From today, Irish Windows Live users can now enjoy 5GB of free online storage from SkyDrive, which will allow them to upload to the web and access their pictures, videos and documents from anywhere.
Users have three options when uploading files – they can keep them private, have friends-only access or place the files in a public folder for anyone to see.
You can nominate yourself editor of a word document and allow colleagues to access for viewing purpose but this file can be accessed via a weblink and does not require Windows Live membership to view.
While this online storage facility does not have the same community element as photo-sharing site Flickr, it is connected to Windows Live Spaces, Microsoft’s social networking portal.
Individual profiles on Spaces will show when users have uploaded new file or pictures and alerts appear on instant messaging application Windows Live Messenger.
The photo-sharing element of SkyDrive is not as user friendly nor does it have the slick user interface of Flickr. However, the abilities to comment on pictures and scroll through them in a slideshow format were added recently.
While 5GB of free storage is not a revolutionary achievement by Microsoft – Google’s Gmail also allows for 5GB in storage – sending and receiving large email attachments is not always possible and curiously Google has not yet tapped into this online file storage space which is currently dominated by the likes of Box.net, YourFileHost and FileFactory.
By Marie Boran