More upcoming SkyDrive features revealed: ODF documents, BitLocker key management, URL shortening, and much more

By LiveSide | In Featured, News | Posted February 19, 2012 73 comments

SkyDrive

Following the screenshot leaks of SkyDrive yesterday, revealing details about Microsoft’s plans for paid storage and SkyDrive apps for Windows and Mac, today we’ve been tipped about even more new features that are said to be coming to SkyDrive soon. These features are said to be part of SkyDrive Wave 5 M3 (version 16.3), and below is a summary of what we know about this update:

  • Manage BitLocker recovery keys stored on SkyDrive – Currently in Windows 7, you can save BitLocker recovery keys onto removable media or another hard drive that is not encrypted, in case you forget your password. It appears that Windows 8 will support saving of BitLocker recovery keys directly onto SkyDrive. To retrieve your BitLocker recovery keys on SkyDrive, users needs to be either using a trusted computer, or verify themselves using a confirmation number via email or SMS. Check out the SkyDrive options menu below showing how this can be accessed:

    SkyDrive - New SkyDrive Options

  • Support for OpenDocument formats – Currently SkyDrive’s Office Web Apps only allow creation of Microsoft Office’s Open XML formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx), however in the next update SkyDrive will support OpenDocument Formats (.odt, .odp, .ods) as well. Check out screenshot below showing the option to select the default document format for SkyDrive:

    SkyDrive - Support for OpenDocument Format

  • Access files and folders on local computers via new SkyDrive app for Windows and Mac – We know there is a new SkyDrive app for Windows and Mac, but what we didn’t know is that it does more than just letting you browse files and folders stored on SkyDrive using your PC or Mac. The app will also allow you to browse files and folders stored locally on your computer via the SkyDrive web interface, provided you enable it in the app settings:

    SkyDrive - App for Windows

    Once it has been enabled, you’ll be able to remotely access files and folders via the “Computers” menu (previously “Devices” when shown at BUILD), as shown below:

    Windows Live SkyDrive Wave 5 16.3.3340.215 SkyDrive - Remote access

  • URL Shortening service – One of the biggest complaints about SkyDrive is that the direct link to files and folders stored on SkyDrive are way too long, and with the next update SkyDrive will support URL shortening via its http://sdrv.ms domain. Simply click on the “Shorten” button when sharing a link, as shown below, and a shortened URL will be generated for you:

    SkyDrive - URL Shortening

  • Direct Share to Twitter (and other services) – The last update saw an improvement to the sharing features of SkyDrive, with options to allow you to directly share files and folders to Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. However, direct sharing to Twitter was not supported, and you had to “Get a link” and manually copy and paste it into Twitter in order to share. This has changed in the updated version:

    SkyDrive - Share to Twitter

    As shown above, you can now directly share files and folders to Twitter, and not just that, this has been expanded to other social networks too, such as Weibo for the Chinese market, amongst others.

  • Increase of individual file size limit to 300 MB – Microsoft increased the individual file size limit on SkyDrive to 100 MB back in June last year, however this still pales in comparison to competitive services like Dropbox (Unlimited via desktop app, 300 MB via website). The upcoming update is set to upgrade this file size limit to 300 MB, matching Dropbox’s limit:

    SkyDrive - Individual File Limit

    However, we’re not sure whether the purchasable storage plans will further increase this file size limit too.

That’s all we’ve got for now, and we’re sure there’ll be much more welcoming changes in this update that we don’t yet know about. We can really see Microsoft is getting serious with SkyDrive, preparing it to head up against DropBox and the upcoming Google Drive. For more information on what’s next on Windows Live, stay tuned at LiveSide!

Posted February 19th, 2012 at 9:00 am
  • Sugadevan

    Ya..Microsoft is something serious :)

  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

    I really hope the update will come soon! And I really, really hope that this version will allow uploading of folders… Or at least uploading via a zipped file that can be unzipped once on SkyDrive so it can be used. Anyway, I’ll be looking out for news that other Windows Live sites have been updated so I know the SkyDrive will be updated soon!

  • Anonymous

    Ya..Microsoft is something serious :)

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    I really hope the update will come soon! And I really, really hope that this version will allow uploading of folders… Or at least uploading via a zipped file that can be unzipped once on SkyDrive so it can be used. Anyway, I’ll be looking out for news that other Windows Live sites have been updated so I know the SkyDrive will be updated soon!

