Before the public release of Windows 8.1 , Microsoft had provided a sneak peek of some of the features of Windows 8.1 Preview in the ‘First look at Windows 8.1’ video. In this video itself, it was indicated that the Windows 8.1 is powered by the cloud and an important part of this is SkyDrive. And indeed SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 is integrated much more deeply with Windows. And this deeper integration can be noticed right from the Windows 8.1 installation itself, when it asks if you want to use SkyDrive as default storage (mobile grab of the screen during installation).
SkyDrive in Windows 8.1
You can’t uninstall the SkyDrive app. The app comes with Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 and can’t be uninstalled. You can browse your SkyDrive using the SkyDrive app or File Explorer in the desktop. Well, you can also browse your local files using the SkyDrive app, by the way! In File Explorer, your SkyDrive appears in the left pane. You can expand it to view your folders on SkyDrive. The SkyDrive desktop app has been replaced by new features that are built into Windows.
When you sign in to a PC with your Microsoft account, you’ll be automatically signed in to SkyDrive with that account. To access SkyDrive files from different account, you have to go to SkyDrive.com.
Now SkyDrive has an option in PC Settings. (Charms >Settings>Change PC Settings)
View & buy SkyDrive Storage Space –
From SkyDrive settings you can see the Storage space on SkyDrive, how much is available and used. And you can access ‘Buy more storage’ from with in Windows itself.
Save document to SkyDrive by default –
The SkyDrive Documents folder is the default save location for documents. In some apps, you can save files directly to SkyDrive as now you can set to save documents to SkyDrive by default. And you have the link there itself to see the files on SkyDrive.
Save your Photos and Videos to Camera Roll Folder –
Your camera roll is automatically backed up to SkyDrive. You have the option not to upload photos. These can be set from ‘Files’ as shown. You can upload photos in good or best quality. Camera Roll folder in Pictures folder.
More settings to Sync –
Now you have many more settings available to Sync. Now you even have Start Screen tiles and layout that can be synced across all your devices using SkyDrive. You can backup settings that aren’t synced. Colors, background, lock screen, account picture , themes, taskbar and more , all can be Synced now.
Other settings to Sync relates to Browser favorites, open tabs, home page, history and settings. Apart from that passwords, sign-in info for some apps, sites, language preference, mouse pointers and many more settings can be synced. So you always have the comfortable feeling of working on your machine.
Some more points to note are: With Windows 8.1 of SkyDrive, Files on your PC can’t be fetched. You can’t fetch files that are on a PC running Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8., even if you install the SkyDrive desktop app. You can still go to SkyDrive.com to fetch files on other PCs that have the SkyDrive desktop app installed. Also the desktop app settings and status info are no longer available from the notification area. If you try to install the desktop app, the desktop app features won’t be reinstalled.
With Windows 8.1, Microsoft has really gone the way to integrate SkyDrive into Windows.