An even faster version of SkyDrive

An even faster version of SkyDrive

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Update, April 24, 2012:

Please note: Even though it works great and shows off our developer APIs, SkyCMD was our April Fool’s joke for 2012.  However, check out these real improvements to SkyDrive.

The past year has been an amazing time here on the SkyDrive team. We’re all very eager to ship the work we announced in our next release, but we can’t just sit back and relax. Like a shark, we have to keep moving forward. As we started to think about the next generation interface for SkyDrive, we needed something fresh. It’s too easy to get caught up in the visual distraction of a traditional GUI, especially when you really just want to see a directory listing of your files. As we pulled together the vision, our design principles included getting back to our monochromatic roots, presenting the user with fewer commands, all while providing the most powerful interface possible. So what is the next big thing?

Forget touch and even the mouse

The more we thought about it, the more we realized that the model we were looking for was right in front of us – or at least used to be. We harkened back to a time when computing was simpler. Sure, interface design has changed over the years, but do people really want to navigate through their files with the flick of a finger or view photos with a click of a mouse? Maybe. But we believe the first and best way for humans to interact with computers is through terse commands entered via the good old keyboard. That’s when it hit us: what the world needs is a SkyDrive Command Line Interface!

Introducing SkyCMD

Starting today, you can finally interact with SkyDrive the way you’ve always wanted to. You can use the classic DOS syntax to easily navigate your file hierarchy—familiar commands like “dir” and “cd.” Simple. Powerful.

SkyDrive command line window

SkyCMD: Command line access to your files on SkyDrive. Go to and check it out.

Once you connect SkyCMD to your SkyDrive account you can do many of the powerful things that only a CLI can offer. As for customization, try the “color” command to give your SkyCMD window a little flare.

Built from our SkyDrive APIs

One of our amazing developers, Luke, came up with the early rendition of SkyCMD and showed it around the SkyDrive hallways a couple months ago. We all loved it and knew that if it had a few more obscure commands and the right ASCII art we had a winner on our hands. The volume of internal feature requests for SkyCMD grew to the point that we’ve put the entire SkyDrive engineering organization to work building it. Our developer APIs, which Dare Obasanjo wrote about in his blog post back in December, are so powerful we just used those. We have even put the source code out as part of our sample code.

Of course in the near future we are going to ship what we recently announced and then some. But going forward the future of SkyDrive is SkyCMD!

Tony East
Lead Program Manager,

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  • Im sorry but am I missing something here, ENCRYPTION!!!Please... I love skydrive and I have been using it for months, congratulations on the new advanced release, but WHY oh why did you guys not give us an option to encrypt our data before we upload it to Skydrive.  I know Microsoft is trying to keep up with everybody else and has been doing pretty well lately when it comes to security.  So why the hell do they not even mention encryption when they give the advanced features of the new Skydrive.  Do they want to give your data to whoever asks them to see it.  I mean come on guys, this is 2012, You can't expect everyone to just upload their data in the clear to skydrive.  Security Professionals and anybody with half a brain is still going to choose a service in which anyone working there can easily access their data.  I mean, when it comes to Cloud Storage the name of the game is TNO "Trust No One."   Now it is not too late guys, you can still add it in there, you can't expect everyone to be technical enough to encrypt their own data before sending it up to the cloud.  You can't even expect people to realize this, but the truth of the matter is It is an ethical no-no to expect everyone to just send all their personal documents up to the cloud without encrypting it (and being the only one with the password), Microsoft doesn't need to be able to see everything that we upload, it is too tempting for them, and I hope this is not why they have avoided mentioning encryption...

  • jtmat
    1 Posts

    Might have been funny if you guys/gals posted on this blog more than once a quarter... to leave this out there is a bit lame... took me a minute to realize it was from the first.  How would I know Microsoft jokes around like that.. would be nice if we had "real" information... sure something has happended since the 1st.  +1 for being lame.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    I love this! It would be great with upload!

  • As you know SkyDrive has been improved upon by taking advantage of modern browsers and HTML5 to make it faster. Navigating photo albums and folders has gone down from 6-9 seconds down to 100-300 milliseconds – all this by taking advantage of hardware accelerated graphics.

  • If "Upload" feature added, I will use it more.

  • Looked back at the post date and realized it was on April 1st. Gave me a good laugh.

