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SkyDrive has grown tremendously since we launched in 2007, and recently, we've made a number of updates to SkyDrive:
But we know we have a ways to go. As we look to the future and designing a personal cloud storage service for billions of people, it's important to reflect both on what's going on in the industry and the problems people are having with today’s approaches to the cloud.
There are a lot of companies innovating in personal cloud storage, and they are all doing so through a specific "lens" of what's important to them. We see three distinct categories:
Each category enables specific outcomes for its users. Each of these has its strengths, and we think that they’re all interesting.
While mainstream users are only just starting to embrace personal cloud storage, we’re seeing more demand as people buy and use more types of devices and need to access content across them.
As these trends continue, it’s interesting to look at how current approaches to personal cloud storage break down. We’ll look in particular at three groups of power users: college students, gadget fans, and photo enthusiasts. While they are on the leading edge today, they represent tomorrow’s mainstream.
College students work from multiple locations and collaborate frequently as part of class. Overwhelmingly, when students work on group projects, they start or finish in Microsoft Office on their PC or Mac. However, in between, almost 75% of students use more than one tool to share and collaborate including email, file clouds like Dropbox, and app clouds like Google Docs. (In fact, over 70% of Dropbox users also use Google Docs.) Using these different tools can lead to formatting loss, extra steps and versions, or just confusion, since each tool has its own limitations. For example, students can use limited online tools like Google Docs to work together, but when they share using Dropbox, they get file conflicts and need to have the right apps installed locally to view or edit docs.
These users have at least three devices including smartphones, PCs, and tablets. They want to easily access their content across their devices.
Device clouds like iCloud are useful – but not a perfect fit – since less than 10% of these people have devices all running the same operating system family. (If you include devices like e-readers and smart TVs or consoles, this percentage approaches zero.) As a result, these people often need to stitch together different cloud services to meet their needs.
We know we have users with hundreds of gigabytes of photos stored on their PCs. File clouds let them easily access and show off their photos from anywhere, but they can quickly hit cloud storage limits. Then they need to buy a cloud storage subscription, even if they have terabytes of cheap storage attached to their desktop PC. Also, since File clouds are primarily designed to replicate the file system online, they often lack rich photo sharing features that these people want.
Photo enthusiasts can also use app clouds designed for photos, but these have their own challenges. Often it’s difficult to upload files en masse without file system integration. Also, app clouds can be tied to specific social graphs. What if I want to share my full spring break album only with close friends while sharing certain pictures with Facebook friends? Do I need to upload pictures to multiple places?
The current approaches in the marketplace – including ours – have limitations. For their personal content, we think customers will choose the cloud that most seamlessly connects today’s files with tomorrow’s modern device and app experiences. What would this look like?
We sometimes hear from customers who want to use SkyDrive in key scenarios but encounter limitations. Over the years, we have built products that have been too complex. Often, we’ve asked customers to play "system integrator" across numerous of our services and numerous other cloud services. Here are a few things we’ve heard loud and clear:
We know we have a ways to go to deliver a cloud that seamlessly connects today’s files with tomorrow’s modern device and app experiences. We will measure our progress in meaningful releases that address feedback and bring us closer to our vision.
It will also take time to bring together people, content, and devices at scale. Below are key indicators we measure in this regard:
While aggregate indicators are useful, we’ll also look at how we are doing with power users like college students. Today, less than 10% of college students consider using SkyDrive to access or share docs.
We know that you have questions about what’s planned for SkyDrive. We listen closely to your feedback and are hard at work on our upcoming releases. Please follow us on Twitter for the latest news.
Omar Shahine & Mike Torres Group Program Managers for SkyDrive
Guys you gotta sort more basic functions on sky drive like be able change the column widths, if a have a bunch of files shared with peole the file name gets cut off, the colum widths are not flexible, I should also be able to customize what column I display like you can in my docs on a PC.
