SkyDrive for cloud storage

In the first season of the Hawaii 5-0 reboot, there’s an episode where McGarrett tells Danny to take a picture of a clue and Danny replies “I’ve just sent it to the SkyDrive”.

So what is this SkyDrive thing? Microsoft’s answer to Dropbox and other cloud storage services.

With SkyDrive you get 7GB of free space. For US$ 10 a year, you can add 20GB, $25 a year 50GB, $50 a year 100GB storage. Best pricing of all the services out there (Dropbox starts with 2GB free, 50GB a year is $99, Google starts at 5GB free storage). You can store documents, spreadsheets, pictures, videos, onenote files, and music. You’re limited to uploading files up to 300MB via the browser but if you download the desktop application the limit is 2GB.

Why would you want to use Skydrive? Very handy if you have employees who work outside the office, you travel a lot for business, you want a cheap backup for your files. For example I can upload files and send a link to my virtual assistant where she can access them.
And it is compatible with both Windows and Mac (I’ve tested this).

And the real bonus, is that you can create and edit word, excel, powerpoint and onenote files within the Skydrive. Perfect if you need to make a last minute change to a document for a client, a powerpoint presentation you’re about to give on a laptop that doesn’t have Office installed. You could skip buying Office for your business machines if you’re not using Outlook for mail and calendaring and just use Skydrive Office instead for office basics (you would sacrifice some speed and features). Unlike editing in Google Docs, you really will get what you see on the screen.

And like Danny on Hawaii 5-0, you can access it via your iPhone or Windows phone. There are add-ons for Android phones.

One caveat: when uploading pictures via the browser, Skydrive wants to help you by resizing them smaller by default, not necessarily a good thing if you need the pictures for printing. Just uncheck the resize option.