New SkyDrive info: point by point

By Kip Kniskern | Posted February 20, 2012 46 comments

skydrive-logoWe’ve had a lot of new info on SkyDrive come at us in the past few days, from all over the place, so much so that its getting a little hard to keep track of.  So in order to help us all digest it a bit better, here’s our point by point breakdown of all the latest news!

From the Gemind.com.br post:
Brazilian website Gemind.com.br started the ball rolling this weekend with a post showing a bunch of new features coming soon to SkyDrive.  Here’s what they said:

  • Desktop clients coming for Windows and Mac (Windows client confirmed)
  • Paid additional storage options coming in multiple increments (mentioned as “the ability to unlock more”) :
    • Free 25gb
    • “SkyDrive +20” – an additional 20gb for $10/yr
    • +50 for $25/yr and +100 for $50/yr also coming

From LiveSide:
Not to be outdone, we added a few details of our own:

  • New version will be SkyDrive Wave 5 M3
  • Bitlocker recovery key storage
  • OpenDocument formats (.odt, .odp, .ods) support
  • Access files on local computers via SkyDrive app (remote access confirmed)
  • URL shortening service
  • 300MB file upload size limit via SkyDrive.com

And then today, Microsoft confirmed a number of the features, and added some new ones of their own.  Although there was no mention of the details of the paid storage options, Mac clients, or Bitlocker or URL shortening, there were a number of additional tidbits worth mentioning:

  • 17 million SkyDrive users (by comparison, as of last October Dropbox had 45 million)
  • SkyDrive stores 10 petabytes of user data, Hotmail stores 100PB
  • Windows 8 will “finally bring the DNA of SkyDrive and Mesh together into one service”
  • SkyDrive app for Windows 8
  • SkyDrive available to other Metro style apps and the file system through charms and contracts
  • Integrated into the Windows 8 Windows Explorer on the desktop
  • Full file and folder upload and sync – “no compromises”
  • Metro app built using JavaScript, CSS, HTML5, and the JSON APIs and JavaScript object model in SkyDrive.com
  • Metro app optimized for touch
  • Ability to save directly from Windows 8 to SkyDrive
  • SkyDrive Desktop app available for Windows 8, Windows 7, or Vista
  • Installer less than 5mb, takes 10 seconds to install (not sure if this applies to Win7 or Vista)
  • Support for uploading up to 2GB files through Explorer
  • Remote access will have a “copy to SkyDrive” feature
  • Remote streaming of video full screen photo viewer
  • 2nd factor authentication (mobile number or alt. email address) required for remote access
  • Changes coming “over the next several months”

Quite a long list!  And as we said, stay tuned, we have a few surprises left in store!

Posted February 20th, 2012 at 1:01 pm
Category: News
Tags: SkyDrive, Windows 8
  • Chris

    Still gonna use Drop box. Works accross ALL platforms and doesnt have a chunky web interface. 

    • the-hq

      Uhm? Have you ever logged into Dropbox? It’s kinda chunky…

    • 0110110101100100

      Honestly, the skydrive UI is way better (and faster) than dropbox.

      I think you are right about dropbox platform-agnosticism, and the other big advantage is that it is already integrated in many apps.
      On the other hand, skydrive allows you to edit, share and collaborate on office files on the web, and you can set sharing permissions on a per-file basis. With the coming improvements it seems it will be overall more appealing than dropbox.

    • jkth

      Each to their own. Dropbox is history for me as soon as these new SkyDrive features hit the road.

  • Chris

    Still gonna use Drop box. Works accross ALL platforms and doesnt have a chunky web interface. 

    • the-hq

      Uhm? Have you ever logged into Dropbox? It’s kinda chunky…

    • 0110110101100100

      Honestly, the skydrive UI is way better (and faster) than dropbox.

      I think you are right about dropbox platform-agnosticism, and the other big advantage is that it is already integrated in many apps.
      On the other hand, skydrive allows you to edit, share and collaborate on office files on the web, and you can set sharing permissions on a per-file basis. With the coming improvements it seems it will be overall more appealing than dropbox.

    • jkth

      Each to their own. Dropbox is history for me as soon as these new SkyDrive features hit the road.

  • uberlaff

    all I want to know is… when does it launch?

  • uberlaff

    all I want to know is… when does it launch?

  • Asbjørn

    You forgot the most important thing – they are ruining Live Mesh by copying Dropbox. They now force you to use the one-folder-fits-all approach, which I simply cannot live with (and I cannot see how anyone possibly would want to). Why will they create libraries for all your stuff (Documents, Pictures, Music etc.), only to tell people not to use them? It makes no sense at all.