Also make bulk deleting/moving files betwen folders an on SkyDrive easier, it is a killer the way it is now. If you add file to the top level folder where your my docs folder is you have to delete one ata a time or move them into a folder and delte the folder, way too much time, not user friendly at all. An actions menu for selected items is needed.
Skydrive is good but ther are some very simple functions that are missing.
Its great to hear you're listening to feedback and by the looks of this article, you are heading in the right direction!
There are 3 things I want from SkyDrive
1) Option to pay for more storage as I need it
2) Make it simple to share photos & files i.e. a friendly URL, Twitter/Facebook buttons, easy to distinguish what's public/private
3) Uploads, organisation & access as easy as using Windows Explorer
Hope they will be there soon :)
I need to be able to drag and drop files and folders from my explorer right in Skydrive without any overpriced third party tool.
At least, allow WebDAV access. Right now it's kind of useless to me. i'm currently using Dropbox and Pogoplug
Not only we want to save a heap of files and photos, we also want to have control over this, and have great and easy tools and ways to manage the content or the service does not make sense to users and they will be lost.
Surely the problem for Skydrive is to make universal cloud access economical. It would be easy to open up mass cloud storage synchronized with Mesh for all files on the PC - but to support that economically is very difficult.
The answer has to be to let the market drive this through cost of the service:
1. Charge for additional storage beyond a basic free limit.
2. Use Live Mesh to synchronize the local file store. All patterns for access should be through synchronization and not via remote calls into the storage.
3. Use Live Mesh to conflate (throttle back) updates to reduce traffic (and therefore costs).
4. Improve file management tools, for example: - highlighting very similar photos (duplicates), unnecessary pixel density, videos encoded using older codecs etc.. All this will help reduce the file storage burden.
5. Provide tiers of storage. For open content (that can be indexed by search engines) provide a different cost structure and use this content to target adverts. For opaque content charge more. These tiers can be invisible to the user.
6. For media, use licensing deals to store a reference to the official public media (like iCloud). Don't restrict this to music, move movies into the cloud too.
7. Have an answer for shared media in a household. What happens in scenarios where a family shares bought media, or it's borrowed between family members.
8. Provide access to all devices with simple REST based synchronization APIs (like the sync framework).
@Guillaume Belfiore You an use Gladinet to get a mapped drive to SkyDrive, Google Docs etc for free. Works brilliant too! http://bit.ly/rFuYiD
One issue with www.SkyDrive.com; unlike copying file from one folder to other folder, copying file from root directory to some folder and vice versa is not allowed! I can upload a file in root folder but I cannot move it or copy it from there. It should be fixed.
Feature request: please provide XPS document support (view as html) on SkyDrive and native support of XPS in windows phone.
@aredubbya yep, we totally agree and get that. Stay tuned :-)
@Thom, @Guillaume Belfiore, @cvdonato, @joe72 thanks for all the feedback. You all re-enforce a lot of the feedback we continue to receive and we are hard at work at improving SkyDrive.
You guys killed skydrive when you killed Live Mesh the original live mesh that never got out of beta not the new one with the oddball limitations, it was way more useful and it was about two years ahead of the curve.
I was in the beta and the biggest issue with it was preformace impact on client machines. If you fixed that you had a kick ass product. But instead in typical Microsoft fashion you killed or rather merged it deleted some if its best features like local sync folders and called it Skydrive.
Right now about the only thing I use skydrive for is backing up my Windows Phone pics and docs. and its works amazingly well auto backing up my photos automatically and I can share them its great.
Missing integration with Windows 7.... that's basic...
I see fellow students using Dropbox and Google Docs all the time, but frustrated with the limited space of Dropbox and poor document editors in Google Docs. SkyDrive with Office Web Apps does both spectacularly. Now if I could pay to lift the 100MB file size limit and if you would put the web uploader back into the Live Sync storage it would be perfect.
