Windows 8 deep-dive: Get to know your SkyDrive app

We take a tour of the good, bad, and just plain confusing features of Microsoft's cloud storage service.

By Alex Wawro, PC World |  Windows, cloud storage, Skydrive

You can share your files and folders with other apps and the Internet at large by tapping the Share charm, and you can use the Search charm to search for files and folders within your SkyDrive. You won't find much of interest in the SkyDrive Settings menu, just a visual representation of how much available storage you're currently using and an option to upgrade your storage plan by tapping the Manage storage button.

SkyDrive tips and tricks

SkyDrive has a Recycle Bin that works just like the recycle bin on your Windows desktop, and files you send there dont count toward your SkyDrive storage limit, so you can use it as a temporary holding area for files if you accidentally go over your storage limit. Be careful when doing this, as Microsoft guarantees preservation of files in the Recycle Bin for only three days after you discard them. Files may remain in your SkyDrive recycle bin for up to 30 days, but Microsoft will erase them sooner if the recycle bin grows larger than 10% of your maximum SkyDrive space.

Also, as of this writing, the Office Web apps are available only if you access SkyDrive via the website. If the notion of collaborating in real-time on documents with remote coworkers sounds appealing, make sure you open the document in question from the SkyDrive website and not from the SkyDrive Windows 8 app so you can see what changes your collaborators are making as they make them. We hope Microsoft will update the SkyDrive apps, but, in the meantime, you can always access the SkyDrive website via the Chrome mobile browser if you want to edit Office documents on your iPad or Android phone.

Alternatives to SkyDrive

As mentioned earlier, there are a number of excellent cloud storage services to choose from if SkyDrive doesn't suit you. Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive are all excellent alternatives, but only Box has a Windows 8 app at this time (Microsoft confirmed during the Build 2012 keynote that a Dropbox app for Windows 8 is coming soon).

Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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