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Mike Torres and I just shared a post and video on the Building Windows 8 blog that details a key step we are taking with Windows 8 towards our vision of personal cloud storage. The post describes how we plan to scale our services to billions of people, and some of the coming improvements, including a new Metro style app for Windows 8, SkyDrive integration in Windows Explorer, and the ability to fetch any file remotely from SkyDrive.com.
We encourage you to read the full post and share comments on Building Windows 8.
The SkyDrive integration in Windows Explorer looks AMAZING. A couple of questions:
1) When will we get this? Hopefully within a month or so!
2) Can we upload entire folders using this app?
3) Will there be complete offline access?
SkyDrive is going to be unbeatable once these updates are available.
@controlz: Soon-ish, yes, and yes :) Thanks!
@Mike Torres: Brilliant. I'll be able to stop syncing my folders using Windows Live Mesh and just store them on SkyDrive, yet have offline access as well. Super.
Can you still sync files similar to how Live Mesh works? ie can I have folders from different directories on my desktop sync to Skydrive and also sync them to my Macbook to specific directories as well? Or is there just 1 umbrella Skydrive folder that must house all of the syncing folders/files in the same manner that Dropbox works?
What about the data encryption and security. That point might make me jump ship from Dropbox
@rkellogg One umbrella folder.
I think there will still be a use for Mesh among power users but for me, as someone who uses both Mesh and Skydrive, both of which have downsides, this new solution is perfect.
-- the tl;dr line --
I use Mesh as an archive for old bills, scanned and stored instead of keeping a filing cabinet.
Downside: Stored in special area of SkyDrive, doesn't behave like the rest of SkyDrive (no thumbnails etc), can't access using WP SkyDrive app.
I use SkyDrive via the web to store my photos from my point and shoot camera, as well as documents i use regularly in Office 2010.
Downside: (ugh where to begin) No local cache, long opening times in office, never 100% confident the laptop didn't sleep before finishing the upload, sometimes forget to uncheck the "Resize to 2048 px" checkbox, I have to go to the web to access that file (pinning in IE is a big help there, as well as pinning in the office 2010 jump list). Can't upload folders, can't easily manage, move, copy those folders. And so on :)
New sync (for me) = Perfect (and long awaited :) )
Love your work,
1. Syncing the entire SkyDrive folder is not ideal. It is important to control over what sub-folders will be synced inside the SkyDrive folder and preventing de-duplication. Why doesn't MS use something like hard links so there is no duplication of data inside the SkyDrive folder and files on the file system? That's what Live Mesh offers with its multiple-folders-located-anywhere-but-kept-in-sync feature. For both, bandwidth and local disk free space purposes, control over what will be synced is really important.
2. A concern, please answer, can I expect that the SkyDrive clients for older versions will continue to operate smoothly with SkyDrive even after the latest client may drop support for an older OS or after older Windows products are no longer supported?? Otherwise, it becomes like a scenario where you must continuously upgrade your OS to keep access to your SkyDrive account. When an OS becomes old, it becomes inaccessible for SkyDrive? Like what happened to Windows XP users and Live Mesh Wave 3?
3. What is this file format restrictions that you mention? (msdn.microsoft.com/.../hh561489.aspx) I thought SkyDrive from the web interface already let you upload any file type? Or these "supported" file formats are only for syncing, but you can store any file format on SkyDrive?
4. Make it play nice with the "Reduce data usage" option which Windows 8 will have for mobile users to avoid bill shock.
@skydrive team: I would like to request two things:
1) Make it possible to upload folders to skydrive from WEB Interface.
2) Make it possible to send files already uploaded on skydrive as attachment from Hotmail or at least a link to that file from Hotmail. I know we can share by going to skydrive and then clicking on share via email but that does not allow to us have richly formatted text or add other attachment.
At first I was really excited about that, but then I realised it will be a big disappointment. Not so long ago you were really proud to announce that eventually we don’t have to put files in “Shared” folder to share them. We can organize them just as we want and it doesn’t affect sharing functionality. And now you’re telling us that if we want to sync our files with SkyDrive, we need to move all of them to a special folder? Well, thanks, but no thanks.