Document management and sharing with SkyDrive is decent so far, but it does have a good ways to go before it is as superb as its potential would demand. I use it currently, and it really does help for sharing large files or batches of files. It'll be even better when the feedback you listed is accounted for.
The only major thing lacking from SkyDrive is a way to sync and manage collections of music. Amazon's Cloud Drive is a great tool, and I can imagine Microsoft's version (if you were to do one) would be even better because it could sync with PCs, Windows Phones, Xbox 360, iMacs, etc. Plus, you could just integrate it tightly with Zune on WP7, PCs, and 360. It'd be really great if this were an option, and I'm sure people would much rather pay a small fee for extra storage versus burning and ripping their music from machine to machine.
Hoping that there will be a My Music folder on SkyDrive soon that contains all the music that I have ever downloaded using my ZunePass plus anything else I upload there as well!
I can dream ... :-)
@jamiet I use Live Sync to keep my Zune Pass content synchronized between my PCs right now, but it doesn't handle Zune's Folder.jpg files properly (some sync, some don't). I wish there was a way to just have the Zune Pass downloaded and bought content visible on SkyDrive, even though the data doesn't actually have to be there since it is provided by the service.
Realistically if you don't offer me more space for pictures (so that I can grow, indefinitely), I'm relegated to using poor tools like Flickr to share and back-up my pictures. Additionally, having a viable customer service option that Flickr does not is something I'd gladly pay for. A "cloud pass" that encompasses a bunch of different services like Zune, Xbox Live, and Skydrive storage is something I'd love to see, as I'm already paying for things separately, why not give me a discount to get all three (or more, if you guys are planning on it)? Curious for a reply, since my twitter only gets 255 characters... please write me back! @Shyatic
SkyDrive should act as a brand for the location of all the users web-stored digital content:
Xbox is launching cloud game saves. Why is Xbox using a generic "cloud" brand instead of SkyDrive and why are game saves not viewable (if not managable) from a SkyDrive Games Hub?
Zune streams the entire music marketplace to the Xbox, PC, and Phone via Zune Pass. Why can't users sort and refine the marketplace and make their own cloud based collection (making it easy to find content they like without having to search for it)? And why is such a service not viewable (if not managable) from a SkyDrive Music Hub?
Zune streams movies and television shows purchased through the service to the Xbox and PC. Why can't users view, manage, and play their collections through a SkyDrive Videos Hub?
Why can't I see SkyDrive pictures on my Xbox in a Pictures Hub?
Why can't I view (ONLY) PowerPoint presentations on my Xbox in an Office Hub? < < (admitedly not pressing but would be a fun (free) MS-ecosystem app for the Xbox)
I'm tired of waiting for SkyDrive and Hotmail (both of which are my primary cloud storage/e-mail services) to become legitimate players. Despite the many years of work the teams have put into these services many of the fundamentals of these services are just broken. When are the teams across Microsoft going to work together on this? Is it Windows 8? Is it the NEXT dashboard update of the Xbox 12 months from now? Is it with the launch of Windows Phone 8 a year from now? OR like most of MS's services is it on some unannounced schedule of revision? Is Zune a service or is it Xbox Music now?.. either way where are feature updates for these services and what kind of schedule are they on? Hotmail and SkyDrive seem to be rolling out features randomly but the services seem somewhat out of sync with Microsoft's new Metro-fied vision. Bing is rolling out random updates from time to time as well but it also seems behind the times (on the PC).
I know I griped alot but thanks for at least telling us you are looking towards the future. Usually this means your team has been for some time... Also tired of ambigious promises that the future will be better. Good Luck. Hope you look at some of my complaints/suggestions as potential future features
Without being quite as vitriolic...I agree with everything that cmwind says. I want SkyDrive to be THE hub for all of the content that I get via Microsoft. Music, games, video, Office docs, photos, Bing search scrapbook whatever... Sure, let each of the individual services have their own "portals" but make SkyDrive the one hub to rule them all. Perhaps all of the other services should effectively be apps that get run *through* SkyDrive.
