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Taking A Closer Look at Windows 8 and SkyDrive

Windows 8 Cloud ServicesDiscussion on Window 8 and the cloud has been quiet

Windows 8 is making big strides in the way it offers cloud services

While websites have been discussing the metro interface, keyboard shortcuts or how to bring back the Start button, very few websites are picking up on a key feature of Microsoft’s newest Windows OS.

SkyDrive is Microsoft’s way of integrating the cloud across the entire operating system, similar to Apple’s iCloud. As a direct competitor to services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive has stiff competition. However, while signing up to Dropbox only gets you around 2GB of space, SkyDrive offers a lot more: 25GB. However, as CBS News suggests, the service hasn’t become too popular because there is no desktop client to copy files (unlike Dropbox, which can be accessed through the downloadable app and online). However, Windows 8 addresses that issue by integrating the service into the whole OS. An example is that searching for a file presents SkyDrive as an option.

Though further integration into the OS is achieved by signing into the Windows Live account, now knows as your Microsoft Account. The result is that users are now signed into SkyDrive constantly.

Looking closer at SkyDrive

Opening up SkyDrive immediately reveals the new Metro interface, showing files such as Twitter uploads and the SkyDrive camera roll along with files specific to the users. Scrolling to the left shows more files, working like the rest of the OS. The service also distinguishes between files and folders: files are shown as a single square tile, while folders are a double width title. Previews of files will also be shown if possible.

Clicking on a folder shows content in the same way, showing the folder title. If the folder is viewable by anyone , “(public)” will be shown. If private, there will be no label.

Clicking on photos will show a single photo, though unfortunately the preview build means that viewing multiple photos requires going back in and out of each photo rather than swiping through. Users can also zoom into the photo if the resolution is big enough.

Right clicking or swiping up from the bottom of the photo allows you to move back to folder view, save a file of refresh. Saving files goes through the Windows 8 explorer.

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Published: Saturday, March 10th, 2012 Last Modified: March 10, 2012

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