Store your files in “the cloud” with Windows Live SkyDrive

Store your files in “the cloud” with Windows Live SkyDrive

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Today Microsoft is announcing the final product name for what was previously known as Windows Live Folders. Windows Live SkyDrive gets not only its final product name but also a few new features and enhanced UI reflecting changes coming across many of the Windows Live services including Windows Live Spaces.

So what's Windows Live SkyDrive? Windows Live SkyDrive is a brand new Windows Live service that gives users 500MB of web space for the storing and sharing of files. Think of it as a personal "harddrive" on the internet - or "the cloud". By default, you get several protected directories which you can store your files in. These directories are completed protected from the public. Only you can view them. However, Windows Live SkyDrive allows you create or choose specific folders to share with everyone (Public folders) or specific people on your Windows Live Contacts list. You can set specific permissions for those viewing your folders as well - such as someone who can contribute (add and remove files) or someone who is simply just a reader. Your Public folder allows ONLY reader permissions for the public in viewing files within the folder. No need to worry about people maxing out your account with files.

I put together a small demo outlining Windows Live SkyDrive and several of today's beta improvements with a few new features. Check it out:

Video: Demo: Windows Live SkyDrive

For those who've been using the beta of Windows Live SkyDrive, today's changes and updates include the new Windows Live UI (header), improved file upload, thumbnails in folder views, and a section for visited SkyDrive folders from other people.

Nick and I use Windows Live SkyDrive quite a bit in sharing files. With me being outside Portland and him of course in Redmond - Windows Live SkyDrive has enabled us to quickly access and share files while working on projects. It has been a tremendous help overcoming the distance.

Give Windows Live SkyDrive a spin and let me know what you think. I'll be setting up a Public folder for you all to check out with some photos while visiting Redmond.  


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  • Ricahrd
    1 Posts

    Hi Brandon,

    Very helpful posting!

    I have been interested about and reading a lot of news about the cloud storage market for a while now.

    Cloud Storage is becoming a reality in more peoples life's and has been gaining speed due to its ease of use and the unlimited access to users files and data where ever they may be.

    An interesting website worth making note of it is:

    The is a helpful site that not only provides up to date news and articles on cloud storage and the cloud network in general but it also provides reviews and rankings of the providers in the market with consumer feedback.

    Once again thanks for your great posts!

  • 2 things

    1) Shell Integration Please!  being forced to use a browser for a 'Drive' is.. well, no.

    2) 50MB file size limitation.  Maybe a little bigger since its now 25GB

    Other then that, good stuff, though still using dropbox for the desktop client.

  • Is there an option to have it as a virtual drive in explorer? like so...

  • Just checked it out by uploading some wmv home videos.  Hopefully my sister in the UK can view them soon.

    Only bad thing is that Microsoft has already colaborated with yahoo users with Live Messenger, and Messenger can already view and send text messages to yahoo users.  Thats kinda made me spoilt, it would be nice to allow yahoo users to at least be allowed to be at least readers of folders, without having a hotmail account, i.e. using a yahoo account?

    Yeah Microsoft should just buy yahoo or get closer to them, thats what Im suggesting.

    Still great step in the right direction :-)  Microsofts web offerings are difinately getting better this year.

  • Sounds like a great idea, I will definately check it out.  To think I was getting excited about Gmail upping the attachment size to 20mb.  500mb of space.. nice :-)

  • PGC
    1 Posts

    Nice work! I've messed around with it for a bit and I really like it.

    My only gripe is 500mb. Come on I know you can do better than that. In today’s multimedia world that is not that much space.

    That said, I do like it and thanks!

  • Quite impressive and plenty of room and the icons on the desktop would be an awesome idea!

  • Coola
    4 Posts

    Hey Brandon,

    By hotlinking, I mean like allowing users to post images in Message Boards, or use the Online Storage to use in their Forum Signatures/Avatars.

