Do you get how cool save-to-SkyDrive is? DO YOU??

Do you get how cool save-to-SkyDrive is? DO YOU??

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Here's what Windows.com says about one of the new features of Windows 8.1:

Save documents, photos, and other files to SkyDrive automatically so you'll have them anywhere—even on another device. And they'll be safe if something happens to your PC.

That's not hard to understand, right? Those words are all in English. There are subjects and verbs, and everything is spelled correctly. And the concept isn't complicated. But unless you actually use this feature, you might not get exactly how much of a game changer it is.

Let me give you an example. Say I'm working on a piece of my own writing at home (yes, Microsoft employees are allowed to have personal lives). When I hit Save or Save As, along with the usual array of folders, I see the SkyDrive icon:

SkyDrive interface

When I hit that icon, I immediately see all the folders on my SkyDrive (AKA  free online storage from Microsoft). I can then save my doc to any of those folders. It doesn't even matter if I'm not connected to the Internet. The doc is automatically saved to my PC and synced to my SkyDrive folder as soon as I connect. Then, when I'm at work, on a different PC, I can just go back to my SkyDrive right on my PC and print out the latest version. (Of course I would never actually do this, because what kind of MONSTER would use work resources for personal use? Definitely not me, ever.) 

The collaborative possibilities are also impressive. I can make a folder accessible to a particular person, or to a whole group of people, while keeping the rest of my SkyDrive private. A friend who edits stuff for me can look at what I’ve written and make comments and revisions. And both of us always see the latest version. This is also handy for sharing your photos or other large files. Don't email giant attachments—put them up on SkyDrive and send your friend a link. (More on how to do this.)

To do all this, you do need to sign in to your PC with your Microsoft account (which can be any email address/password combo you choose). But you’ll want to do this anyway, because there are a ton of other advantages.

One other thing. Because I have the SkyDrive app on my Windows Phone, I can get to any of my files that way, too. All the pictures I take on my phone are also automatically saved to my SkyDrive, so even if I drop my Nokia Lumia into a river of lava, I won't lose  even a single picture of my cat. I don’t have a cat.

In short, the boundary between my online storage and any single one of my devices has effectively melted away. It's just one seamless collection of my stuff that I can get to anywhere. It's an innovation that's almost too simple to understand. 

David S.

6 Comments
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  • When will Microsoft assign the outlook Hotmail system to the rubbish bin, and create something with more appeal, class and with a more in that I've thought to the Hotmail system...it's long overdue a re-vamp I think...

    Chris Jones Spirit Medium...

  • conser
    1 Posts

    When it works, Skydrive is great.  But I would hold off on the breathless praise until it is better debugged.  Twice this week I would have been SOL if I only relied on skydrive for the simple task of propagating updated PowerPoint files from one machine to another (Windows 7, Windows 8).  (Both times I was saved by using email, from Exchange server to Gmail, so I knew I could get my hands on it.)  For example, sometimes a file save will be forbidden because "another user is using the file", when I know with absolute certainty that they aren't.  Another failure mode is the lack of access to enough settings to debug problems like too many files being synced with a tablet (Samsung Slate Series 7, running W8) -- the initial setup allowed one to control this, but I can't find where to do it once Skydrive Pro is installed.  I personally have never lost files, but I have talked to people who have -- I have no idea what your backup policies are (I pay for 50GB/year beyond free) or whether your storage policies are FERPA compliant.  I think it has a lot of promise: the Windows Phone support is excellent, and the Android tablet support is also reasonable.  But could I trust it to keep all my files save and available as the main way to keep multiple machines (I use 5-6 daily) in sync?  Not yet, in my experience.

  • Lots of problems with skydrive and 8.1 :

    very slow sync on my two 8.1 computers.

    The third one will remain on 8.0 and no problem there.

    Why do you include an app to the system? it reminds me IE and finally you has to remove it!

  • john24
    0 Posts

    You can choose the location for your Skydrive folders during setup. You can also change them after installation but you'll effectively be starting from the beginning.

    If installing fresh - Choose the location during install (image)

    If changing post install - choose Settings/About/Unlink Skydrive from the tray icon

    For an interesting article about windows 8.1 check out www.gadgetride.com/.../microsoft-updates-include-latest-operating-system-and-recently-released-apps-microsoft-windows-81-and-remote-desktop-app-for-android-ios-and-mac.html

  • Does this mean you have fixed the issue in Windows 8 where if you were off-line windows would spend 5 minutes trying to save it to skydrive before saving it locally?

  • The save to SkyDrive feature is a wonderful addition when working on an Office Document in Office.

    But the SkyDrive integration in Windows 8.1 is deeply broken.

    Just search follow this link to the support community.

    There are at least 10 pages of issues dating back to the preview version of 8.1.

    SkyDrive is a great service in Windows 7 & 8, but has multiple unresolved issues in 8.1.

    answers.microsoft.com/.../search