Have you ever needed to save an important document but then realize you don’t have your flash drive? Windows Live SkyDrive eliminates the need to carry around a flash drive. Your computer died unexpectedly? Never fear, because SkyDrive securely backs up your files! Never worry about lost files and memories again!
SkyDrive is a free online storage solution that provides a generous 25GB of free storage. It is available to all Ohio State students that have a BuckeyeMail account and to anyone with a Windows Live account. SkyDrive is essentially a cloud-based drive that allows you to store all of your important files online, such as documents, pictures, music, and videos. Your files are securely stored online and are accessible from any internet-enabled computer. You can even access SkyDrive from your mobile phone! SkyDrive works in most browsers, such as Internet Explorer 7 and up (including the new IE9 beta, which can be downloaded here), Firefox 3.5 and up, and WebKit-based browsers such as Safari and Google Chrome.
SkyDrive’s interface is clean, simple, and user-friendly. Adding files is simple. Click “Add Files” and then select a folder. Then drag files from your computer into the browser window (a prompt to install Silverlight will open if you do not have this installed) or select files from your computer.
SkyDrive also allows you to easily share your files. By default, your files are categorized as private on SkyDrive, but they can be shared with anyone you choose. To edit permissions for a folder on SkyDrive, click on the folder and then click the “Share” dropdown and then “Edit Permissions”. You can then drag the slider to your desired permission level. You can also share your folder with a friend by adding them via their email address.
A folder or file can also be shared by a direct link. From the same “Share” dropdown select “Get A Link”. A link to share with friends will be displayed, and the option to share with the public is also available. Clicking on an individual file within a folder also gives a link. In the photo below, the link to an individual file is circled.
Sharing can be taken a step further with the creation of a group SkyDrive. This allows for easy collaboration and will be discussed in a further blog post.
SkyDrive also integrates with popular social networks to make sharing easy. Just go to your Live profile and choose “Connect your services” to connect your Facebook account and other social networking accounts with SkyDrive. This allows for automatic sharing of content between SkyDrive and your social networking accounts!
SkyDrive is more than just cloud storage. It also serves as the main portal to Microsoft’s Office WebApps, which allow documents from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote to be viewed, edited, and shared directly from the browser! The next blog posts in this series will address the features of Office WebApps.