All posts tagged “SkyDrive”

Microsoft gifts 20GB of extra SkyDrive storage to Windows Phone users for a year

Microsoft is distributing some holiday cheer to Windows Phone owners today with an email inviting them to activate a bonus 20GB of SkyDrive storage. The bump in cloud storage will be active for a year and users are given until the end of January to claim their slice of it. SkyDrive has grown increasingly important for Microsoft, particularly with the changes introduced in Windows 8.1, and the company is already giving away a generous 200GB allowance for two years with every purchase of Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 tablets. Extending the bonus storage offers to the rest of its ecosystem makes commercial sense for Microsoft — insofar as it encourages more people to use its services more often — while also endearing the company to its…

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Photosynth’s 3D interactive panoramas reportedly coming to SkyDrive


Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage service may soon be getting support for 3D panoramas using Photosynth technology. Earlier in May, Microsoft updated SkyDrive with an emphasis on photos, creating a chronologically ordered “All Photos” view and accepting full-resolution uploads from Windows Phone 8. Now, the highly reliable LiveSide reports that SkyDrive will also allow users to upload and view 3D panoramas. The new feature will be based on Photosynth’s toolset, supporting interactive panoramas stitched together from photos and videos.

LiveSide notes that it’s not clear whether SkyDrive will support synths, a kind of inverse panorama that captures multiple sides of a single building or other object. We also don’t have any word on when…

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SkyDrive Xbox app launches today, over 40 new apps coming soon

SkyDrive Xbox

Microsoft is announcing today that 40 new Xbox apps will be made available shortly. SkyDrive is part of the list of 40 and will bring photos and videos to an Xbox 360 console thanks to Microsoft’s cloud-based service. The company has focused on shared photos and videos with the app, with a party slide show feature that will run through the various photos from a SkyDrive account.

Other apps include the launch of Napster in Germany and the UK and Deezer in the majority of Xbox Live regions. Not all apps will be made available immediately and Microsoft says they will start to roll out between now and Spring 2013.

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Microsoft build attendees a Microsoft Surface RT and 100GB SkyDrive storage


Microsoft has just announced that developers at its build 2012 conference will receive 100GB of SkyDrive storage, and a free 32GB Surface RT. Speaking enthusiastically about the developer opportunity ahead, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer guaranteed developers in the crowd that “this will be the best opportunity software developers will see.”

“Hundreds of millions of people are just aching to use your applications,” said Ballmer, before announcing the giveaway for build attendees. The crowd was understandably excited, and Ballmer promised developers that Microsoft would do more marketing and “better marketing” for Windows 8.

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Cloud Storage Face-off: Dropbox vs Google Drive vs SkyDrive

If you follow closely, you’ll know that we have mentioned Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive before. In this article, we’re going to compare these three cloud storage services head to head.

(Image Source: Jonas Rask)

Cloud storage services are so handy nowadays as it saves space on your portable drive, smartphone or computer; it syncs all your files throughout all your devices, its cross-platform compatibility and best of all, you can get storage space for free. Sharing big or multiple files is also made easy while it securely keeps your files away from public computers.

Note: This article will involve a lot of in depth information that might be lengthy to read; if you want a gist comparison of the three services, check out the Table of Comparison.

1. Storage Space

Each service offers different amounts of free storage and a variety of premium storage spaces.


Dropbox starts you off with 2GB of free storage but you get referral perks, that is 500 MB of extra space for every friend you refer Dropbox to. More than 35 referrals later, you’ll be able to earn a maximum of 18GB, giving you a grand total of 20GB inclusive of your initial 2GB.

For more storage, you can opt for the Pro Dropbox account that offers 100GB, 200GB and 500GB from $ 9.99, $ 19.99 and $ 49.99 per month respectively or save 17% by paying $ 99, $ 199 and $ 499 yearly.

Dropbox Plans

Dropbox Teams provides a solution for large groups of users, between 5 and 50 users. The Team package comes with administrative tools for centralized management of files and is very flexible depending on how many users or storage space you require.