    • jkth

      Huh? Libraries are the perfect solution for the one-folder-fits-all “limitation”. Want your music folder on SkyDrive to show up in your music library? – go right ahead, just add it to the library.
      They’re not telling you not to use libraries, they’re in fact alluding that you *should* use libraries.

      • Asbjørn

        No, libraries are not the solution. I currently have two folders under My Documents that I’m syncing and they are in logical subfolders. I want them to be in context in their respective subfolders, not under a separate heading, as they would be in a library (yes, theoretically you can combine them, but that makes everything unusably slow). In addition to that, I have a folder full of various design projects, past and present, of which I’ll only be syncing a few at any particular time. Do you then suggest that I keep moving them in and out of the SkyDrive folder? Because that is not possible – these files need to have constant paths so that I don’t have to change configurations constantly. In short, I want to right-click on a folder and select Sync with SkyDrive and that’s that. Shouldn’t be too difficult.
        So no, Libraries are at best an incomplete and impractical solution. I don’t want to constantly think about whether I put that folder on SkyDrive or not. It would mean having to look in two places for everything!

  • Asbjørn

    You forgot the most important thing – they are ruining Live Mesh by copying Dropbox. They now force you to use the one-folder-fits-all approach, which I simply cannot live with (and I cannot see how anyone possibly would want to). Why will they create libraries for all your stuff (Documents, Pictures, Music etc.), only to tell people not to use them? It makes no sense at all.

    • jkth

      Huh? Libraries are the perfect solution for the one-folder-fits-all “limitation”. Want your music folder on SkyDrive to show up in your music library? – go right ahead, just add it to the library.
      They’re not telling you not to use libraries, they’re in fact alluding that you *should* use libraries.

      • Asbjørn

        No, libraries are not the solution. I currently have two folders under My Documents that I’m syncing and they are in logical subfolders. I want them to be in context in their respective subfolders, not under a separate heading, as they would be in a library (yes, theoretically you can combine them, but that makes everything unusably slow). In addition to that, I have a folder full of various design projects, past and present, of which I’ll only be syncing a few at any particular time. Do you then suggest that I keep moving them in and out of the SkyDrive folder? Because that is not possible – these files need to have constant paths so that I don’t have to change configurations constantly. In short, I want to right-click on a folder and select Sync with SkyDrive and that’s that. Shouldn’t be too difficult.
        So no, Libraries are at best an incomplete and impractical solution. I don’t want to constantly think about whether I put that folder on SkyDrive or not. It would mean having to look in two places for everything!

  • http://twitter.com/MITorres Mike Torres

    @Asbjørn – you can definitely add SkyDrive folders to libraries, or remap My Documents and other special folders to SkyDrive locations.

    • 0110110101100100

      This.
      Not that hard, that’s what millions of people are already doing with dropbox’s sub-folders. And by the way, that’s exactly what libraries are for.

      • http://twitter.com/bart_willeman Bart Willeman

        5GB vs SkyDrive’s 25GB. Bit of a no brainer really…..

        • jkth

          Agreed. There’s loads of complaints on the B8 blog post about this – libraries are a perfect solution.

  • http://twitter.com/MITorres Mike Torres

    @Asbjørn – you can definitely add SkyDrive folders to libraries, or remap My Documents and other special folders to SkyDrive locations.

    • 0110110101100100

      This.
      Not that hard, that’s what millions of people are already doing with dropbox’s sub-folders. And by the way, that’s exactly what libraries are for.

    • 0110110101100100

      This.
      Not that hard, that’s what millions of people are already doing with dropbox’s sub-folders. And by the way, that’s exactly what libraries are for.

      • http://twitter.com/bart_willeman Bart Willeman

        5GB vs SkyDrive’s 25GB. Bit of a no brainer really…..

        • jkth

          Agreed. There’s loads of complaints on the B8 blog post about this – libraries are a perfect solution.

  • http://twitter.com/jwk6 Jason Kohlhoff

    Awesome!  So we’ll finally have Device to SkyDrive synchronization, but what about direct Device to Device synchronization?  i.e. the way “Sync a folder” works in Windows Live Mesh right now.

    I’ll give up choosing an arbitrary folder to sync with SkyDrive, because I realize that users will do ill-advised things, but I should be able to sync any folder to any device I choose.  Device to Device Syncing and Remote Access are two features that Drop Box won’t have.

    • Stefan
      • Stefan

        Sorry, direct link is obviously not working. Take a look at the link and scroll down to Mike Torres’ comment from
        21 Feb 2012 9:44 AM.

