SkyDrive Introduces New Features: Improved file management, sharing, Drag & drop, etc

Taking a cue from the feedback received from its users, SkyDrive has recently been upgraded to include a lot of new features and improvements. This has been a continuous process of improvement, as the number of users using SkyDrive to share and access Office documents, etc,  keeps growing. Keeping this in mind, and especially the needs of the users of Office docs, SkyDrive has made it simple to Share Office Docs while collaborating; and other kinds of documents.

Now one doesn’t have to think about the folder structure or the email service, their friends use to share. Sharing on SkyDrive has thus been app-centric sharing. For example if you are working using Word Web App on a document which is in Private Folder, you will now be able to  share this Word document, from within the app, al though the folder is Private. The upgraded SkyDrive lets you share individual files or set permission to individual files within a folder which can be Private. The complete Sharing process has been made simpler.

When you click on the box besides the file you’ll get various option in SkyDrive information pane as seen on the right side. You can also right-click on the box to get the same options. Actually the new Right click functionality on any document or photo provides many options.

When you click on Share you’ll get the Sharing Window

From here you can Share it via email – and you can enter any address from your address book, as you start typing – it gets populated with the address. Next, you can Share it on many of the Social Networks like Facebook, etc

You can also get a link in a way you want to share, ie, a View only link, or a View & Edit link where the recipient can edit or a Public link where it can be shared by anyone on the Internet.

One thing I want the SkyDrive team to improve is, when you click on ‘Get a link’ button, the link gets displayed below it. But suppose you want to delete that Sharing permission, you’ll have to look into the SkyDrive info pane which is on the right side. From there you can delete the Share permission.

By default whatever you upload on SkyDrive is private.

So this is how the Sharing has been made much more simpler. The other feature that was requested most by users was about File management. And the New SkyDrive provides a powerful File Management system.

Let us see some of the other features in the new SkyDrive:

  • Now you can Create, Rename (F2) a folder inline
  • Supports Multiple file delete,move, download. This feature was also requested by many.
  • Now upload, delete, copy, move, rename, share, and create – it all happens inline.
  • Earlier for uploads, Silverlight was required. But this upgrade makes use of drag & drop to upload files using HTML5. And works across modern browsers supporting HTML 5; like Internet Explorer 10, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
  • Also one can continue using SkyDrive as the uploads takes place in the background. You don’t have to wait until the uploads were over.

For uploading, click on ‘Add Files’ which will open up a Windows for ‘Drag & Drop’ .

So as you add files, you can watch the progress, as a progress window opens up at bottom right.

  • The new SkyDrive has re-introduced photo slide shows which are faster and captions are better placed just below the photos.
  • On the performance front, the Sign-in to SkyDrive is now made about 50% faster.
  • Its faster to view and edit Office docs as the new SkyDrive pre-loads resources.
  • Supports PDF and RAW formats. The PDFs gets viewed using whatever available PDF viewer your browser supports. The new SkyDrive supports uploading and viewing RAW files using the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack

With all these features and SkyDrive is getting better listening to its users feedback. Though Office docs feature is not new, give it a try now! Try creating Office Docs, if you haven’t tried yet.

A feature request I would like to add is an option in Hotmail where one receives Photos as attachments to directly upload to SkyDrive, instead of downloading them and again upload them to SkyDrive. Another is having a kind of Counter showing number of downloads.

If you have any feature requests for SkyDrive, do share here. Hopefully, Microsoft may consider them in future upgrades.

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The author has been a Microsoft MVP awardee in various Windows categories (2006-2016) and currently a Windows Insider MVP. A Technology Enthusiast, interested in anything technical and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products. He is actively associated with various Microsoft online communities, forums, Newsgroups and has been actively involved in Beta testing various Microsoft products and bug submissions.