    I know it has an html embed code, but what about enabling the image to be put in between UBB code such as:  [img]skydrive url here [/img] so that users can post the images directly into their messages on Message Boards.

    Kinda like Image Shack or Photobucket, which they allow a limit of bandwith to be posted on blogs/profiles etc.

  • nicholasr347, the SkyDrive team is aware of the desire for use of SkyDrive in many different markets including Australia and is working to do so in the future. I don't have a timeline though. I know SkyDrive is available in the UK and India markets with the latest release. A workaround is to change your Windows Live ID to say you're in one of the supported markets.

    Coola, what do you mean by "hotlinking"? I know it currently supports linking to specific files.

    - Brandon

  • Hi Brandon,

    Thanks for the positive feedback regarding my suggestion! :-)



  • Coola
    4 Posts

    I'm liking the SkyDrive, great work team!  Any plans on allowing hotlinking? :)

  • HI Brandon,

    When will this be available for non-us residents? (eg Australia)


  • SkyDrive is something great. I find it very useful.

  • *looks at photos* That's not too bad for a Hotmail ad campaign.  I wouldn't mind having a mailbox like that, and I've never used Hotmail (I'm a GMail guy myself).

  • Albert
    94 Posts

    I agree with Tino, the use of the icon that represents a hard drive with Vista installed can greate minor confusion.

    But anyways, is there any news on PhotoStory for Windows Vista? Or is there already a version compatible with Vista?

  • Nish, I'm affraid I don't follow you with what you're saying. I pay $19.95 for Hotmail Plus - where are you getting the $45? And how does it relate to SkyDrive?

    - Brandon

  • They should integrate all the Live Subscription service into one, including Hotmail Plus cos $45 is a bit too much for an average user...

  • Spencer
    20 Posts

    Very nice.  I have been using this for a bit and I'm quite impressed with the development.  Great job!

  • I can't use it n France. I'm a little sad because I like windows live services

  • tN0
    41 Posts

    What does an icon tell that shows a hard drive with a Windows logo on it? Nothing about a service on the net IMHO. It's the same icon like the one for a hard drive that has Windows Vista installed. An integration into Windows Explorer would confuse customers.

    The service is great but it should also have a better branding. But that is the same with all Windows Live services.

  • tino, I actually don't agree that the icon implies it has "Windows pre-installed" as its a web service with nothing to pre-install. Windows Live is a subset of Windows - software and services to make the Windows experience better. Sorry you think Windows Live SkyDrive is a too complex name. You can simply refer to it as SkyDrive as well.

    Espiox, you should be able to find the SkyDrive module for Windows Live Spaces under Modules and "Featured Modules". Concerning your comment about a desktop solution for SkyDrive - its a great idea and I'm sure the team is looking at it :-)

    johnhood, great idea. I'm not sure how soon we could expect something like that but its an interesting idea.

    Can everyone see my Public folder all right?

    - Brandon

  • Will SkyDrive become an online backup option within Windows Live OneCare?

  • tN0
    41 Posts

    Why "SkyDrive" and not only Windows Live Drive?? I dont get it. Why does Microsoft prefer long and complex names? WLD would be a simple abbreviation. Now WLSD sound like "Windows on LSD" and "WLS" is used for Spaces. Can someone please explain the naming?

    Oh and does Windows Live SkyDrive has Windows pre-installed? The icon suggests that.

  • Espiox
    11 Posts

    Okay, I've looking fairly thoroughly now. Where the heck is this Spaces Module that shows Public Folders?

  • Espiox
    11 Posts

    Any plans to add some kind of presence on the Desktop? (for example, having your SkyDrive appear as a storage device under "Computer")

  • Drazick
    16 Posts

    I've been waiting for weeks for an email from them...

    Still waiting on the waiting list :-)

  • Where can I sign up for the Canada waiting list?

    Also where can I sign up for the Windows live photo gallery waiting list?