Although SkyDrive is a big part of Windows 8 and Office 2013, Microsoft’s online data-storage service falls somewhat short of its potential.
Fortunately, you can work around some of SkyDrive’s shortcomings. Here are some tips for living with SkyDrive.
SkyDrive promises run up against reality
I’ve recently completed three books on Windows 8 and Office 2013. Right from the start, I liked the save-to-the-cloud concept that is so much a part of the new OS and suite. During a typical work day, I move among a variety of computers and devices. I thought SkyDrive would provide a storage space for my documents that was simple to use and easily accessed from all my computers and devices. And I thought I could be sure I was always working with the latest version of a file and could also easily share those files with others as needed.
That was the promise of SkyDrive. Reality was something else.
For example, synching files between devices: It seemed I was spending far more time than I should, waiting for SkyDrive to sync the files produced on those various computers and devices. Different computers have different upload speeds. Surprisingly, my phone seems to be the fastest uploader of them all (though a phone is not ideal for managing files).
Frustrated by my SkyDrive experience, I was curious whether other SkyDrive users were troubled by similar problems. This article shares what I learned.
A (very!) short history of the SkyDrive service
SkyDrive has been with us for longer than you might think. Released in 2007, it was known — for about a week — as Windows Live Folders. It was then abruptly renamed Windows Live SkyDrive. In those days, when the cloud was still a novelty, remote-file storage was limited — both from a technology standpoint and in available space. In the ensuing years, as cloud storage has evolved, so has SkyDrive. Available storage space has increased and is now built on HTML 5. Also, its ability to connect to various apps and devices and its file-sharing capabilities have improved.