Windows Live Skydrive is Microsoft’s password-protected online file storage system. Just as with Yahoo Mail or Google Documents, if you use Windows Live Skydrive you can always have access to your stored files.

All you need is a computer and an Internet connection (for it to work correctly you need a computer with Windows or a Macintosh computer with Firefox 1.5 or higher or with Internet Explorer 6 or higher). Not only does this offer you incredible convenience, but it also makes for safer storage as your data is kept in several different storage locations around the nation. Windows Live Skydrive online file storage also makes it super easy to share files with friends, family, and even the general public.

5GB of online file storage

Every time you create a new folder to be used with Windows Live Skydrive, you control who can access that folder. As you can do with Yahoo bookmarks, you can choose to make a folder public or private. You can change this access status (personal, shared, or public), rename any folder, and of course add to or take away from the data in the folder at any time.

Windows Live Skydrive gives you 5 GB of free storage space. In addition to the password protection, it goes without saying that the data that you access is protected with SSL (secure socket layer).

As can be done when you are collaborating with someone else in Google Documents, you can readily share any of your Windows Live Skydrive files online with anyone of your choosing. This makes it very easy to jointly add to or edit something in a shared folder, even if your colleague is thousands of miles away. Everyone whom you share with has to have their own (free) Windows Live ID. You can also make a file public so that anyone can read it but only you can alter it. Every one of your folders and files receives its own web address, so you can easily alert others on how to find one by simply e-mailing or IMing them the link.

You can add comments to any of the Windows Live Skydrive online file storage folders that you store, and if they are public or shared other people can also add comments (even if they can’t alter any of the content). When you save photographs, you can add captions to them as well. There is also a Details view and Photo Thumbnails perspective available for the photographs you place online. The folders have a convenient and easy click control feature so that you can flip through many folders or files in just a few minutes and find exactly what you’re looking for even after you have a large amount of data stored in your account.

Share your photos

You also get a personal “Space” with Windows Live Skydrive online file storage. Here you can add and edit friends and see them online; keep a blog that you make as private or public as you desire; share photographs in online albums that you add; create lists for filing or organizing convenience; customize your Space with fonts, colors, images, modules, templates, music, RSS feeds, and on and on; and, of course, create and edit your profile. It’s easy to add new friends and to know when they have added a new viewable folder or file by using Windows Live Messenger. A “gleam” appears next to a contact’s name in your messenger list whenever they have added something new.

As is usual with Microsoft, there is a lot of online support and a Skydrive blog where you can post comments such as requests for new features and get the latest news from the Skydrive team. As is also usual with Microsoft, their Windows Live Skydrive program is a work in progress, constantly being added to, streamlined, and debugged. It does take convenience and security to another level.

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