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Summary:

It’s been interesting to watch Windows Live SkyDrive mature in terms of capacity. When Live Folders was revamped as SkyDrive last August, Microsoft was willing to dole out 500MB of online storage. February of this year brought expanded availability to 35 countries and upped the ante […]

WindowsliveskydriveIt’s been interesting to watch Windows Live SkyDrive mature in terms of capacity. When Live Folders was revamped as SkyDrive last August, Microsoft was willing to dole out 500MB of online storage. February of this year brought expanded availability to 35 countries and upped the ante to 5GB. Now, Redmond is going all-in with 25GB of free storage, not to mention some new features. Although I have a SkyDrive account, my usage of it has been minimal since there are so many competiting storage and synchronization services, with most offering far more capacity.

The SkyDrive team promises more to come in terms of functionality, but there’s some useful tidbits in the most recent offering, especially for digital photographers:

  • Larger photo thumbnails for those of us with big thumbs. I kid… the photo sizes are increased.
  • A web-based slideshow function that works on "any browser" but is optimized on machines with Silverlight installed. I didn’t test the any browser claim… but I’d expect this to function fine on IE, Firefox, Opera, and Safari at a minimum. Previously SkyDrive worked on PCs and Macs with IE 6/7 or Firefox 1.5 and up.
  • You can tag people in your photos, something I didn’t enjoy doing until I started to use the function on Facebook. Makes it easy to find friends in pics.

There are additional features in the new release of SkyDrive as well, some geared toward data control. You can now move and copy files between folders and there’s a handy download as .ZIP file feature. SkyDrive might not be as advanced as some other services out there, but it’s worth a look, especially with the expanded capacity. I’m hoping that Microsoft gets SkyDrive pulled in to Live Mesh or at least starts blending similar services together and some seamless storage and playback of media files would be useful on a netbook in my opinion. For the moment though, with so many similar but not quite the same services, there’s still too many clouds overlapping in Redmond.

  1. Any way of getting a “virtual” drive like with gmail storage?

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  2. That will be a welcome addition, but like you, I don’t understand why we have space on Mesh, and space on SkyDrive, and they can’t talk to each other.

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  3. Why aren’t Mesh & SkyDrive more connected? The current situation is just complicating matters for end users. I want to consolidate my stuff in one big cloud, not go searching in different clouds for it.

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  4. Why aren’t Mesh & SkyDrive more connected? The current situation is just complicating matters for end users. I want to consolidate my stuff in one big cloud, not go searching in different clouds for it.

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  5. GoodThings2Life Thursday, November 13, 2008

    I agree they need to be merged… and Live Foldershare as well. Too many options from one provider is a bad thing.

    That said, I’ve been using Mesh to sync up my two servers, laptop, and mobile phone for the past couple weeks now and am very pleased with it. If they integrate the storage capacity of SkyDrive, life on Live will be golden. :)

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  6. Does it support box.net like firefox extentions? If not then its a pain to use.

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  7. Does it support box.net like firefox extentions? If not then its a pain to use.

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  8. Hey there! I like FolderShare approach. Always sync’d with no additional tasks to remember. Surely, at the cost of a new software install, but there’s no free lunch, right? :)

    You mentioned that there are so many sync options on the net. I’m interested on your evaluation of other services. Anyone you would recommend?

    Regards!

    Clayton

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