A massive yes to the comment about unifying the 'devices' and 'my files' storage - I couldn't believe it when I found out they were separated as they were both called SkyDrive!
With the Wave 5 update in June, SkyDrive became much better, But it still needs a LOT of work to make it useable! I hope the release shown at BUILD (it was demoed using a Windows 8 PC) is coming soon...
Lots of great feedback here folks, thanks! Keep it coming... we hope you like where this is going. We are really looking forward to sharing more soon.
Sharing a document via SkyDrive is such a pain and never worked with non-live-ids unless I make the document public. Tried multiple times to share with friends with yahoo/gmail-id (live-ids) They login to skydrive and try to open the document to see the no permissions dialog. Now, if I share any document via skydrive they just ignore it. Seriously, they would never touch anything called skydrive again.
The current access levels (below) are all pretty much useless, other than public and me. Can someone explain how this "Some Friends" work? How hard can it get to provide a decent interface to manage permissions at file and folder level.
My friends and their friends
Some friends (0)
I have fellow students use Google Docs all the time. Its ok for the basics, but Google Docs is a poor excuse for a Word processor, or anything I ever want to print.
If someone shares Google Docs with me, I use a free tool called Syncdocs http://syncdocs.com to sync the doc back to my PC and edit it in a real editor, Word. My edits are synced back to the Google users with minimal hassle.
I need to be able to drag 1, 5 or 564 files onto my Skydrive at one time, and drag 1, 23 or 50 folders at one time as well. Moreover, I need to drag my desktop files and folders directly onto the Skydrive browser window with no intermediate steps. And, of course, there should be no file or folder size limits except for the max limit. In short, until Skydrive acts exactly like a regular internal drive, Skydrive remains an interesting concept, but not a useful technology.
Intermediate steps are of no use. It has to have all the things above, and nothing less.
After the disaster of Windows Live Movie Maker, I personally hope you guys can add features (rather than take them away), and do it soon.
It would also be nice to have an icon for the desktop and/or task bar that acts exactly like a folder icon: click on it, it opens up to my Skydrive, and I can immediately access it like a hard drive on my computer. No fuss, no muss, and no intermediate steps.
The talk so far has been primarily around documents, photos and video files; these are relatively simple file types to offer up and sync as they are generally maintained by a single user and a last update wins philosophy will work. What I would like to see offered is the option for lightweight database file storage, that supports mutli-user, concurrency, transactions, etc. to allow multiple devices to interact with a centrally cloud managed storage system in a more robust manner. This would not need to be full blown SQL or SQL Azure, but a lightweight SQL Server Compact like DB file. This would enable many different types of applications to store structured state in the cloud leveraging Tables/Columns/Relationships/Indexes, etc.
1. There needs to be official support/apps for IOS/Android devices. Microsoft doesnt exist in this realm, yet its very popular. I am personally holding my breath while I wait for MS Arm devices/phones to be available, by the time they arrive the market will be flooded with the other devices.
2. Need more space. I first tried Skydrive a month ago and the 5 GB didnt go far.
3. Needs to act like an internal drive/device. If this works for drop box, why not Skydrive? I am disapointed that Microsoft hasnt taken hold of this type of consumer technology yet
personally I am waiting till I can get a windows phone (possibly in 2012 for canada??? from bell.ca) before I try it again. Didnt seem to be worth the effort
I am a student who used to use Windows live mesh when it was in the beta stage. It was an amazing program! For every group project we would do, we would create a new folder and sync it with SkyDrive. It was amazing, the way in which you could leave comments and see what changes others had made from the folder itself in your documents. Also every change that was made could easily be seen on the side of the folder.
Though the new Live Sync is okay, it lacks this function. So when making group projects, where it is necessary to know what changes others have made, and read their comments, the new live Sync fails. It's a waste of time, having to sign in to the webiste to read comments etc. And half the time I have to phone up and ask people whether or not they've done something.
