Windows Live SkyDrive is a terrific free service

I have had an online ID with Microsoft for many years. It has allowed me to access Microsoft websites that were limited access. My ID was originally called a .NET Passport but now it is known as a Windows Live ID. The Windows Live ID can be used in many situations, including logging onto Windows Messenger, Hotmail and other Windows Live applications.

Skydrive is one of the free services available to Windows Live ID holders. SkyDrive allows users to upload up to 25 GB of pictures, documents and music. Files can be up to 50 MB in size. Folders cannot be uploaded but, if you create a zip file of the folder it can be uploaded. To get to Skydrive just open your web browser and type: Http://, login with your Windows Live ID and from the “More” drop down list select SkyDrive. SkyDrive includes several default folders to which you can upload files. The folders are My Documents, Public, Favorites, and Shared Favorites. The Public folder and Shared Favorites are intended for any files that you wish to share with other people but other folders can be shared as well. Sharing options include the Public (everyone), individuals you specify or people you have included in your My Network group. Sharing options include the ability to share SkyDrive folders with your personal contacts lists from applications such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and AOL Mail in addition to Windows Live ID holders.

There is also an online photo album.  Photos can be uploaded with their original pixel size or reduced to save space. The photos can be organized into albums and are visible in thumbnail views. Photos can be played as a slideshow using the Windows Live.

To make it simpler to upload files to SkyDrive install the Upload Tool. With the Upload Tool you can drag and drop files directly from Windows Explorer into a SkyDrive folder upload window in IE.

SkyDrive can be a way to take a small step into the world of the Cloud. Cloud Computing, Cloud Services and Cloud Storage are considered by some as the next big trends in Information Technology. Personal data stored on the Internet makes is accessible from anywhere.  Take SkyDrive for a test drive soon to see if this new trend is for you.


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