  • starkenator

    This is exciting. Can’t wait. Hopefully the SkyDrive app for the consumer preview has these features ready to go.

  • Anonymous

    This is exciting. Can’t wait. Hopefully the SkyDrive app for the consumer preview has these features ready to go.

  • http://livven.me/ Livven

    Great news! However, will that local file access be Dropbox/Live Mesh style syncing? In that case, it would use up way too much storage space. Or is it more like remote access that needs the particular PC to be running?

    Hopefully they will integrate a proper syncing solution (by merging Live Mesh?).

    • damaster

      From the demo at BUILD last year, it looks more to be remote access that needs the PC to be on and running first.

      • http://www.twitter.com/wixostrix WixosTrix

        I believe that is the case.  But if you want something to be accessible on all devices at any time, then you can store it to skydrive.

      • http://livven.me/ Livven

        Though Live Mesh currently allows both – syncing and remote access. If they merge Mesh with SkyDrive (which they should be doing), then removing that syncing feature doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think they’re actually doing that either, but so far no leak has had any indication thereof.SkyDrive would really become a killer service if you could use the whole space for syncing.

        • damaster

          Looks like it will be! :)

          • http://livven.me/ Livven

            Yeah, but it seems like you won’t be able to sync any folder, like it is currently possible with Live Mesh, but are confined to a special SkyDrive folder, like Dropbox :(

  • http://livven.me/ Livven

    Great news! However, will that local file access be Dropbox/Live Mesh style syncing? In that case, it would use up way too much storage space. Or is it more like remote access that needs the particular PC to be running?

    Hopefully they will integrate a proper syncing solution (by merging Live Mesh?).

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      From the demo at BUILD last year, it looks more to be remote access that needs the PC to be on and running first.

      • http://www.gowindowsgo.com/ WixosTrix

        I believe that is the case.  But if you want something to be accessible on all devices at any time, then you can store it to skydrive.

      • http://livven.me/ Livven

        Though Live Mesh currently allows both – syncing and remote access. If they merge Mesh with SkyDrive (which they should be doing), then removing that syncing feature doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think they’re actually doing that either, but so far no leak has had any indication thereof.SkyDrive would really become a killer service if you could use the whole space for syncing.

        • Damaster – LiveSide.net

          Looks like it will be! :)

          • http://livven.me/ Livven

            Yeah, but it seems like you won’t be able to sync any folder, like it is currently possible with Live Mesh, but are confined to a special SkyDrive folder, like Dropbox :(

  • JSYOUNG571

    Is this a sign that Twitter is making it back to Windows Messenger Connect? It has been almost 3 years that they took it away.

    • http://josedmorales.net/ Joe

      Actually, it’ll be two years (mid-2010 if not mistaken!)

  • JSYOUNG571

    Is this a sign that Twitter is making it back to Windows Messenger Connect? It has been almost 3 years that they took it away.

    • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

      Actually, it’ll be two years (mid-2010 if not mistaken!)

  • smoke_monkey

    this is still talk, the only thing i use sky drive for is automatic photo update (via windows phone). I dont upload real photo because it resizes.

    skydrive has sounded so promising for the last 2years or so… but hasn’t delivered. Until they have dropbox like features and cleaner web interface I wont use it exclusively – and i really want to!

    Currently im using Dropbox (free service) and SugarSync (I pay for that). I really hope MS sorts it and delivers to it’s potential.

    I’m no fan boy…I use Macbook air, sony vaio, Nokia, Lumia, ipod touch, and iPad2.    All i want is a good service that works on all devices. Reasonably priced and doesn’t require me giving up my private data!

    • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

      Have you looked at the web interface recently?  SkyDrive did make some improvements a few months ago, what is it that you don’t like?  And I agree, we’ve been waiting for SkyDrive to deliver on its potential since 2007 ;)

      • rsgx

        I agree with him, the web service (for Live entirely) needs a revamp. It’s not simple enough, not by a long shot.

        I’m in the same boat, DB and Sugarsync are primarily used to back up and share common work files, which I only use Skydrive and Mesh for personal stuff, and rarely at that.

        • jkth

          Why isn’t it simple enough? How could it be simpler?
          Just interested to know…

      • smoke_monkey

        Yes I have. I has improved, but personally I think it’s not good as Dropbox (personal opinion). 

        Moreover, it doesn’t work consistently over FF and Chrome, even tho it’s HTML – allot of the time Hotmail/Skydrive crushes due to Silverlight – both on Mac and Win& PC (mainly on my pc).