Google Drive

Google Drive is readily available within your Gmail account. From there you start with 5GB worth of storage space. Additional space can be purchased with a wide variety of plans (ranging from 25GB to 16TB). Upgrading to any account will also give you the same amount of storage in Picasa while your Gmail Storage is upgraded to 25GB.

Google Drive Plans


SkyDrive comes with 7GB of free storage. They have the cheapest upgrade plans among the 3 services which you can see in the picture below. They classify their upgrades as add-ons to your 7GB of space; unlike the previous two services. As they are also fairly new to the scene, there are no bigger storage plans to offer yet.

SkyDrive Plans

2. Supporting Platforms

We’ll now take a closer look at what platforms each cloud service currently supports: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone.


The Dropbox desktop application is available on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Dropbox is also available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Dropbox is the only service that currently natively supports Linux; and also the only service to support BlackBerry.

Dropbox Platform

Google Drive

Google Drive is available for Windows and Mac OS; however unlike Dropbox, it has no native support for Linux and relies on third party programs. In terms of mobile, Google Drive is available only on iOS and Android.

Google Drive Platforms


SkyDrive is readily available for Windows and Mac OS; just like Google Drive, it relies on third party programs for it to be used on Linux. For mobile platform support, SkyDrive is the only service that has their own app for Windows Phone; it is also available on iOS and Android.

SkyDrive Platforms

Speaking of Windows Phone support, there is a third party Windows phone app that supports Dropbox, unlike Google Drive which has yet to enter the Windows phone scene.

3. Features

We’ll now take a look at the unique and common features that can be found in each cloud service.


Besides ‘earning’ storage space through referrals, you can get more free space by using Dropbox’s Camera Upload feature on your desktop or smartphone. Dropbox also has a unlimited undo (version) history feature for an extra $ 39 a year, only available with a Pro Dropbox account.

Dropbox Sharing

Uploading files through the Dropbox website has a limit of 300MB, which is the same for the SkyDrive website. Whereas, uploads through the Dropbox Desktop app have no file size limit (unlike the 2GB file limit on SkyDrive).

Dropbox has also successfully integrated with Facebook Groups where you can share files from your dropbox files to your Facebook Groups.

Dropbox Facebook Groups

Google Drive

Google Drive allows you to disable automatic deletion of old versions which means you can keep all file revisions as long as you want although doing this maxes out your storage space quickly.

Google Drive Sharing

Google Drive is also an online document editor which converts your Microsoft Office document (.doc / .docx) into a Google Document (.gdoc) before editing.

There is a file size upload limit of 10GB on the desktop app and website version.


Installing the SkyDrive desktop application allows you to access every file on that PC it is installed in; so as long as your PC is turned on, connected to the internet with SkyDrive running, you’ll be able to access all your files through the SkyDrive website.

SkyDrive Remote Access

SkyDrive also has Microsoft Web Apps which include Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote on the web browser. Although it does not have every feature found on the desktop application, it is sufficient enough for quick editing jobs.

SkyDrive Web Apps

An added feature is the OneNote mobile app that works together with SkyDrive, where you can take notes that automatically syncs and uploads to SkyDrive.

Some Common Features

Version history. A feature available on all services, deleted files are kept intact for 30 days before being permanently deleted. In Google Drive, you get to keep 100 document revisions while SkyDrive offers you 25.

Selective folder syncing. Available in Dropbox and Google Drive, this allows you to sync only files or folders you need when you access your files from another computer. Not included in SkyDrive.

Events tracking. Another feature not found in SkyDrive yet, this allows you to monitor activities on folders or edits on files.

Customized sharing permission. On Google Drive and SkyDrive you can not only customize who gets to see which files, users also get to simultaneously edit documents online and comment on the files. Sharing on Dropbox is limited to just the download link for access to the file.