        • http://twitter.com/jwk6 Jason Kohlhoff

          Thanks, Stefan. Mike makes a couple good points. The more I think about this, I can give up device to device sync.

          Here’s the quote from Mike Torres –

          “@Stefan, @Simon: We won’t be offering a way to sync between PCs without using the cloud as we’ve found that it adds complexity. Both technical complexity as well as, more importantly, complexity in the overall user model. The SkyDrive model is really quite simple in that it’s “cloud-first” and not “cloud-optional” which means you no longer have to worry about the timing of various PCs being online to sync, or having files that are only available on PCs but not through SkyDrive.com or mobile devices. Conflicts are far less likely as well since the cloud is always “online”. The fetch feature addresses the need to “get back” to stuff that you haven’t put in SkyDrive yet. There are tradeoffs either way, we realize that, but we decided to focus on a simple model and really work to get that right.”

  • Jason Kohlhoff

    Awesome!  So we’ll finally have Device to SkyDrive synchronization, but what about direct Device to Device synchronization?  i.e. the way “Sync a folder” works in Windows Live Mesh right now.

    I’ll give up choosing an arbitrary folder to sync with SkyDrive, because I realize that users will do ill-advised things, but I should be able to sync any folder to any device I choose.  Device to Device Syncing and Remote Access are two features that Drop Box won’t have.

    • Stefan
      • Stefan

        Sorry, direct link is obviously not working. Take a look at the link and scroll down to Mike Torres’ comment from
        21 Feb 2012 9:44 AM.

        • Jason Kohlhoff

          Thanks, Stefan. Mike makes a couple good points. The more I think about this, I can give up device to device sync.

          Here’s the quote from Mike Torres –

          “@Stefan, @Simon: We won’t be offering a way to sync between PCs without using the cloud as we’ve found that it adds complexity. Both technical complexity as well as, more importantly, complexity in the overall user model. The SkyDrive model is really quite simple in that it’s “cloud-first” and not “cloud-optional” which means you no longer have to worry about the timing of various PCs being online to sync, or having files that are only available on PCs but not through SkyDrive.com or mobile devices. Conflicts are far less likely as well since the cloud is always “online”. The fetch feature addresses the need to “get back” to stuff that you haven’t put in SkyDrive yet. There are tradeoffs either way, we realize that, but we decided to focus on a simple model and really work to get that right.”

  • http://twitter.com/bart_willeman Bart Willeman

    Don’t forget that SkyDrive will store your Windows 8 and Windows 8 app settings. And all you have to do is login with your Live ID.
    Seriously, comparing Dropbox with the ‘new’ SkyDrive, is like comparing…… Hmmm, you can’t compare them. SkyDrive is in a league of its own ;)

  • http://twitter.com/bart_willeman Bart Willeman

    Don’t forget that SkyDrive will store your Windows 8 and Windows 8 app settings. And all you have to do is login with your Live ID.
    Seriously, comparing Dropbox with the ‘new’ SkyDrive, is like comparing…… Hmmm, you can’t compare them. SkyDrive is in a league of its own ;)

  • http://tech2fun.com/ prajith@tech2fun

    Microsoft should fold Windows Live Mesh into SkyDrive.Having the two only creates confusion and is pointless.
    A SkyDrive desktop client combined with its documentcapabilities Dropbox does not offer, as you say, wouldmake this a superior alternative to what Dropbox has.

    • jkth

      Why do you keep commenting with this on different blog posts? Folding Mesh into SkyDrive is exactly what they are doing.

  • http://tech2fun.com/ prajith@tech2fun

    Microsoft should fold Windows Live Mesh into SkyDrive.Having the two only creates confusion and is pointless.
    A SkyDrive desktop client combined with its documentcapabilities Dropbox does not offer, as you say, wouldmake this a superior alternative to what Dropbox has.

    • jkth

      Why do you keep commenting with this on different blog posts? Folding Mesh into SkyDrive is exactly what they are doing.

  • liberalrepublic

    I am using SkyDrive extensively. These improvements r gr8 news

  • Liberal Republic

    I am using SkyDrive extensively. These improvements r gr8 news

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

    Lots of congrats to Damaster and you Kip. This SkyDrive Post Saga is no doubt liveside biggest scoop and story so far in 2012. 

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

    Lots of congrats to Damaster and you Kip. This SkyDrive Post Saga is no doubt liveside biggest scoop and story so far in 2012. 

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

    Lots of congrats to Damaster and you Kip. This SkyDrive Post Saga is no doubt liveside biggest scoop and story so far in 2012. 

  • jkth
  • jkth