I'm a hardcore MS fan, and have been using MS products for as long as I can remember, but I must honestly say in the case of Live Sync, it was a downgrade from Live Mesh Beta. It's made things more difficult, and thus causing us students at least to find more user friendly alternatives. Fix it guys! Or explain why you ditched the amazing Mesh software.
Bookmarking areas of SkyDrive is inconsistent and not granular enough - I can only seem to pin the My Files level but I use the Documents Shared With You area far more. If you're going to split views between My Files and Documents, why no do Windows-style libraries and let me make my own views? But most of all - make Mesh really work across devices, for device-to-device sync without direct conenction, for backup, for sync, for everything that Mesh should do. Zune to WP7 wireless sync? I should be able to manage that in the same SkyDrive/Mesh interface that ought to handle everything else. Seamless please!
The current incarnation of SkyDrive is a step backwards for photographers from what was on offer previously:
I hope these shortcomings will be addressed.
If you're using Windows 7 & IE9 you can just create a taskbar shortcut to skydrive.live.com.
I'm glad to see that Microsoft is working to rationalize its cloud sharing offerings.
While you're in there, please bring back the capability for Mesh (or whatever replaces it) to share read-only. This went away between version 1 and version 2.
Just got a Windows Phone and think it's crazy that my photo albums on SKyDrive can have an image for the folders int he main directory but, when picture folders are placed within an "All Pictures" folder, those same folders don't get a thumbnail for the folder.
I second the need to integrate synced files with the SkyDrive files. I second the need to be able to move or delete entire folders.
I've seen more iCloud ads then I have SkyDrive and yet they dont do as much as you. Get cracking on ads!
@cmwind I hear you and share a lot of hope that the updates come sooner, rather than later.
I like mesh and skydive but would you consider a small change.
It would be nice to see when it is active. Could you not make the arrows rotate when it is working? Or some other clue.
If I am working on a file on my work computer it would be nice to make sure that it will be on my home machine before I shut down.
Likewise it would also be nice to have some basic logging info like recently synced files, like you get with Dropbox.
File versioning would also be nice.
Keep up the good work.
I don't want to jump on the feature request bandwagon, but I hope that my Windows Live "profile" will sync RSS feeds. Using Outlook/IE as a reader is useless if you use more than one machine. Ideally this will work with my phone as well.
The Skydrive API in it's current state is pretty useless for most apps due to the file type limitations. You have to open it up to any file type. Really, it doesn't matter if a user uploads a 5 MB Word document or a 5 MB database.
And please, do not forget Windows 7 and Vista. It is not enough to integrate Skydrive into Windows 8, you have to add support also to Windows 7, which will be the new XP and exist in large marketshare for the next 10 years.
I love to use Skydrive; it's great for school. This is also slightly off-topic, but I love what you have done with the alias email addresses in Hotmail! Keep up the good work!
I've just started using SkyDrive tonight. I have been a dedicated windows user for years now, and as computer savvy as I may be, I immediately felt a bit lost and out of place upon entering the UI of SkyDrive. I love the overall concept and the potential for functionality that Microsoft is planning on incorporating into their future operating systems, however, this online port to the service leaves me at a loss. Here are my first impressions:
The Microsoft Office features are top-notch, and they easily match if not surpass the Google Docs editors.
As a new user it was difficult for me to find out about my 25 GBs of storage capacity. I had to travel into the FAQs and read up on the possibility of a future "pay for space" option to learn of my storage capabilities. On top of that, the FAQs also state that there is a slider or bar of some kind which informs you to how much space you are using; not only have I failed to located the supposed UI storage bar, but there doesn't seem to be any sufficient preferences/options menu where a detailed outline of my settings could reside. The options menu under my username just brings me to a SkyDrive absent list of settings applicable to every other aspect of my windows live account but Microsoft's tyro of a storage and sharing service.
