SkyDrive has had its final (I think), big refresh in preparation for the Windows 8 release coming in October. The SkyDrive team blogged earlier this week about the latest going on with SkyDrive. There was also a link to get the latest update – now my SkyDrive is sporting a fresh, metro, modern look! You’ll notice the tile-look on SkyDrive. The photos still rotate so when you’re on your SkyDrive page and in the tile view, you’ll see your photos changing constantly. I really like that feature. For your documents folder, you’ll notice the tiles don’t have images and they don’t flicker. Instead, they indicate what type of document is in the folder.
Below is what you’ll see when you open a folder containing Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Each type of document is colored to match the type of document it is. You can see Word docs are blue – just like the blue Word ‘W’ – very cool.
SkyDrive-More than Just Pretty
The colors and presentation of the tiles are appealing, but let’s look at why we really use SkyDrive – it’s free and functional. Since we now have the SkyDrive icon in Windows Explorer, simply copy or save your work directly to your SkyDrive. You’ll have instant backup and accessibility from nearly any connected computer. You can see my setup below. The green dots with the check marks mean it’s synced to the cloud along with my hard drive.
Now instead of uploading folders, copy them to SkyDrive. But if you choose to upload, remember to create a folder first, then you can choose lots of documents at a time to upload into your folder.
Drag, Drop and Rearrange
When in SkyDrive, it’s easier to drag documents over to a different folder. You can also choose to select a folder and move it into another folder.
Many commands, formerly over to the right are now at the top of your screen. When you select a folder or document, you’ll see the top of your screen change and commands will populate the blue bar. This is where you choose to open, download, share, etc. your data.
Easy to Share
I used to try to share photo albums with my not-so-techy family members and they would usually have a hard time trying to open and view my shared pictures using SkyDrive sharing features. But no more! Now when I click on the ‘Share’, another screen opens up and I have a multitude of ways to share. Let’s take a look at the sharing options:
You can choose to send the link right from the current screen, all your contacts are available to you here, so you don’t have to go and look anyone up. You can send a personal message, get a link to send from your own email program, even get a shortened URL – very nice. You can also share pictures straight to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (not pictured, but it’s there).
Upload About Any Document Type
I’ve been able to upload music, videos, pdfs, really just about any kind of document can be uploaded, stored and shared. It’s really a great way to keep your files, pictures and almost anything backed up and accessible. If you have several computers at home, your documents are just a login away.
SkyDrive is ready for prime time. With your Microsoft Account (formerly known as a windows live ID), you’ll get 7GB of free storage and if you were one of the cutting-edge users, you would have known and claimed your 25GB of free storage when Microsoft did one of their first updates several months ago.
Are you using SkyDrive now? If so, what is your primary purpose for using it. Leave me a comment!