The OCR feature in SkyDrive, which is powered by Bing, is now being rolled out to users over the next few weeks.  It recognizes text which may have been taken in a photo and stores it in the metadata. This feature, which is rolling out over the coming weeks, allows you to search from the desktop for the content of Camera Roll photos that have had text extracted from them. For example, you might have taken a photo 6 months ago of the menu of your favorite restaurant, but can’t remember where it’s buried in your Camera Roll and want to remember the dish you had. You can simply type in the restaurant name on your desktop and Bing Smart Search will search text of your Camera Roll photos and pull up the picture of the menu with the restaurant name printed on it. With the power of smart files, ...

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SkyDrive “smart file” is a relatively simple concept that has the primary goal of reducing disk space.  An interesting paradox has occurred within the last couple of years.  While people’s need for disk space has increased, the available disk space on devices has decreased.  This is due to a variety of reasons but primarily demands for solid state drives (SSDs) has increased due to their better performance, impact on battery life, form factor etc.  However they  much more expensive than mechanical hard drives, and therefore we tend to see SSDs with more limited capacity in devices because they are cheaper. With SkyDrive smart file, the full file will not be synced locally as it currently is. Instead a thumbnail of the file with relevant metadata will be synched.  This can reduce the disk space used by SkyDrive up to 80%.  You can always choose to make a file always available ...

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Microsoft is really starting to make its case as a ‘Devices & Services’ company.  Customers who purchase a new Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 will get: To help people get the most out of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, customers purchasing either device will receive free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries for one year, unlimited Skype WiFi on their Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 at more than 2 million hot spots worldwide for one year, and 200 GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years. ...

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Microsoft today announced a new feature for SkyDrive photos. Today, in partnership with the Bing team, SkyDrive team released a feature that will make your SkyDrive photos smarter by using OCR (optical character recognition) to extract the text from photos in your camera roll when you view them on SkyDrive.com. Most of us can think of a time that we took a picture of something that we really just wanted the text from. It could have been a photo of a product label at a store, a picture of a magazine article or ad, or a snapshot of a sign with info you wanted to remember. When you take photos with your Windows Phone (with auto-upload turned on) today, we send them to your SkyDrive camera roll folder. With this new SkyDrive release, our OCR tool will automatically run on your camera roll photos so you can instantly see the ...

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Last week, Microsoft announced no.of new features and improvements in SkyDrive web experience and it seems that they have lots more in the pipeline. Liveside today reported that Microsoft is planning to introduce a new feature called “Co-owners” which will become a new sharing mode for files. “Co-owners” can be selected when you share a folder and create a new one, and the recipient will be able to view, add, edit, and delete files, as well as invite others to access the folder. The “co-owners” permission also appears works a little differently from the existing permissions. Whilst “view only” and “view and edit” access is applicable to both files and folders, it appears that “co-owners” is applicable to folders only. In addition, “co-owners” cannot be granted to a folder if that folder is located inside a shared folder. This new “co-owner” permission level, when combined with the folder mounting feature ...

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Microsoft SkyDrive today announced a great deal for Apple MobileMe users. MobileMe was supposed to be Apple’s cloud offering to compete with Microsoft and Google online services, but later it was replaced by iCloud. Apple is now sending emails to MobileMe consumers that their accounts will be downgraded and they should continue with iCloud service. Microsoft is giving away 15GB storage for free for the next 12 months if you just send a copy of your MobileMe downgrade email to HelpMeSkyDrive@outlook.com. SkyDrive is a fully featured consumer cloud storage solution from Microsoft that offers clients across platforms and devices. ...

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Omar Shahine and Mona Akmal from the SkyDrive team held an AMA on reddit answering user questions.  We’ll be sharing any interesting tidbits. Shahine addressed Microsoft’s policy on putting naked photos in your SkyDrive I can tell you what we actually do here (how we technically implement our policy). We don’t really have any interest in what’s in your private files. The only exception here is where we’ve stated what we have a zero tolerance policy for child exploitation and we proactively scan for content uploaded to SkyDrive using technology called PhotoDNA (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/photodna/). You can read more about this technology and what it’s used for at Microsoft as well as at Facebook and now Google to detect these images and catch criminals. However, when you share your private files on the web, we do have an interest in making sure that the content you are sharing is not offensive in ...

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Omar Shahine and Mona Akmal from the SkyDrive team held an AMA on reddit answering user questions.  We’ll be sharing any interesting tidbits. Many users still want features that were availbale in Windows Live Mesh & FolderShare such as Peer-to-Peer Mesh Sync.  Mona Akmal addressed this: P2P sync as a technology serves two purposes: 1. Make syncing of files between two devices faster 2. Bypass a physical cloud location We are always working on achieving #1 and will consider all technologies that help us make syncing faster. For #2, we do not believe this is a sustainable model for most users since device connectivity is not guaranteed and “all-your-files-anywhere” cannot be achieved without a physical cloud location. So we have no plans of bringing P2P back as an alternative to SkyDrive cloud storage. The SkyDrive team is acutely aware that many users want dropbox like features in SkyDrive: Question: Can we ...