Batch editing, moving, and deleting files is inconvenient and clunky. One of the reasons why I always found the windows explorer superior to other competing brands' versions is its ease of use mixed with its powerful functionality. With SkyDrive, I couldn't delete more than one file at a time unless i had grouped them beforehand into a folder! An interface that mirrors the Windows 7 explorer would be ideal. I'm not looking for CMD level control over the file system or anything, but in my opinion, if it ain't broke...well...you know.
If we are all going to take a step into the future of cloud computing while sharing documents, videos, music, and photos, we need to be able to share files that are larger than 100 MB. If I wanted to split my videos and files up into 4 or 5 .rar or .7z files and send them through a file sending service, I wouldn't have looked for the freedom of sharing my files with SkyDrive. It's that type of limitation that is going to keep people away from this service and push them to another. Considering that everything is HD these days, and SkyDrive is going to be used by more than just the average user looking to store photos, a 100 MB limit per upload is truly unacceptable.
I dislike the sync feature's separation from the regular file storage system. In fact, I think it shouldn't exist, or be any different than the regular storage. If anything Microsoft needs make a "send to --> SkyDrive\Documents\"option from the right click menu, or an "update existing files in your SkyDrive" option. But isolating the two services seems counterproductive in the Market's race to create the most user friendly and easy to use cloud sharing and storage service.
Overall, I have faith that SkyDrive will evolve and become a time saver and helpful tool for me in the future, but in its present state I cannot say that I will be using it all that often.
Thank you for your time. I'm glad to know that Microsoft is taking such an active effort in fixing and updating their products.
Thanks for all the good work. But please don't wait until Windows 8 to bring up key upgrades. Or, at least, please make sure those improvements will be made by then.
- More place for music (the two big concurrents already grant online storage of at least 20 000 songs).
- Full integration in Windows Explorer (it is a non-sense that I need to use SDExplorer or Gladinet to connect my Microsoft Windows Explorer to my Microsoft Live SkyDrive).
- Merging of SkyDrive and Mesh (why is it so hard to access to files sync with Mesh?).
- A better mobile website (why can't I erase documents from SkyDrive with my smartphone?
- A more user-friendly interface on the Web (easier strategy to transfer a file from a folder to another; possibility to select multiple files; customizable columns, ...).
- Plans to increase storage capabilities.
If, after all these years, less than 2% of Windows users are using SkyDrive regularly -- the problem is not merely product line incoherence (as described so clearly by avid users both here and at liveside.net), it is also a complete failure of consumer marketing. I hope those teams are also under review because they clearly are doing your product teams no favors.
Some of this may already have been said but anyway, as a day1 skydrive user I want to share my frustration & feedback. Since that day1 I thought skydrive was a great idea, been following all its developments, and after several years it still feels "it could have been a great movie, had all the ingredients for it, but ultimately fails in execution".
Things everyone has been waiting for but got never implemented
- sorting while in thumbnail view,
- drag&drop support for files & folders,
- pdf support within skydrive (as part of anyone "Office Experience")
Things that are broken since last update:
- Handling files improved a lot with the HTML5 update, but apart from long-time lacking features it also:
a) introduced an inexplicable difference between "root-files" (which can be individually shared but not moved) and "the rest" (which can be moved anywhere but to the root, and depend on folder rights for sharing). That kind of inconsistency is one of the main skydrive failures since day1, things simply never work the way you would expect them to work.
b) The groups experience... So now:
* My own files get differentiated between photos and documents, but in the group folders everything is mixed together. If I want to find the group docs I need first to go to the group website, but if I then clic on photos I get lost again on my skydrive view that doesn't let me see the documents ...
* Groups changes made to photos show in messenger social feeds, but not so those made to documents, which now nobody notices....
