and know if it being synced or Offline ..instead of right clicking and seeing what the status is on each one.
Thank you for all your work.
In the preview there were two problem:
1. It is not apparent if skydrive is processing: uploading or downloading.
2. A file's location either locally or in the cloud is not obvious.
I've heard neither of these have been addresssed
I would like a status indicator in each file/folder in explorer on the desktop telling me if it is hydrated (or parched).
Current skydrive files (and all other similar services) have sync status on the file/folder icons and I find them extremely helpful. I think it is going to be very confusing not knowing *at-a-glance* which files are fully available offline.
I think the SkyDrive name only affects them in Europe, not the U.S.
Does the search also works from the search box the files explorer on the desktop?
Didn't MS lose that lawsuit about the SkyDrive name? What are they going to call it next?
Isn't smart files already included in Windows 8.1 RTM