Leveraging Microsoft’s SkyDrive for Cloud-based Storage

Sharing Files, Storing Pictures, Simplifying Communications

How often do you attach a picture to an email, send it to someone, only to later to want to dig up that same picture to attach and share with someone else?  Of course there’s Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, etc that all work great for photo sharing.  But then for work, you need to share a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, PDF files, and the like which aren’t well shared by the Facebook, Instagram, Flickr’s of the world.  This is where I’ve come to realize that Microsoft’s SkyDrive has REALLY fit in to a great overall content sharing medium for me!Probably many of you, like I, have used SkyDrive for a while, but the old Web-interface was clunky and didn’t really allow for sharing of content very easily which is why we had all turned to other photo sharing solutions on the Web.  BUT what has really helped me leverage SkyDrive have been the APPs for my endpoint devices (ie: SkyDrive app for iPad, Windows Mobile, Apple Mac, Windows, Android, etc).

With the app installed on my various devices, I have the ability to:

  • Have photos automatically uploaded to SkyDrive (in my case, I make them un-shared folders by default)
  • Simply tag individual photos in my SkyDrive folder and share the photos with a single click
  • Easily move or copy photos into a shared SkyDrive folder (which I find easier to manage) so that my photos are auto-sync’d up to SkyDrive (thus backed up), and I move photos I want to share into a share I call “shared photos”
  • Drop PowerPoint presentations, Word docs, PDF files, etc into shared folders to easily share out content!

As an example, I have folders with mixed content from PowerPoint presentations, audio files, executable code I use regularly on various systems, Word docs, PDF documents, and the like.  Storing this all up in SkyDrive minimizes my need to go “find” stuff on different computers, or download applications off the Web, or search for content on various laptops.  Centralization of ALL types of content makes it easier to acces and manage content (the whole idea of centralized information, right?)

You’ll also find that SkyDrive allows you to open and save content straight from within recent versions of Microsoft Office (like Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 2011 for Mac), so as shown in the following graphic, I can simply File/Open, File/Save to SkyDrive.  AND since I’m opening and saving content from within SkyDrive, I have the content immediately available on all other systems that I access from SkyDrive, so I might work on a doc on my Mac, then be sitting on my iPad and want to grap the same file, and at work I might be sitting on a Windows PC running Office 2010, the file is always accessible to me (“no more thumbdrives!!!”)

To see a comparison of SkyDrive vs other cloud storage solutions like DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud, see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/skydrive/compareIf its been a while since you’ve fiddled with SkyDrive, definitely if you haven’t downloaded or fiddled with the “Apps” on the various iPad, Android, Mac, Windows, etc platforms or you’re running a modern version of Office that has built-in save/retrieve support to SkyDrive, give it a try…  In the past few months I’ve been fiddling with SkyDrive, it has REALLY simplified basic processes for me…By the way, Microsoft has this SkyDrive Insider program going on, if you find SkyDrive helpful, want to become a “SkyDrive Insider” yourself, or just want to understand what a SkyDrive Insider is all about, go to http://sdrv.ms/V0buD7http://www.networkworld.com/community/morimoto to see a listing of all of the various blog posts I’ve done over the years. Hopefully this information is helpful!

Rand Morimoto is the President of Convergent Computing (http://www.cco.com) an early adopter partner of Microsoft that put Windows Server 2012 in production environments over 18-months before the product release. Rand is also the author of the book “Windows Server 2012 Unleashed,” over 1565-pages of tips, tricks, best practices, and lessons learned on Windows 2012, by Sams Publishing. Rand also co-authored the books “Exchange 2013 Unleashed” and “System Center 2012 Unleashed,” books also based on early adopter hands-on and real world implementations.

For other postings I’ve done on Windows Server 2012, Exchange 2013, System Center 2012, and the like, just click the Next Article or Previous Article buttons on this blog post to get to other articles I’ve covered, or go to

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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