Windows Phone integration:
- One of the main reasons for me to buying a Windows Phone was the integrated Skydrive experience no other mobile OS could offer. Then I discover:
a) Groups activity isn't showing on WP7 Mango, nor accessible (be it for photos or office documents) unless through the browser, not am I able to share a photo with a group "on the go", i.e. same poor experience as in any other mobile.
b) Skydrive team turned off social messenger feature for WP7 photo sharing folder, so basically I can't share my photos with anyone on the go using it (well, I can upload but noone notices, that's not "sharing"). Sure I could use facebook, twitter, or whatever, but that's something any phone does and that I use for completely different purpose as skydrive.
c) When uploading files to skydrive I can't freely chose the folder, nor the quality of my uploads, nor am I able to change sharing rights from the phone applications (office or photos).
One of my greatest fears given all the above is Microsoft planning to kill groups in a future update... simply because everything is so bad now... I certainly hope it's not the case, because it took me a great effort to get all my family members into it as an easy way for sharing our life-experiences without the complexity and fanciness of facebook.
Anyway, hope that my above comments show that despite all my rant, I am a "skydrive power user" that has been supporting it for a long time, trying to make the most of it since day1. It's simply so sad that it always ends up on a half-hearted effort, a "could be great but" one... Keep hoping for the future...
Put simply - anything iCloud can do now, you have to be able to do that, and better.
I should have all my pictures on Windows Phone in full resolution, full size, synchronized to my SkyDrive automatically, and show up on my PC instantanteously without me having to intervene. All my pictures on my PC should be uploaded automatically, in FULL RESOLUTION to the SkyDrive, without me needing to say so. That way, if anything happens to my PC - hard drive failure, environmental disaster, power surge - I don't lose all my pictures I took.
All my WP apps should be backed up - paid and free - so that if I need to do a hard reset, everything will start downloading again with my saying 'restore my apps.'
All my mail, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, documents, bookmarks, music, Zune-purchased videos (movies/tv/music) should synchronize automatically with the cloud. Any changes made to a contact on my phone should reflect on my PC instantaneously. I make a calendar appointment on my PC, it should reflect on my phone. If I add a bookmark on my PC, it should show up (if I so choose) on my phone. Any music purchased through Zune should be available from my SkyDrive, and there should be a Zune Match to scan my music collection and replace any files found with higher-quality Zune versions.
The interface for SkyDrive needs improvement beyond the need to improve its capabilities. Live.com doesn't take advantage of widescreen monitors, for one. Skydrive needs a section for videos, music, and contacts.
SkyDrive Photos needs a simple way to sort by original filename from my PC, by date taken, and a way to geotag pictures with the location, such as "Washington Monument" that carries over from Windows Live Photo Gallery to the SkyDrive, and back. Currently WLPG cannot do anything more exact than "Washington DC." I can't specify that I was in front of it, only the city. I should also be able to view my pictures in a timeline, similar to the Kin Studio, as well as on a map, perhaps even have all users of Windows Live have their pictures show up on a map together like Google allows on Google Maps.
SkyDrive Videos should upload my videos taken from Windows Phone, and those from my camera, regardless of size. That's just a given. It can work in the background, like Carbonite currently can. There is no reason why this can't be done. All content I have from Zune - TV, Movies, Music Videos - should be streamable from SkyDrive. That helps in places where I can't download Zune, sign in, and then download the file - like an Internet Café or at work. Also, we should be able to stream our Zune purchased video through our Windows Phones. Netflix exists already and can do this, so why not Zune?
SkyDrive Mail synchronization should work with Outlook 2010 so that if I delete a message in Outlook, it's deleted on my phone and in the Live Mail account. If I create a rule in Outlook, it should propogate elsewhere. I use Comcast, so I don't use my live mail all that often. Even with that, all my Comcast mail should be synchronized as well.
