SkyDrive For Windows Is Like Dropbox From Microsoft

The offer of 25GB of free space has always been one of the most attractive features of Microsoft's SkyDrive, but surprisingly it's never been particularly easy to integrate that space with a Windows machine. While Windows 8 promises a much tighter level of SkyDrive integration, a newly-released tool from Microsoft makes files in your SkyDrive easily accessible from any Windows 7 or Vista machine. The one catch? If you haven't already used SkyDrive, you now only get 7GB, not 25GB.

Once you've installed the app, everything you put in your newly-created SkyDrive folder will automatically be synced with your online SkyDrive account. You'll also have access to files that already existed in your online SkyDrive folders. In other words: it's more or less exactly like Dropbox, though the status messages about how files are being uploaded aren't quite as detailed.

The installation is very straightforward, and the syncing seemed fairly fast (though I haven't got a lot of files in my existing SkyDrive setup). The biggest disappointment is that it doesn't work on Windows XP. You also can't directly sync other folders, though you can add your SkyDrive to existing Windows Libraries or change the default location for Documents to be the SkyDrive folder. (To be fair, similar limitations and workarounds also apply to Dropbox.)

One important point: Microsoft is planning to make the free storage total for new SkyDrive signups 7GB. That's still more generous than Dropbox, and likely to be similar to the limits for Google's similar Google Drive service, which is also expected to launch this week/. However, if you have already used SkyDrive, you can keep the existing 25GB free you already have. Just visit this link and opt in for the free storage upgrade. It's said to be a time-limited offer, so it's worth taking up even if you don't actually use SkyDrive often. (Microsoft will also offer paid storage upgrades but hasn't yet released Australian pricing.)

Microsoft already offers SkyDrive apps for Windows Phone 7 and iOS, and those have also been upgraded this week. There's also a new version for Mac which integrates with Finder. All can be downloaded from the link below. SkyDrive is a free service, requires a Windows Live ID (what, you don't have an old Hotmail account lying around?)

SkyDrive For Windows [via Building Windows 8]


Comments

    Any idea if they are going to build an app for Android..? I realise Android is a broader device market than IOS but It can't be that hard to build an app.

      https://apps.live.com/skydrive/app/4c12c1cf-063a-4440-a75b-1fe1ea0b9df5

    Where's my Skydrive for Android App?
    Then I can finally settle on Box and Skydrive as cloud storage solutions!

    Not exactly like Dropbox - https://plus.google.com/u/0/114528574236823733483/posts/MmcgE7D4rEZ

      Aye. The one thing that I'm missing from DropBox is the 'right-click to get public link' feature. Once that's available to SkyDrive I'll be able to completely ditch DropBox.

        You mean from the site or from the app?

          Directly from Windows Explorer. I know I can get a share link from the site but it'd be so much easier to get one from the file itself.

            YES - this is EXACTLY the killer feature I am missing, and why I won't move from Sugarsync. The other thing that "bothers" me is Microsoft tells you if you want to share your files inside of Outlook you need to install bloatware XOBNI - again something Sugarsync does - shame on you Microsoft!

    I have just installed the skydrive tool and by default it seems that it wants to download the entire skydrive to your desktop in the background as an initial step . If you have a limited quota caution advise. At least monitor what the app is trying to do.

    In comparison live mesh supports the sync storage portition of skydrive already which is only 5GB, so the abililty to sync files between different devices via skydrive has been avalible for some time now. This app just adds desktop support.

    Either way I do not think any of these developments improve the upload speed to skydrive, uploading to flickr seems much faster.

      Indeed, Mesh has been able to sync cloud storage for some time. BUT that folder has always been separate to your SkyDrive. Will check this when I get home tonight, but hopefully they've brought the two together now!

    Argh! Missed out! Just signed on and found the pay-to-upgrade options, no free upgrade - must have missed it!

    Worth noting that if you install the SkyDrive app, "you can upload files and folders to SkyDrive automatically by copying, moving, or saving them to the SkyDrive folder on your computer. Files you upload this way can be up to 2 GB in size."

    Can it work in offline mode like dropbox?

      I would assume yes as the initial install syncs your skydrive to your local machine

    I have actually had my "dropbox" folder inside my "Mesh" folder (Windows Live Mesh) for some time now, since Mesh has a greater storage limit. Now that SkyDrive and Mesh look like they're effectively being combined, so much the better! ^_^

    Another feature SkyDrive has over dropbox, is you can elect to share your entire PC, you can then browse your entire system via the website and download files that are not shared via skydrive. Though for some that might be too much of a security hole (it does email you a code you have to enter before starting a remote browse session), but you should be able to restrict the folders it allows access to.

    Also i miss the function from the old skyDrive where you could select the folders to sync instead of being forced to have it all under the one SkyDrive folder.

    But im very likely to swap from my 6gb dropbox (got some extra gig for trialing their photo upload feature) to SkyDrive, at least until google drive comes out then ill give that a go.

    Hmmmm, this is a VERY simplified app compared to Mesh - but it IS only a 'preview'. I would hope we have favourites syncing and office-sync added to it at a later date.
    Indeed, the first iteration of Mesh was great for being able to right-click and 'sync folder'.

    Any way to backdate to get the 25Gb not the lower 7Gb?

    Logged into http://skydrive.live.com and found I was already a member and 25Gb upgrade was available. Swish!

    Google Drive is coming out next month - I'll wait and see what that offers.

    i've never understood the hype around dropbox... i mean i still have 4gbs on dropbox meanwhile i have 50gbs of box.net and 25gb on skydrive!

      Box only allows you to transfer files of 100mb or less with that free 50gb - which is fine for most people, but can be limiting.

      As I stated elsewhere Skydrive makes it harder for you to share your files - you cannot do it from your desktop, you need to log into SKyDrive from your web browser to do it. If you are looking for a solution to limit your Outlook mailbox size by shipping "links" to files instead of the files themselves Sugarsync is the best price / feature product I have found. I look at ALL of them - nothing has the price point and the ease of use features for sharing large documents via email easily even close to Sugarsync. You can do with Box, but you need to sign up for the Business tier, which is 3 people minimum - its like $500 per year to get the sync and Outlook features. Dropbox is nice, no OUtlook plugin outside of Xobni, but it DOES have the right click in Windows Explorer and "get link" - but Sugarsync is cheaper. If Dropbox had a 30gb tier that was cheaper than Sugarsync I would seriously consider it!

    Also worth noting folks - if you were a Skydrive user with more than 4GB of storage space in use as of April 1st, you'll automatically be "opted-in" for a 25GB account :)

    Unable to get the App to work going through a proxy. Any suggestions?

    IMO MS, SkyDrive is catching up at long last with the rest of them. It was fragmented, with Mesh etc but it's coming together now as 1 product especially with the SkyDrive App for your PC which integrates into Windows Explorer Windows 7/8. It works very nicely on My IPhone also with the App there.

    To support my XP laptop all I do is use SyncToy to keep that in sync (peer to peer) with my Windows 7 Laptop using a network share to my SkyDrive folder and the SyncDrive software installed that synch's it to the web also.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now