The other thing is that I’m using SkyDrive now as some kind of an archive. I upload there files that I do not want on my computer. Will there be an option not to sync them back to my computer?
Will we still have unlimited storage for photos and docs? Because then I dont need any other backup solution! :)
In Windows 8, would there be a way to assign permissions to the file/folder (residing in my SkyDrive) directly from the desktop version? Like right-click > Security > Permissions.. where we can supply Windows Live Id and other options like "public", "my contact list" etc.?
@xpclient: Answered your same questions over on the B8 blog earlier.
@Newbie: We've never offered unlimited documents and photos (?) No plans to at this time, no. See comment below about backup as well.
@abm: We don't have anything to discuss right now - but it's definitely a goal to be friction-free.
@trulyindian: Thanks for the suggestions!
@gorzko: We don't view SkyDrive as an archive or backup solution. I go into this more in the comments on B8 here: blogs.msdn.com/.../connecting-your-apps_2c00_-files_2c00_-pcs-and-devices-to-the-cloud-with-skydrive-and-windows-8.aspx
Hey, could you guys change the Hotmail home page system? It is a bit annoying when "hotmail.com" still takes me to the Live home page. Could you make it so that going to "hotmail.com" take you directly to your inbox, while "live.com" takes you the the Live home page?
@Ning Ning – you can set your account to skip the Home page today. Just go to Options->More Options->Windows Live Home Settings, and change the option for “Sign into Hotmail” to be “Show me my inbox when I sign in.” That will give you the behavior that you're looking for.
This is the most exciting thing in my tech life in the past 5 years. I am officially forever impressed!!!!!!
And what about the first part of my post?
@gorzko Sorry, wasn't sure what you meant. SkyDrive will sync to your PC in a SkyDrive root folder, but your entire drive (what you see on SkyDrive.com under Files) will be available. You can do anything you want with the files using Explorer, libraries, etc.
This single-folder model is a REALLY bad idea. Sure, it works for small files to be always available, but does not come even CLOSE to comparing to the usability of Live Sync/Mesh for power users.
2GB per-file size limit?!?! This is 2012, we all have/use files larger than this on a regular basis and need to keep them in sync! I use Live Mesh's shared folders to share >6GB files between 5 systems on a consistent basis. One of my favorite uses of Mesh is to sync TV recordings from my HTPC to my computer on the road so I can keep up with my favorite shows on the road.
I understand the complexity issues involved, and hence the appeal of a "cloud-first" model, but if this is what you're doing going forward, you haven't learned anything from Sync/Mesh. You're removing the best features of those products and replacing them with a Dropbox clone.
PLEASE commit to not killing Live Mesh. There's absolutely NO REASON why these two completely-different and complementary services can't coexist.
Live Mesh is a unique service that SIMPLY WORKS for millions of users and petabytes of data (according to the Inside Windows Live blog on this very site: windowsteamblog.com/.../windows-live-mesh-reaches-5-million-connected-devices.aspx). Assuming you kill Mesh in favor of this "new" (ripped-off Dropbox) model, it WILL NOT work for all those users, to say nothing of doing so simply.
What I mean is that I use Windows Live Mesh to sync my Documents folder with SkyDrive. In this new SkyDrive I will have to move my Documents folder to a SkyDrive folder, am I right?
I really like the fact that I can move my pic to skydrive with the skydrive app I just wish I can move a entire folder ? by selecting a folder and they do an add to skydrive .. also is it posabe to view others skydrive if they are shared ? for example if I can share mine and my wifes we don't need to have the same pics online .. Thanks for the GREAT work you have done with Skydrive... and I can't wait to enjoy the final product.
This is great work, I really feel now that windows live is really coming together. Iv now moved all my email from gmail to be hosted on windows live,a and its all running great on Win 8 CP, will the desktop skydrive synchronisation be coming to the consumer preview, it would be great to give this a test drive.
Keep up the good work