SkyDrive Dives Deeper into Windows with Version 8.1

Microsoft has been integrating its cloud storage platform, SkyDrive, into more services recently. What started slowly back in 2007 has grown exponentially in 2013 thanks to integration with Windows 8 and Office 2013. In fact, if you subscribe to Office 2013 through its 365 Home Premium edition, as I do, then you pick up an additional 20 GB of storage thanks to your willingness to pay for software as a service.

SkyDrive provided 25 GB of free storage upon launch, but as it grew, Microsoft scaled it back to 7 GB — still more than rivals like Google and Amazon. Those grandfathered in kept the 25 GB and, with even tighter integration coming in Windows 8.1 (formerly known as Blue), that extra bit of space will be handy.

SkyDrive Meets PC Settings

If you are using the latest Microsoft operating system, then you likely have become familiar with the Modern UI version of the Control Panel, known as PC Settings. Customers can access this by clicking the Settings option from the Charms Menu. From there, hit the PC Info option and you will be off and running…or syncing…or backing up.

A new option appears in the 8.1 iteration of Windows PC Settings, and that choice is SkyDrive — something you will not find in the current Windows 8. This contains three simple categories in the left column – Storage Use, Files and Sync Settings.

Storage Use

This is pretty much what the name would imply — a very brief overview what the space you have used and what is left for you to take over in the future. As you can see in the image below, the screen lists the total, available and used, and then puts things in a bit of perspective with a percentage.

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storage space

Files

This is where it comes down to the heart of the matter. From Files you can decide which files are stored to your SkyDrive account. For instance, you can save documents to SkyDrive by default, choose to upload photos (and decide between image quality) and control metered connections.

files

Sync Settings

The third and final category is Sync Settings, and every option here is turned on by default. These include sync and backup PC settings, syncing of Start screen, PC settings and appearnance, apps and app data and browser information such as tabs and bookmarks.

sync settings

Conclusion

SkyDrive settings being built directly into the PC Settings allows for easier control for users, with very specific commands and a simple way to view your available storage space. This is one addition to Windows 8.1 that is a winner.

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