4. File Type Support

You can upload any file type to the cloud but you can view only file types that are supported. Iif the service does not support the file, all you can do is download it onto your computer to view and edit. Videos and images are supported on all three services, but we need to wait longer for audio playback as it is against copyright law (still). Each service has varying levels of file support.


Dropbox does not have any online document editor which means files only can be downloaded. However, for the Dropbox app on your smartphone or tablet, you are able to view Microsoft Office files, Apple iWork files, audio/video files, images, and PDF files. Documents cannot be edited with the app but can be opened with another editing app.

Google Drive

The Google Drive website supports unique files like Adobe Illustrator (.AI) and Photoshop (.PSD) files, Autodesk AutoCad files and Scalable Vector Graphics files. You can also view Microsoft Office documents, but can only edit it after converting it to a Google Docs file type.

The Google Drive app does not fully support viewing the unique files like its website counterpart does. However, you can do basic edits to Google Docs files and view movie files through the app.


Most Microsoft Office file types can be viewed and edited thanks to its Microsoft Web App. The website version only supports playback for .MP4 and .WMV video files, while other video and audio formats can only be downloaded. The website also supports slideshows for images and PowerPoint files.

The SkyDrive app only allows you to view files in a way similar to Dropbox.

5. Security

Using cloud storage services means your files are online. This situation is a whole lot more vulnerable than having your files confined to your computer at home. But rest assured that these services have solutions for your security woes.

Added Security

Dropbox and Google Drive have a 2-step verification feature when logging in to your account through the website. A standard email and password login is followed by a second punch-in of a security code sent to your smartphone by SMS or by using the Google Authenticator App (iOS/Android).

On the other hand SkyDrive handles security differently by sending a security code to your secondary email address when accessing sensitive information like editing your contact info or connecting your PC for remote access.

For Mobile

In terms of mobile app security, Dropbox is the only app that has a 4-digit passcode. Although this is a basic security feature, it’s one step ahead than Google Drive and SkyDrive.

Dropbox App Security

Wrapping up

Here’s a short rundown of each service to help you determine which service to select.


Dropbox is a powerful and simple sharing tool that has been around the longest among these 3 services. Its referral system to earn storage space is also unique and a great crowdpuller. It is also very secure with 2-step verification, and a 4-digit passcode lock for the mobile app. Other benefits include natively supporting Linux and Blackberry unlike the other 2 services.

Google Drive

Google Drive has unique file type support (Adobe, AutoCad files) which makes it easier to view those files online. Although you can edit documents online, you’ll have to convert it to a Google Document that might mess up the formatting of the original Microsoft Office file. It is also secure with 2-step verification which is linked throughout your Google account and other services.


SkyDrive is somewhat in the early stages of being a slightly improved service of Google Drive because of Microsoft Web Apps for online editing, with similar sharing settings and simultaneous editing features. SkyDrive also starts you off with the most amount of free space. Unique features found in SkyDrive (not found in the other 2) is the remote access to the files on your PC, native support for Windows Phones and the ability to take sync notes on your mobile via OneNote app.

Each service has its strength and weaknesses which is why one service is not necessarily better than the other. If you’re unsure of which to start using, go ahead and try all 3. Afterall, they don’t cost anything and you get a total of 14GB of online storage to start on!

Table of Comparison

Features Dropbox


Google Drive

Google Drive



Free Storage 2GB 5GB 7GB
Upgrade Pricing

$ 9.99/month or $ 99/year

$ 19.99/month or $ 199/year

$ 49.99/month or $ 499/year

25GB $ 2.49
100GB $ 4.99
200GB $ 9.99
400GB $ 19.99
1TB $ 49.99
2TB $ 99.99
4TB $ 199.99
8TB $ 399.99
16TB $ 799.99
(monthly rate)

Upgraded storage also applies to Picasa; additional 25GB to Gmail.

