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Accessing Your SkyDrive from Windows Explorer

Accessing Your SkyDrive from Windows Explorer

As you probably already know, we can switch from the Metro interface to the traditional Windows Desktop by clicking either the Windows Explorer or Desktop Live Tiles in Metro; this procedure is shown in Figures 6 and 7:

Figure 6 The Windows Explorer and Desktop Live Tiles in Windows 8

Figure 7 The "traditional" Windows Desktop interface in Windows 8

Once we enter the Windows Desktop interface, we may be startled to discover that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview release contains no "out-of-the-box" integration with SkyDrive. On this topic I have good news and bad news to share:

  • Good News: Microsoft does indeed plan to publish a SkyDrive Desktop app that supports Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.
  • Bad News: This functionality is definitely absent in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

However, do not fret! You can obtain a sneak peek of the SkyDrive Desktop app functionality by checking out the following content by Mike Torres and Omar Shanine, group program managers for SkyDrive:

If you absolutely insist upon cloud/Windows 8 Desktop integration, you can still employ the legacy Windows Live Mesh desktop client that is included in the free Windows Live Essentials 2011 bundle. However, you need to be aware of the following "gotchas" concerning Windows Live Mesh:

  • Windows Live Mesh storage is separate and distinct from Windows SkyDrive storage.
  • Windows Live Mesh storage capacity is 5 GB.
  • Windows Live Mesh does not allow you to view or edit Office documents with Office Web Apps.

You should also understand that Microsoft is gradually phasing out Windows Live Mesh as it absorbs its technology into SkyDrive. In fact, Microsoft calls this Mesh-in-transformation SkyDrive Synced Storage. Frankly, I suggest that you avoid using Windows Live Mesh altogether and instead wait for the upcoming SkyDrive desktop app.

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