        I really hope MS deliver. I like Bill. Apple and Google are now Big brothers.

        On a side note, why is MMS on my unlocked Lumia? and where is Skype? MS don’t do themselves any favours.

        Long live xbox live – the best MS product out there :)

        • dbcontext

          “allot of the time Hotmail/Skydrive crushes due to Silverlight ”
          1) a lot
          2) crashes
          3) Skydrive is not using Silverlight any more… it’s using HTML5 and IE10 will enable drap and drop upload.

        • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

          I disable Silverlight when I don’t need it. I only enable it when I am uploading large files to SkyDrive, or uploading multiple attachments via Hotmail. HTML by itself is not that bad.

  • smoke_monkey

    this is still talk, the only thing i use sky drive for is automatic photo update (via windows phone). I dont upload real photo because it resizes.

    skydrive has sounded so promising for the last 2years or so… but hasn’t delivered. Until they have dropbox like features and cleaner web interface I wont use it exclusively – and i really want to!

    Currently im using Dropbox (free service) and SugarSync (I pay for that). I really hope MS sorts it and delivers to it’s potential.

    I’m no fan boy…I use Macbook air, sony vaio, Nokia, Lumia, ipod touch, and iPad2.    All i want is a good service that works on all devices. Reasonably priced and doesn’t require me giving up my private data!

    • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

      Have you looked at the web interface recently?  SkyDrive did make some improvements a few months ago, what is it that you don’t like?  And I agree, we’ve been waiting for SkyDrive to deliver on its potential since 2007 ;)

      • rsgx

        I agree with him, the web service (for Live entirely) needs a revamp. It’s not simple enough, not by a long shot.

        I’m in the same boat, DB and Sugarsync are primarily used to back up and share common work files, which I only use Skydrive and Mesh for personal stuff, and rarely at that.

        • jkth

          Why isn’t it simple enough? How could it be simpler?
          Just interested to know…

      • smoke_monkey

        Yes I have. I has improved, but personally I think it’s not good as Dropbox (personal opinion). 

        Moreover, it doesn’t work consistently over FF and Chrome, even tho it’s HTML – allot of the time Hotmail/Skydrive crushes due to Silverlight – both on Mac and Win& PC (mainly on my pc).

        I really hope MS deliver. I like Bill. Apple and Google are now Big brothers.

        On a side note, why is MMS on my unlocked Lumia? and where is Skype? MS don’t do themselves any favours.

        Long live xbox live – the best MS product out there :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Portelli/683592092 James Portelli

          “allot of the time Hotmail/Skydrive crushes due to Silverlight ”
          1) a lot
          2) crashes
          3) Skydrive is not using Silverlight any more… it’s using HTML5 and IE10 will enable drap and drop upload.

        • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ MHazell

          I disable Silverlight when I don’t need it. I only enable it when I am uploading large files to SkyDrive, or uploading multiple attachments via Hotmail. HTML by itself is not that bad.

  • Emi the Strange

    It sounds amazing! i cant wait to get these features. hopefully Windows 8 will have these same features out of the box. but skydrive is shaping better and better since last months

  • Emi Cyberschreiber

    It sounds amazing! i cant wait to get these features. hopefully Windows 8 will have these same features out of the box. but skydrive is shaping better and better since last months

  • Mario Albertico

    The dedicated BitLocker recovery key feature sounds quite useful…I’ve always struggled with where to save mine.

  • Mario Albertico

    The dedicated BitLocker recovery key feature sounds quite useful…I’ve always struggled with where to save mine.

  • Ray Wall

    Sounds like SkyDrive is finally getting its act together.  I’m hoping this starts to roll out when the Win 8 Consumer Preview is released.  Looks like this is everything I’ve wanted in SkyDrive so I’m eager to start using it as my primary online storage solution (as I’ve wanted to for years, but couldn’t because of so many stupid limitations).

    • http://www.twitter.com/wixostrix WixosTrix

      That’s exactly what Microsoft didn’t want you to do.  They wasn’t interested in the online storage business at the time.  But now they have to even if they didn’t want to to be competitive and I too an happy about it.

  • raywall

    Sounds like SkyDrive is finally getting its act together.  I’m hoping this starts to roll out when the Win 8 Consumer Preview is released.  Looks like this is everything I’ve wanted in SkyDrive so I’m eager to start using it as my primary online storage solution (as I’ve wanted to for years, but couldn’t because of so many stupid limitations).

