Windows Live Wave 3: SkyDrive (Updated)

SkyDrive25 News The SkyDrive  team blog announced a couple of weeks back about the updates that were coming, and now they’re here.

From the announcement post:

Here are a few things you’ll find on your shiny new SkyDrive:

  • 25 GB of free online storage
  • Available in 6 more regions and 13 more languages
  • Download entire folders as Zip files (limited release)
  • Gorgeous online slide show for your photos
  • And much, much more!

So those are some of the highlights, let’s take a closer look.

The first thing to notice is the unified banner at the top for all the Live services (Home, People, SkyDrive):

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The initial layout has also changed when you first sign into SkyDrive, showing your most recent folders, as well as a What’s New section, that you will have seen on home.live.com, only this What’s New is more relevant to SkyDrive:

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One of the features I have been most excited about for this update is the ability to copy and move both files and folders around which makes it so much easier to organise files without having to re-upload them!

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The other really cool new feature is the ability to download a folder as a zip file, but please remember, that at the moment it’s in a limited release (hey, even I don’t have it yet!):

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If you have a photo album, then these folders can be downloaded using Windows Live Photo Gallery (much like you could in Live Spaces):

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Unfortunately at the moment, every time I try this, I get told that my WLID doesn’t have permissions, so hopefully this should be fixed when the Essentials programs get updated to the final release.

The other thing to note is that all your photo albums from your Live Space now appear in your SkyDrive area, which means easy access and browsing of your photos:

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And speaking of browsing photos, the new update includes a very cool Silverlight photo browser which you can get to by clicking the slideshow link when you’re in a folder with photos:

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All in all, this is a very pleasing update, so good job. The only main feature I think is missing from this is named links (eg, http://liveside.skydrive.live.com).

Update: I now have the “Download as .zip” option for my folders. How did I get this? Some of you I know won’t like it. I changed my Windows Live ID locale to US. Once you’ve done that, wait a few hours for it to propogate round the various servers, then you should have download as .zip as an option.