SkyDrive (officially Microsoft SkyDrive, previously Windows Live SkyDrive and Windows Live Folders) is a file hosting service that allows users to upload and sync files to a cloud storage and then access them from a Web browser or their local device. It is part of the Windows Live range of online services and allows users to keep the files private, share them with contacts, or make the files public. Publicly shared files do not require a Microsoft account to access.
The service offers 7 GB of free storage for new users. Additional storage is available for purchase. Users who signed up to SkyDrive prior to April 22, 2012 could opt-in for a limited time offer of 25 GB of free storage upgrade. The service is built using HTML5 technologies and files up to 300 MB can be uploaded via drag and drop into the web browser or up to 2 GB via the SkyDrive desktop application for Microsoft Windows and OS X. On its launch, SkyDrive, known as Windows Live Folders at the time (with a codename of SkyDrive), was provided as a limited beta available to a few testers in the United States. On August 1, 2007, the service was expanded to a wider audience. Shortly after, on August 9, 2007 the service was renamed Windows Live SkyDrive and made available to testers in the United Kingdom and India. As of 22 May 2008 SkyDrive was available to 62 countries and regions. On December 2, 2008, the capacity of an individual SkyDrive account was upgraded from 5 GB to 25 GB, and Microsoft added a separate entry point called Windows Live Photos which allowed users to access their photos and videos stored on SkyDrive. This entry point allowed users to add "People tags" to their photos, download photos into Windows Photo Gallery or as a ZIP file, as well as viewing EXIF metadata such as camera information for the photos uploaded. Microsoft also added full-screen slide show support for photos using Silverlight.
SkyDrive was updated to "Wave 4" release on June 7, 2010, and added support for Office Web Apps, offering versioning support. In this update, due to the discontinuation ofWindows Live Toolbar, the ability to synchronise and share bookmarked Web links between users via SkyDrive has also been discontinued. However, users are still able to use Windows Live Mesh to synchronise their favorites between computers, although the "cloud" storage component of the bookmarked Web links is no longer available. This feature replaces the previous Windows Live Favorites service.
In June 2010, users of Office Live Workspace, released in October 2007 were migrated to Windows Live Office. The migration included all existing workspaces, documents, and sharing permissions. The merger of the two services is a result of Microsoft's decision to merge its Office Live team into Windows Live back in January 2009, as well as several deficiencies with Office Live Workspace, which lacked high fidelity document viewing and did not allow files to be edited from within the web browser. Office Live Workspace also did not offer offline collaboration and co-authoring functionality – instead documents were "checked out" and "checked in," though the service did integrate with SharedView for real-time screen sharing.
SkyDrive supports viewing of Portable Document Format (PDF) as well as Open Document Format (ODF), an XML-based file format supported in a number of word processing apps including Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and Corel's WordPerfect SkyDrive's search function does not support search within PDF documents, however.