    • http://www.gowindowsgo.com/ WixosTrix

      That’s exactly what Microsoft didn’t want you to do.  They wasn’t interested in the online storage business at the time.  But now they have to even if they didn’t want to to be competitive and I too an happy about it.

  • narmez

    i love this feature the most
    Access files and folders on local computers via new SkyDrive app for Windows and Mac
    with the new app

  • Breakingillusions

    i love this feature the most
    Access files and folders on local computers via new SkyDrive app for Windows and Mac
    with the new app

  • MissRed

    Finally, it’s about time they started taking Skydrive seriously rather than the ‘We’re Listening’ rubbish they’ve been telling us for the past few years before implementing another very minor update.
    We don’t have to wait until WIndows 8 goes Gold before this happens do we?

  • MissRed

    Finally, it’s about time they started taking Skydrive seriously rather than the ‘We’re Listening’ rubbish they’ve been telling us for the past few years before implementing another very minor update.
    We don’t have to wait until WIndows 8 goes Gold before this happens do we?

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

    Remote file access should be the comeback of how it was back when it was Foldershare and in the very first early version of Windows Live Sync. Loved how it worked back then.  had Foldershare since it was still independent. A very cool feature that worked perfectly since 2005. Was sad when they removed it. But it was done so because desktop remote access and the Windows Live Mesh original vision were supposed to replace it. When Mesh vision was cut and shut. The Remote File Access feature fell into limbo. Hope that it does came back as it was. It was awesome.

    If i remember correctly. The guy who sold Foldershare to Microsoft then went on to do his own version of Foldershare+Mesh. It is called Syncplicity.

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

    Remote file access should be the comeback of how it was back when it was Foldershare and in the very first early version of Windows Live Sync. Loved how it worked back then.  had Foldershare since it was still independent. A very cool feature that worked perfectly since 2005. Was sad when they removed it. But it was done so because desktop remote access and the Windows Live Mesh original vision were supposed to replace it. When Mesh vision was cut and shut. The Remote File Access feature fell into limbo. Hope that it does came back as it was. It was awesome.

    If i remember correctly. The guy who sold Foldershare to Microsoft then went on to do his own version of Foldershare+Mesh. It is called Syncplicity.

  • eknirb

    please allow uploading of folders. I have 160 different photo folders and I’d like to save on SD.  But I don’t want to have to create 160 different folders first.

  • eknirb

    please allow uploading of folders. I have 160 different photo folders and I’d like to save on SD.  But I don’t want to have to create 160 different folders first.

  • jkth

    Hoping they have bit.ly-style analytics for your shortened URLs. I like to know how many people are clicking on the stuff I share.

  • jkth

    Hoping they have bit.ly-style analytics for your shortened URLs. I like to know how many people are clicking on the stuff I share.

  • http://www.tigatechnology.co.uk/ Luke Grimes

    Im certainly looking forward to this. The URL shortening looks like a really nice feature. I am using dropbox at the moment but i think a switch over to skydrive is going to be worth it. SMoke_Monkey you mentioned you didn’t think it was as good. Was there any specific reasons for this?

  • http://www.tigatechnology.co.uk/ Luke Grimes

    Im certainly looking forward to this. The URL shortening looks like a really nice feature. I am using dropbox at the moment but i think a switch over to skydrive is going to be worth it. SMoke_Monkey you mentioned you didn’t think it was as good. Was there any specific reasons for this?

  • http://twitter.com/energizedtech Sean Kearney

    Skydrive is getting better by the minute.  Built in WebApps, live synching across my devices.  Heck, I can edit my book on my WP7 or at least review it while flying.

    So a pay for version is in the works?   THIS could get VERY interesting :=)

  • http://twitter.com/energizedtech Sean Kearney

    Skydrive is getting better by the minute.  Built in WebApps, live synching across my devices.  Heck, I can edit my book on my WP7 or at least review it while flying.

    So a pay for version is in the works?   THIS could get VERY interesting :=)

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98
  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin
  • http://twitter.com/thenonhacker thenonhacker

    Put that URL Shortener NOW!!!

  • thenonhacker

    Put that URL Shortener NOW!!!

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  • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ MHazell

    I really hope the SkyDrive app comes to Windows XP.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    I really hope the SkyDrive app comes to Windows XP.