New Windows Live SkyDrive : Features and Review

Today a new version of Windows Live SkyDrive, the free file hosting and sharing service from Microsoft, has been launched taking advantage of modern browsers like Internet Explorer 9 and HTML5 to make this version of SkyDrive faster , with a better UI and more beautiful for viewing photos. It works  great in different browsers across various operating systems!

The new SkyDrive, which will be rolled out in phases, takes advantages of advancements in modern browsers thus making it faster and fluid. This can be experienced when you have a large set of photos in SkyDrive album and when you scroll to bottom immediately the photos at the bottom are loaded without waiting for all the pictures to load. And when you resize the browser window or open/close the info pane, the photos move around in fluid manner arranging very fast. This happens as the new SkyDrive takes advantage of CSS3 transitions.

It provides infinite scrolling for Photos, thus removing pages concept. Just scroll the page and see your photos quickly fill in. It looks and feels like a native application.

And when the Album is displayed in the new SkyDrive, the thumbnails cycle through all the photos thus making it alive and beautiful.

The Photo thumbnails are displayed in their original aspect ratio, thus if you have a photo in landscape, wide panoramic or portrait view , the thumbnails are shown accordingly in their original aspect ratio. Beautiful !

The new version takes advantage of hardware accelerated graphics thus making it fast to click through the slideshow. The navigation time of photos and folders has been reduced to 100-300 milliseconds from 6-9 seconds.

The new SkyDrive has been powered by HTML5 thus including advancement like HTML5 video tag supporting playback of H.264 videos up to 100 MB, CSS3 , client rendered experience. This makes the Slide show experience and video playing in different browsers perfect, without requiring any special software. 

The new interface makes it easier to navigate. The new SkyDrive provides a single place to see your photos, docs, files shared with you and files in SkyDrive groups. 

The best thing is the new SkyDrive has removed the ads and instead has the info pane thus providing various options like opening a doc in Word or Excel on the desktop, directly from SkyDrive.

You can display everything or display documents, photos from the main SkyDrive option.

If you are a IE9 user then the new SkyDrive supports pinning option so it now provides a fast way to get to SkyDrive from your Windows Taskbar using Pinned Sites and Jump Lists. So it not only provides faster access to SkyDrive but also quick access to common tasks like creating Office documents. Just drag the SkyDrive tab to your taskbar and pin it.

All these features works in your SkyDrive groups as well. This version also provides things like one click access to your group mailing list right in SkyDrive.

Check the video showing the overview of the new SkyDrive here at TWCF. On the side-note, have you noticed the Hotmail has a new option like this?

To see the complete change log, go here.

So what are you waiting for just head over to Windows Live SkyDrive and experience the beautiful, fast , fluid SkyDrive and enjoy the 25 GB of FREE online storage for sharing Office docs and photos.

And this is not all, there are many more exciting things are shaping up; so keep a watch as they take shape!

You may want to check out these posts too:

  1. SkyDrive Introduces New Features: Improved file management, sharing, Drag & drop, etc
  2. SkyDrive now supports ODF, Twitter, 300 MB uploads and Short URLs.
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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.

5 Comments

  1. HackToHell

    cool 🙂 Trying to compete with Dropbox

  2. thats good news. i like skydrive for my work. it offers max space too

  3. John Cary

    I wish this offered better integration with Live Mesh, that you could see and utilize those docs. and the space that skydrive offers. It still seems like too much of a static service.

  4. Pinkcoob

    I love computers of all kinds, so I use Macs, Windows PCs and Linux Boxes. I feel SkyDrive is a bit behind Dropbox and iCloud, since the integration to the OS is minimal (you still have to upload instead of just saving to a monitored folder), but I have faith Microsoft will continue to improve this service and hopefully integrate it more into Windows 8 when it finally ships.

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