27GB $ 10/year
57GB $ 25/year
107GB $ 50/year

Supported Platforms

Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry

Windows, Mac OS,
iOS, Android

Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone


Selective Folder Syncing, Events Tracking,
Version History,
Sharing Link,
Facebook Group Integration

Selective Folder Syncing, Events Tracking,
Version History,
Sharing Permission Settings,
Commenting on Files, Online Document Editor, Simultaneous Document Editing

Events Tracking,
Version History,
Sharing Permission Settings,
Commenting on Files,
Microsoft Office Web Apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote),
Simultaneous Document Editing,
Remote Access to Files on PC,
OneNote Mobile App

Version History 30 Days for All Files 30 Days or 100 Document Revisions 30 Days or 25 Document Revisions
File Upload Limit Unlimited Through Desktop App, 300MB Through Website 10GB Through Both Desktop App and Website 2GB Through Desktop App, 300MB Through Website
Sharing Simple Sharing Link Customized Sharing and Access Settings Customized Sharing and Access Settings

2-Step Verification, 4-Digit Passcode for Mobile App

2-Step Verification Across All Google Services

Verification Code when Accessing PC Files Remotely

Supported File Types Microsoft Office, Apple iWork, Audio, Video and Image Files Adobe Illustrator (.AI) & Photoshop (.PSD), Autodesk AutoCad, Scalable Vector Graphics, Audio, Video and Image Files Microsoft Office, Audio, Video and Image Files
Start Using Cloud Storage Today Dropbox Website Google Drive Website SkyDrive Website

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8 Tips To Get the Most Out Of Microsoft SkyDrive

Cloud drive services are becoming widely popular nowadays with services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and even Amazon Drive. Microsoft has its own version, SkyDrive with many recently improved features for a better cloud experience.

SkyDrive Logo

Similar to Google Drive and Gmail, SkyDrive works with a Microsoft account. You can register for the service with any email, or login using an existing MSN or Hotmail account. (On a side note, Microsoft has also revamped its email service Outlook which you can also use as a login.) SkyDrive starts you out with 7GB of free storage but you can get more with pricing plans costing up to US$ 50 a year.

In this post, we’ll be looking at some of the features of the revamped SkyDrive and sharing with you 8 tips to enhance your experience with SkyDrive.

1. Edit Skydrive File/Folder Sharing Permissions

SkyDrive offers sharing just like other cloud storage services. However, when generating a link to share files via SkyDrive, you have the option to control whether the files has "View only", "View and edit" or "Public" access.

This also applies for sharing by email or on a social network website. If you would like to monitor who has been editing the file you shared, you can also set the option that requires users to login first.

SkyDrving Sharing Options

The details pane on the right is a quick way to see who has access to a shared file or folder and what permissions they are given. Take advantage of this by disabling sharing or changing permissions in just one click.

SkyDrive Quick Sharing Options

2. Enable Commenting on Shared Files

While traditional file-sharing services give you only a link for the other person to download, on SkyDrive you can allow users with access to your shared files to comment on them. Users who comment on your files will have their Microsoft profile picture displayed alongside their comments (ala Facebook style) and by changing a few privacy settings, you can choose to allow commenting to just some or all your Messenger friends, and their friends, or even Everyone.

Setting up Commenting

  1. Go to and click on your Profile name on the top right corner, then click on Edit profile.

    SkyDrive Edit Profile

  2. Then, click on the link at "Shared with:" ("Some Messenger friends" is the default option) to edit the privacy settings to your needs.

    SkyDrive Edit Privacy

  3. You’ll now be able to change the privacy settings on who can comment on your shared files. By sliding the ‘Comments’ bar all the way to the right, everyone on a Microsoft account who has access to the file will be able to leave a comment.

    SkyDrive Comments Privacy

3. Make SkyDrive your PC’s “Primary” Drive

This is a trick for people who use Windows Libraries as you can use SkyDrive to sync all your files which will be available to you where you go. Here’s how you set it up:

  1. Create the following folders in SkyDrive. Name these folders "Documents", "Music", "Pictures" and "Videos" respectively.