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Omar Shahine and Mona Akmal from the SkyDrive team held an AMA on reddit answering user questions.  We’ll be sharing any interesting tidbits. A number of users asked if the NSA could access their files on SkyDrive.  While the questions was not answered directly, it was said that a built-in encryption is not coming to SkyDrive and users could use a third party solution such as TrueCrypt.  Mona Akmal addressed the security on SkyDrive: Your SkyDrive account and your private files are password-protected. When you upload or access private files on SkyDrive, we encrypt information sent between you and our servers using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to prevent eavesdroppers from seeing your files when in transit. Once your files are on our servers, we work to prevent hackers from accessing your data by employing sophisticated physical / electronic security measures. We also store multiple copies of your file on different ...

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Update: Microsoft will be forced to rename SkyDrive worldwide. Microsoft has reached a settlement with BSkyB over the SkyDrive trademark dispute.  Most likely the SkyDrive name will have to be changed in all of Europe.  Here is what Omar Shahine, Group Program Manager of SkyDrive, said on the issue just yesterday: Mona and I work on the engineering team, so we’re not really equipped to answer this question. We want to deliver a killer experience, and unfortunately we don’t have any additional info at this time. British Sky Broadcasting and Microsoft Reach Settlement in Trade Mark Case Sky allows Microsoft temporary use of SkyDrive name during transition period following trade mark infringement judgement – while Microsoft agree to forego planned appeal British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (“Sky”) and Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”) have today announced the settlement of trade mark infringement proceedings in the European Union brought by Sky against Microsoft ...

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Omar Shahine and Mona Akmal from the SkyDrive team held an AMA on reddit answering user questions.  We’ll be sharing any interesting tidbits. Shahine commented on increasing the 2GB file size limit on Skydrive This is a good one that we’d like to improve on. I can’t comment about specifics here, but it’s something we are looking at. The reason we don’t support 2 GB is that when we designed the system 7 years ago we thought 2 GB was really big. Turns out it’s not. It looks like some significant backend changes will need to be made before they can increase the file size limimt. Shahine also discussed the possibility of adding purchasing option of greater than a 100GB total storage  We are always looking at adding additional storage options. Can’t comment on when this might change. Source: Reddit ...

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Omar Shahine and Mona Akmal from the SkyDrive team held an AMA on reddit answering user questions.  We’ll be sharing any interesting tidbits. A HTML5 music player had been built for Skydrive by interns about two years ago but there were never any plans to actually put it into the final product. Omar Shahine: That is correct. About 2 years ago we had a bunch of interns here and one of the projects they came up with was building an HTML5 music player in SkyDrive. We never actually released this and have no plans to do so at this time, but that’s why you saw the rumor about us doing a music player. Like many groups at Microsoft, we have ongoing conversations with the Xbox music team about their experiences, and as you probably know they just launched a new web Xbox music web experience which we think is pretty awesome ...

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We previously reported on SkyDrive’s update that includes expanded photo management features and support for high DPI screens. There is now also a built-in text editor which supports many types of code files. It has line numbering, syntax highlighting and completion suggestions, even control-space is there. It’s not TFS, but it is a very handy way to work with code files that are available from all your PC’s and to share them with friends, even giving them editing ability. Greg Edmiston from the SkyDrive gives a demo of the new txt editor with Channel 9. For a complete list of new features, see the SkyDrive blog. ...

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Microsoft today announced a bunch of new features for SkyDrive.com. The new features includes the support for new file formats like GIF, new sharing options, new shared view and more. File Format Support: So now, SkyDrive.com supports these high DPI displays by measuring the DPI scale of your device. When your screen supports it, we show higher resolution photos and thumbnails. So you see more of your real photo instead of a thumbnail that gets up-scaled (note: not all browsers support high DPI yet). If you’ve ever seen an animated GIF (pronounced “jif”) on the Interwebs (and probably laughed), you were probably disappointed to find out that when you saved and shared that same animated GIF on SkyDrive, it wasn’t animated. Well now you can view your favorite animated GIFs in all their glory! Sorting and management: You can now rotate photos on SkyDrive.com. A few months ago, we introduced ...

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SkyDrive is the consumer cloud storage solution from Microsoft that offers great ways to manage your files in the cloud. One of the best advantages of using SkyDrive is that it is deeply integrated into Windows. All your files are available to you on your phone, tablet, desktop PC, and via SkyDrive.com and opening and saving files to SkyDrive is now as easy as saving to your hard drive. With all the existing features, Microsoft has further improved the SkyDrive experience in Windows 8.1. Today, they detailed some of them. Place holder files and Smart Thumbnails: Because people’s data storage needs will continue to grow faster than storage capacity on their mobile devices, we asked ourselves how we could provide you with access to all your SkyDrive files without actually downloading them, using precious local disk space and Internet bandwidth. Our answer is what we often refer to as “placeholder ...

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We reported about some upcoming SkyDrive.com features that Microsoft is planning to deliver in coming months. Today, Liveside revealed some more new features that are coming to SkyDrive.com soon. Here are the features, Shared lists – This new feature allow users to select up to 100 files from different locations and bundle them to a customized list, and share this list with others.  This serves as an alternative sharing option so that users can find files shared by others easier. Folder mounting – This new feature will allow users to “mount” other user’s folders to your SkyDrive. By doing this, contents in these folders can sync to your PCs together with your own SkyDrive files. Device settings backup management – This new feature in SkyDrive will allow users to manage their backed up device settings. Read about them in detail from the link below. Source: Liveside ...

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