SkyDrive has been around for a long time, even before Dropbox become a household name for cloud storage. When SkyDrive was first released for public it lacks a desktop client for user to get access to their files without a web interface. It also had restrictions on the file size per each upload, overall it wasn’t easy to use and most users aren’t able to utilize the full 25GB free storage by Microsoft. We even shared a guide with you back 3 years ago on how you can map SkyDrive as your local file system on your computer.
All of those is about to change as we approach to the launch of Windows 8. Last week Microsoft has announced SkyDrive Client for Windows and Mac OS X Lion. With that, your files that stored in SkyDrive is now fully integrated within your Windows system. You can use it just like how you use Dropbox, everything becomes easier in terms of both accessing and upload files.
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New Customer Will ONLY get 7GB Storage
Along with the new client release, Microsoft also stated that new user will NOT be getting 25GB free storage, instead they only get 7GB of storage. Microsoft justified their change in decreasing storage space to 7GB as
99.94% of SkyDrive customers today use 7GB or less
But if you are an existing customer with Live ID, your 25GB will not be changed. You still got options to upgrade to 25GB for free.
Get Started With SkyDrive Client
First you can go and download SkyDrive Client (Preview) here
It also has client for Mac, iPhone and Windows Phone.
If you’re an existing customer you will have an option to upgrade your 7GB storage space to 25 GB for free.
Once you have finished installing SkyDrive, you will see a new Favorites folder being created and there contains all your files from SkyDrive. SkyDrive also keep each of your file’s different revision up to 30 days, meaning if you have a file that have constantly changing, SkyDrive will keep each of your saved version up to the last 30 days.
When you are adding files you will see this SkyDrive icon running at the notifications area and showing you the size and number of files remaining for upload. One thing it doesn’t show you is the current upload speed.
You can also manage your storage space at https://skydrive.live.com/#!/ManageStorage if you ever wish to get more storage space. Microsoft has some of the best price in this area. With the addition $10 you can get 45GB storage space, that’s cheaper than Dropbox and Google’s new Drive cloud storage.
Give the new SkyDrive Client a try, and you will be surprised how well it worked.