Sunday, February 26, 2012

More upcoming SkyDrive features revealed: ODF documents, BitLocker key management, URL shortening, and much more (UPDATED)

<I know that I may be late on some of the features talked about in this post>

Ok, so who uses SkyDrive? I do. I love using it. I that is where I host all of my important files, and host some of the files used by this site, such as these PowerPoints.

If you didn't already know, Microsoft announced paid storage for SkyDrive. This way you can pay to have extra storage on SkyDrive if 25 GB is too small of a portion for you. This I did know about and can be found here. On that article you can see some screenshots about that.

But here I noticed some other features that didn't get talked about a lot. All these features are going to be released under SkyDrive Wave 5 M3 (version 16.3). 

Manage BitLocker recovery keys stored on SkyDrive
Currently in Windows 7, you can save BitLocker recovery keys onto removable media or another hard drive that is not encrypted, in case you forget your password. It appears that Windows 8 will support saving of BitLocker recovery keys directly onto SkyDrive. To retrieve your BitLocker recovery keys on SkyDrive, users needs to be either using a trusted computer, or verify themselves using a confirmation number via email or SMS. The picture below can show where this feature is going to be located.

Support for OpenDocument Formats
If you use the Office Web Apps, you know that you only have the option to save in Microsoft Office's Open XML formats. These formats were .docx, .pptx, .xlsx, and OneNote formats. With the future update, you can choose to use OpenDocument (.odt, .odp, .ods), or Office Open XML formats, as shown with the picture below.

Access files and folders on local computers via new SkyDrive app for Windows and Mac
It is already known that there is a SkyDrive app that is coming for Windows and Mac (No Linux?), but did you know that it can do more than just browse files and folders stored on SkyDrive using your PC or Mac? The app will also allow you to browse files and folders stored locally on your computer via the SkyDrive web interface, provided you enable it in the app settings. A picture shows this below.
Once the feature has been enabled, you’ll be able to remotely access files and folders via the “Computers” menu (previously “Devices” when shown at BUILD), as shown below.

URL Shortening
If you use links to share your files, you know that the links are too long. No way you can remember any of that in your brain. With the next update SkyDrive will support URL shortening via its domain. Simply click on the “Shorten” button when sharing a link, as shown below, and a shortened URL will be generated for you.

Direct Share to Twitter and other services
The last update saw an improvement to the sharing features of SkyDrive, with options to allow you to directly share files and folders to Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. However, direct sharing to Twitter was not supported, and you had to “Get a link” and manually copy and paste it into Twitter in order to share. This well change with the update.

Increase of individual file size limit to 300 MB
Back in June of last year, Microsoft change the max upload size from 50 MB to 100 MB after an outcry from the public over uploading videos, and large files. This time around, they are going to increase this size from 100 MB to 300 MB, similar to Dropbox's web interface. 
However, it is not known if purchasing extra storage increase the max file size. 

That is all for now. I can really see Microsoft is getting serious with SkyDrive, preparing it to head up against DropBox and the upcoming Google Drive. For more information on what’s next on Windows Live, stay tuned to Techman's World!

Update: And below is a video showing SkyDrive integration in the upcoming Windows 8.

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