Windows Live SkyDrive beta update brings minor but convenient changes

Today the Windows Live SkyDrive team released an updated version of the SkyDrive online storage service. While the service stays in beta for now this release incorporates several minor but very convenient changes that are detailed in their team blog.

Let’s talk marketing and numbers first. The amount of storage space you get with your free account has been doubled – so everyone can save 1GB online. In an interview with the team we were told that storage space should never be a problem for the user. They looked at home and business users and the amount of files they would need to store online and will continue to monitor this need for future storage increases.

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UI wise the first thing the user will notice is that Windows Live SkyDrive is moving towards the Windows Live Spaces umbrella in the same way that Windows Live Events is going to placed when launched. Right below the Windows Live Wave 2 header you get direct access to different parts of Windows Live Spaces. Your Spaces homepage (What’s new), spaces, friends, photos, and events can be reached from here.

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Pretty cool is the addition of Feeds (RSS) to Public folders. This way you can easily be notified of updates to content that friends place in their Public folders. Simply go to the Public folder and click on the Feed icon in the upper right corner (or the Feed icon in IE for example). The feed contains a preview image of the added files – either a small version of the photo or the file type icon and links to the associated download page for that file on Windows Live SkyDrive.

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In order to share a folder not with everyone but a select group of users these already had to be in your contact list and you had to go to Windows Live Messenger or Windows Live Hotmail and add a person there before you could share content with them. Now you can simply add the contact right when and where you need it – the folder permissions page.

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Last but not least Windows Live SkyDrive isalso displaying who has uploaded a certain file now which can be helpful is you have given full access to a folder and want to keep track of who is uploading what.

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All of the changes are live now so you can try them out on Windows Live SkyDrive.