SkyDrive Music should synchronize all my music from my PC to the cloud, and if it's found as a match to the Zune store, offer to match it with a Zune copy for streaming/download with Zune Pass, otherwise, it will upload the song to the SkyDrive to act as a backup in case anything happens to your PC. This would lower the need to upload files, but could be overridden by user control. This matching of files would also allow Zune to see what music users have, and try to get that music in the store if it's not already there. Data mining for a good purpose - to try to meet customers' needs with Zune. Zune also needs a 'restore purchased content' to allow me to restore my purchased music, directly from SkyDrive, where it was backed up simultaneously when I purchased it.
Contacts should maintain their links from Windows Phone across all devices, and in Windows itself, I should be able to see my communications history with a contact, including anything from the Windows Phone. Contacts should also have family relations shown so I can say, for example, that Rob is the brother of John, whose father is Stephen, and the program would know that Rob's father is Stephen also, and link that automatically. Contacts who have Windows Phones and Zune Accounts should have those show up as well, perhaps as a Zune Badge or something, so that I know that I can share music with them. Even if they don't have a Zune Account, I should be able to share Zune music, and when sent, it would encourage them to sign in to Zune to see the message.
SkyDrive documents should back up all my documents regularly, on first start, and on any detected changes. That way, I never lose anything important, and it would be seamless and transparent to the user. If something happens, and they then log back in to Windows after restoring the computer, the computer would start downloading their documents back and let the user know that it's being done. From Office Web Apps, it should be able to completely access all SkyDrive documents, and because they're automatically synchronized between SkyDrive and the desktop, if I make a change online, it propogates back to my desktop. That's called 'delighting the customer.' Office Web Apps apparently cannot access Mesh synchronized files today. That's a feature deficit.
Notes from OneNote synchronize, but a section for notes in addition to the current 'documents' and 'photos' would be nice.
Windows Live Mesh should be installed with Windows Live, straight out. It's great to synchronize files, but this functionality should just work, and be part of SkyDrive. No need for a separate program. Think of it this way: add your PCs or Windows Phone to your Windows Live Mesh to gain access to your SkyDrive. All content you create will be uploaded to SkyDrive without your needing to intervene, so that you can download it later, and have it automatically synchronized to all your registered devices without you ever needing to manually do so. That's what iCloud does, and that's the minimum SkyDrive must do to stay on the same level, to say nothing of moving forward.
In addition, when working in SkyDrive, it should be much easier to delete files. Not one-at-a-time, but select multiple, non-contiguous files, like in Explorer. The best bet would be to either integrate SkyDrive into the Windows Explorer, or introduce Explorer's file manipulation into SkyDrive
Music needs to be a separate category with metadata for artist, album, track, year, and genre at the minimum. Right now, music is treated like a file, not like music.
Thanks for fast deleting my previous post ;)
One question: why new SkyDrive API allow applications to work only with a limited number of file types. However we can upload any type of data using web-interface?
And yet, I'd still rather store my files locally.
It's going to be really hard to get the perfect cloud solution, but I'm sure SkyDrive can do it. iCloud is good, but it's presuming you've got an iOS/Mac OS X device wherever you go. SkyDrive is great at the moment, but it needs to have the basic things like checkboxes, devices integration and the ability to move files not originally created in a folder. SkyDrive + the basic things it requires + the best of iCloud = SkyDrive Wave 5 M2 (I hope).
I am looking for a desktop SkyDrive client so I can access multiple Windows Live SkyDrive accounts. Each account should appear as a separate network folder so my SkyDrives have the same functionality as Windows Explorer.
A Macintosh desktop client so SkyDrive would be very helpful.
I saw someone at the liveside.net site (that SpragueD mentioned above) suggested adding "skymail" to Hotmail's domain's options. Sounds like a great idea to me ! :-)
Sky Drive won't show uploaded photos.
After uploading photos and returning a couple of months later, they appear as gray shapes with no image. Clicking on the shape does not reveal the image.
Are the photos lost?
How do I get into my sister's pictures through here? She sent them to me by e-mail, but it said something about this skydrive.com.