  • Haha, I logged in and tried it out before reading the comments and realising that it's an april fools joke. :(  I would really like something like this though, would be a lot easier when on my linux machines. To be able to upload/download directly from the terminal would be awesome. please keep active as is the only need of the day of every skydrive user.

  • I fell for it, darnit!

  • Can't type Chinese characters.

  • dweiwei
    2 Posts

    Nice April 1st joke.




  • If it is April fool joke, then it is okay. But if it is true, then it is one of the ridiculous innovation I have seen from Skydrive team.

  • If only you had made the text default to green and slowly unfurl letter by letter across the screen I would have been back to my BBS days, this new-fangled internet thing is all too accessible by the normal people for my liking ;-p Seriously though great work guys really cheered my up.

  • Personally, I would've preferred a PowerShell provider/module for Skydrive. :-)

  • phistuck
    16 Posts

    That is cool, in a very geeky way. Finally some jokes.

    However, here is a bug report -

    1. Assume there is a folder named "Documents", assume there is a file (in the root) named "bla.xlsx".

    2. Type the following commands -

    cd Documents

    start ..\bla.xlsx

    Expected -

    It will open (root)\bla.xlsx in the Excel Web App in a new window.

    Actual -

    Nothing is opened in a new window, the caret is gone, the application is not usable anymore.

    (A JavaScript error, cannot read "type" of undefined)

  • abm
    268 Posts

    love the console and love the scripting to develop this app..  :)

    Considering, and IE9 HTML5 games... it would be nice if you guys make a proper --separate-- website for browser-based games. Somethig like, or in comparison with!

    Is there any feedback system for reporting problems and posting suggestions about Microsoft, MSN and Windows-Live websites?

    PS: please configure and redirect it to it would make more sense!

  • jamiet
    45 Posts

    Reason for previous request. is blocked at work so has suddenly become a bit of a lifeline for me!!

  • jamiet
    45 Posts

    Are you taking feature requests? Can I have upload as well as download? :)

  • Slugsie
    2 Posts

    Bug report: Doesn't work with non US layout keyboards properly. For instance the " (double quotes) key is shift-2 on a GB-UK keyboard, which produces an @ symbol on SkyCMD. The use of double quotes is quite importnat when dealing with long file names that include a space character (as most of my folders in SkyDrive do).


  • barts2108
    65 Posts


  • T Windows
    116 Posts

    Man oh Man Im all smiles on this post ... dude you guys are showing our age with this one, but I must admit it's really fun to see the old throw back.

    - Stay Powered by Windows

  • TIP: Type the first few characters of a filename, then Press TAB to autocomplete long file names.

  • Just bookmarked SkyCMD! :D

    And also, can't wait for the Visual Studio 2012 Team to be inspired with SkyCMD, I mean, they love monochromatic interfaces, too!

  • waeras
    2 Posts

    Haha, I logged in and tried it out before reading the comments and realising that it's an april fools joke. :(  I would really like something like this though, would be a lot easier when on my linux machines. To be able to upload/download directly from the terminal would be awesome.

  • lol this is a good april 1st post.

  • Shane C
    1 Posts

    Ha! Well played. Number pad key events don't seem to be supported, though. Gives me some great ideas for API usage!

    @SlamDunk3 : Checking the date on the article may very well alleviate some of your concerns.

  • @Tony this Rocks! At last I can get some work done. Woohoo!

  • eknirb
    2 Posts

    fell for it.  nice job.

  • Nice! Real nice!

  • @MaryBranscom it should work.  Try quotes around your long file name.

  • Feature request: long file name support


  • Really?

    My 2 cents advice -- look forward, not backward.

    Put 100% of your wood behind forward.  Not even 1% behind backward.

    Microsoft needs more forward, a *LOT* more forward, and faster.

    Microsoft doesn't need any more back-to-the-past, appeals-to-geeks-only stuff like this to win.

  • Way to go. Now the Windows 8 haters will get what they want.

  • Who even remembers DOS commands anymore?  LOL  It was fun though.  Brings back memories of times long past.

  • I love that this is not just fun but also a sneaky tutorial for the APIs; fantastic job ;-)

  • Seon
    5 Posts

    HAHA I had a good laugh using this :) Great Job guys! Happy April 1st!

  • love it :)