If you’re a long time SkyDrive user you’ve probably been longing for a way to easily manage your online files and sync it to your local machine, something like what Dropbox has been doing for quite some time.
When the Windows 8 Consumer Preview was released, there was a SkyDrive app that lets you keep a local copy of your online SkyDrive folder on your PC and keeps it in sync all the time. Now Microsoft introduced the same desktop client (still preview version) for Windows 7, Windows Vista and even Mac OSX Lion users.
The benefits of SkyDrive integration with Windows are clear: you can now drag-and-drop to and from SkyDrive with files up to 2GB, access all of your files offline, and have the full power of Windows Explorer available to manage your SkyDrive files and folders. Files stored in your SkyDrive are in a plain folder on your PC, which means any app that works with local folders and files can now work with SkyDrive.
To up the ante in this whole cloud storage service, through the SkyDrive desktop client, you can turn your PC into your own private cloud. You can access your PC files even if they’re not stored in your SkyDrive folder. A different code will be sent by SkyDrive via mobile or e-mail for additional authentication before you can start tGBo browse your files and stream videos from anywhere through SkyDrive.com.
Free storage down to 7GB
What makes SkyDrive attractive before was that it offered 25GB free storage. With the revamped SkyDrive, free users can only get 7GB which they think is already enough for 99% of their users, and still greater than Dropbox’s initial 2GB offering. 7GB should be enough for 20,000 Office documents or 7,000 photos. If you want to add more storage, you have to pay for it (+20GB – US$10/year, +50GB – US$25/year, +100GB – US$50/year).
Logging in to my SkyDrive account I noticed that they indeed trimmed down my storage down to 7GB. However, there’s also an option for past users to get that full 25GB back. The option to do this will be available for a limited only so I suggest you log in to your account and get that 25GB back.
To complete the true cloud experience, SkyDrive is also available on the Windows Phone 7 and iOS (iPad version in the works) platform since December 2011. What’s odd is that they don’t have any news about SkyDrive for the Android platform.
With these developments, I believe SkyDrive is now a pretty good alternative (or even better) to the king of cloud storage for consumers which is DropBox, if you’re not using Android that is.
Here’s where you go to try SkyDrive today:
- Get SkyDrive for Windows (preview)
- Get SkyDrive for Windows Phone
- Get SkyDrive for iPhone and iPad
- Get SkyDrive for OS X Lion (preview)