Windows Live SkyDrive
SkyDrive (officially Microsoft SkyDrive, formerly Windows Live SkyDrive) is a file hosting service that allows users to upload and sync files to a cloud storage and then access them from a Web browser or their local device. It is part of the Windows Live range of online services and allows users to keep the files private, share them with contacts, or make the files public. Publicly-shared files do not require a Windows Live ID to access.
The service offers 7 GB of free personal storage for new users. Additional storage is available for purchase. Users who signed up to SkyDrive prior to April 22, 2012 can opt-in for a limited time offer of 25 GB of free storage upgrade. The service is built using HTML5 technologies, and files up to 2 GB (300 MB via the web) can be uploaded via drag and drop or via the SkyDrive desktop application for Windows and Mac OS X.
Office Web Apps
Microsoft added Office Web Apps support to SkyDrive in its “Wave 4″ update allowing users to upload, create, edit, and share Microsoft Office documents directly within a Web browser. Users can create, view and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents within the Web browser. In addition, Office Web Apps on SkyDrive also allow multiple users to simultaneously co-author Excel directly within the web browser, and co-author OneNote documents with another web user or the desktop application. Users can also view version history of Office documents stored on SkyDrive.
Integration with desktop version of Microsoft Office
Users of recent versions of Microsoft Office (for Windows or Macintosh) can use the desktop applications to edit the same section of documents stored on SkyDrive simultaneously. Changes are synchronized when users save the document, and where conflicts occur, a user is given the selection to choose which version to keep.
This is a collaborative real-time editing suite as multiple users can use combinations of desktop applications and the web apps to edit a document.
PDF and Open Document Format support
SkyDrive supports viewing of Portable Document Format (PDF) as well as Open Document Format (ODF), an XML-based file format supported in a number of word processing apps including Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and Corel’s WordPerfect.
SkyDrive allow users to embed their Office documents (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) onto other web pages. These embedded documents allow anyone who visit these web pages to interact with them, such as browsing an embedded PowerPoint slideshow, or perform calculations within an embedded Excel spreadsheet.
SkyDrive integrates with Hotmail which allow users to:
- Directly upload Office documents and photos within Hotmail, store them on SkyDrive, and share them with other users
- Directly save Office documents within Hotmail to SkyDrive, and view or edit these documents directly within the web browser
- Allow Hotmail users to edit Office documents within the web browser using Office Web Apps, and reply directly back to the sender with the edits made
Share to social networks
SkyDrive integrates with social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to enable users to quickly share their files to contacts on these social networks. SkyDrive maintains an access control list of all users granted permission to view or edit the files, including those users on social networks.
SkyDrive integrates with Bing‘s Save & Share feature, allowing users to save search histories into a SkyDrive folder.
Windows Live Groups integration
Each group within Windows Live Groups are provided with 5 GB of storage spaces on SkyDrive to be shared between the group members. Group members are allowed to access, create, modify and delete files within the group’s SkyDrive folders, as well as other functionalities that SkyDrive provides.
Location and people tagging
SkyDrive supports geo-location data for photos uploaded onto the service, and will automatically display a map of the tagged location. SkyDrive also allow users to tag people on the photos uploaded onto the service via the web interface or via Windows Live Photo Gallery.
Photos uploaded onto SkyDrive can be played as an automatic slideshow.
Download as .zip file
Entire folders can be downloaded as a single .zip file with SkyDrive.