Category Archives: SkyDrive

SkyDrive on Windows 8 with Office 2013: Turning a useful tool into a useless one

I’ve been a user of Dropbox for some time now and really like its simplicity, plus the way you can easily shared folders amongst other users. The only limiting factor was the free space they provided you which wasn’t too much trouble as if you were clever you can increase this through their Beta program or invite your “friends”.

When Microsoft released SkyDrive I wasn’t phased and it would have taken a lot for me to review my Dropbox loyalty however this was certainly tested when Microsoft offered long time Live account holders to upgrade to 25Gb of free space, so I took the plunge.

I’ve been using Dropbox and SkyDrive in parallel now with some mixed results, more so now that I am using Windows 8, but I will leave my main frustration for a little later.

In all SkyDrive worked well on Windows 7 as it was a single install which ran in your system tray synchronising files in the background. SkyDrive on Windows 8 is another matter entirely.

In fairness my problems may not just be related to SkyDrive on Windows 8, as I have decided to also upgrade to Office 2013, however putting my other issues aside I am trying to focus on the Windows Application, the basic SkyDrive application.

It seems that nearly every single time I load up a document that is in my SkyDrive folder to either review or print without making changes you would think I should just be able to close the file and all in well in the world, however I get the nagging flag on the SkyDrive systray icon and SkyDrive moaning that the file I just accesses requires my attention.

skydrive-fileneedsattention

Upon loading up the error list I am greeted with SkyDrive saying I need to open the file for more information.

skydrive-cantbesynced

So I open the file and it appears the file is now flagged as “Offline”, this seems to be due to me opening the file, not editing anything and closing it again. skydrive-offlinecopy.

So to resolve this issue I am forced to “Save” my unedited file so that SkyDrive can push the “changes” to SkyDrive.

skydrive-uploadingtoskydrive

Why can’t the SkyDrive application work in the background to upload and synchronise files and folders, more specifically why am I now forced to “Save” changes to a file I have clearly not edited just so I can get rid of this stupid message.

My patiences is wearing thin with SkyDrive and I will most likely take a subscription out with Dropbox as this appears to just work, and they have a very nice shared folder features which is hugely useful for me between clients and friends.

Dropbox 2 : 0 SkyDrive

SkyDrive Versions (Desktop, Metro and Pro)

Having used Windows 8 for over a week now I am start to get familiar with how SkyDrive should be used, it actually comes in 3 flavours. There are detailed below:
1. SkyDrive Standard or Desktop Mode
This is likely to be the SkyDrive everybody is familiar with, it installs like any other application and runs in the task bar. It will download your SkyDrive folders to a designated folder on your hard drive and ensure they are kept in sync with your cloud storage.

2. SkyDrive Pro
This version of SkyDrive is geared towards replacing SharePoint workspace to enable companies that have SharePoint installation the ability for employees to sync document libraries to a users pc for offline management.

3. SkyDrive Metro App
Now this is where it gets a little confusing. After installing Windows 8 and noticing that SkyDrive is installed by default, you would assume it was baked into the operating system, however this is not the case.
The SkyDrive Metro App is in fact simply a viewer for your online storage location and does not sync any of the files to your PC for managing offline.

Now the major problem I am facing is the ability to manage my SkyDrive document offline on the Surface RT. I am assuming I am unable to install the SkyDrive Standard/Desktop version of the software to synchronise to a local folder, and without a native 3G connection on the device I am unable to manage documents through the SkyDrive Metro App.