    SkyDrive Libraries Step 1

  2. Under "Libraries", right click on "Documents" and click on "Properties".

    SkyDrive Libraries Step 2

  3. In the Properties window, click on Include a folder. Then navigate to where the SkyDrive folder is and then click on Include folder.

  4. You’ll now see the SkyDrive folder under ‘Library Locations’. To change your primary drive, click on the SkyDrive folder location and then click on Set save location.

    SkyDrive Libraries Step 3

  5. Repeat the steps for "Music", "Pictures" and "Videos" after "Documents".

  6. After you’ve setup the remaining 3 libraries, run the SkyDrive program and the results will look something like the image below.

    SkyDrive Libraries

4. Access Every File On Your PC Remotely

One interesting feature (depending on how you look at it) for SkyDrive is that you can remotely access files that are in your PC even if it is not in the SkyDrive folder. Let’s say you left an important work document at home, no problem, just access your computer via SkyDrive and look for the file in your home PC from work. The catch is, your PC has to be running and have Internet access as well as the SkyDrive program on. Good news is this also works even with the computer locked.

SkyDrive Remote Access

As for security issues, you do not have to worry as files on your computer cannot be edited or deleted in this way, and you can only transfer files from your computer to your SkyDrive folder, not the other way around. Basically, you can extract files from your PC via SkyDrive.

SkyDrive is also available on mobile devices of all platforms: Windows Phone, iOS and Android. However, this feature is only accessible through the website.

5. View or Edit Files Simultaneously

Editing documents simultaneously might not be a very new feature as it is also available on Google Drive. However, with SkyDrive you’ll be able to do that with an online version of Microsoft Office products which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.

Microsoft Office Web Apps

Any changes made to a document will be sync’ed online. Small popups will appear that notify you that a change has been made, either by you or a collaborator. You then hit ‘Save’ to view the edited section, highlighted with the other person’s name.

SkyDrive Word App

These Microsoft Office Web Apps give you all the basic functionalities their desktop programs could provide. You can even present slideshows on PowerPoint through the Web App.

SkyDrive PowerPoint App

What’s great is after editing, your file will be updated and the Microsoft Office file will be ready for immediate download or sharing.

6. Automatically Sync Notes to SkyDrive

You can add notes to SkyDrive while on your smartphone or tablet with the Microsoft OneNote Mobile app, available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Login with a Microsoft account to start using the app. The interface looks clean and organized, as you can see in the shots below: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone on the right.

OneNote Mobile

You can create to-do lists complete with checkboxes or add pictures to your notes. If you want to email the note, it is created in a text format (with pictures and lists included) instead of a OneNote format.

OneNote Mobile Email

The app syncs all your created notes with your SkyDrive account automatically which is very convenient as you can then access and edit them on your computer. There is also the option to sync only selected notes to your SkyDrive account.

7. Integrate SkyDrive with Gmail

By installing as a Google Chrome Extension or Firefox Add-on, you are able to attach any file on SkyDrive to your Gmail account.

By clicking on ‘Share from SkyDrive’, you can look through all the files on your SkyDrive. Once you have selected the file you want, it will create a link that you can share to your email recipients.

Gmail Attachment

Note that the files that you share through can only be viewed and not edited, ensuring your original document will remain in SkyDrive.

8. Avoid Mistakes with Recycle Bin and Version History

If you happen to accidentally delete any file from your mobile device or desktop, SkyDrive will still have it in an online recycle bin, found at the bottom left corner of the site.

SkyDrive Recycle Bin

SkyDrive automatically keeps 25 changes made to your document files and with Version History you’ll be able to restore to any of these the previous versions, where necessary. If you’re a chronic saver, no worries as it will only update "Version History" after a successful sync.

SkyDrive Version History

Items in the recycle bin will be automatically removed after 30 days, but if the recycle bin exceeds 10% of your total storage limit, the oldest item will be deleted after it has been there for 3 days.


Features offered by SkyDrive can be said to be combined features of two or more cloud storage services. Overall, it has improved user experience through its revamped website which is why you should give it a try.

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