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back to article SkyDrive on par with C: Drive in Windows 8.1

Microsoft has detailed, in a blog post just how SkyDrive will behave under Windows 8.1. Not everything in the post is new: we've known about offline storage and using SkyDrive as the default drive since the Windows 8.1 preview. Among the newly-revealed features is the ability for Windows Store apps to save to or load from …

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?

"Not everything in the post is new: we've known about offline storage and using SkyDrive as the default drive since the Windows 8.1 preview."

SkyDrive is the default drive?

Are they out of their fucking minds?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ?

Would you care to elaborate? I can think of many people who would like this feature. Not techies, but the sort of people who realise they need backup of some sort. Also I presume you can change the default.

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Black Helicopters

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The NSA probably called that they had issues with reading Windows users data.

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Devil

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Oh, yea, I already see Jonny Bubba Dude Luser Smith using its new shiny VistaBob 3.1 - sorry, 8.1 - slab (one of the 3 sold in the world) and deleting an important ( = p0rn) file from the default disk, don't know where, don't know when, don't know how was it named, and trying to recover it from SkyDrive "backup"...

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Re: ?

@AC 06:40GMT,

"Not techies, but the sort of people who realise they need backup of some sort."

Saving to any single default location does not a backup make, even in the Cloud...

Besides, it just shifts the problem; Instead of relying on the dubious nature of spinning rust or forgetful Flash, SkyDrive users depend on the doubtful qualities of their ISP.

Microsoft are going to have to think carefully from now on. They're rapidly turning Windows desktop into an "OS for Dummies". There's a lot of Windows users out there who are very far from being Dummies, who are seemingly being forgotten about by MS. Those users might just bugger off somewhere else.

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Anonymous Coward

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"Those users might just bugger off somewhere else."

We already have.

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Re: ?

"'Those users might just bugger off somewhere else.' We already have."

Well, *I* haven't buggered off anywhere. I'm staying with XP.

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Anonymous Coward

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It just saved my entire photo collection. Skydrive is a really good solution. Heavily recommend it.

I got in a while ago and got a free 25GB, but I believe you still get 7GB for free...

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Anonymous Coward

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"They're rapidly turning Windows desktop into an "OS for Dummies". "

OSx beat them to it!

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Re: ?

I don't think The Reg mean default on that way.

I've been using 8.1 since the ISO was released and its never attempted to make SkyDrive my default primary drive, that still my Windows install drive. With its inclusion in File Explorer it becomes the default cloud storage drive as opposed to Google Drive, iCloud or Dropbox.

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Re: ?

I don't think they mean it's the system drive. That doesn't make sense. I think they mean it's the drive where your collections (images, music, documents) are stored. Personally, I think it's a good idea - for those who are blessed with a decent broadband.

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I have near-on 1TB of photos, so no way is any of that going near SkyDrive for the money they ask.

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Re: ?

Reading the linked page it does at present seem to force the offline copy folders to be on the C: drive. Which is a dealbreaker in many systems where SSDs are used and there's C: for system stuff and D: for data stuff, D: being quite huge.

I have a feeling this is tied to the TIKAMisation of Windows, as the tablet devices only have one partition (I think, I don't have one) and MS seem intent on forcing desktop users out of the desktop. I assume they will say "just use our wizzy drive extender technology to make one massive C: drive" but that utterly defeats the point of having my data on a separate physical drive.

My reading of "default" was similar to IE being the default browser, if you don't like it, change it.

Skydrive is useful like dropbox for sharing photos and other items, but I have grave reservations about putting any actual personal data on there, such as anything from work, or my bank spreadsheet etc. I don't care if anyone sees a picture of some hill I took while on holiday.

As others note, this isn't a backup service. It's more like having your files sync to a server. Delete them in one place they are deleted from them all once connected to the service. Personally, of the MS solutions, I preferred "Mesh" as a means of syncing files across devices.

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Re: ?

so your entire photo collection is stored "somewhere" with you have no knowledege of its backup status? and what is your upload at home? 1Mb? 2Mb? Its bad enough backing up over the network never mind uploading to the cloud.

Err, no thanks. I have mine backed up to a raid 1 array which is periodically dumped onto a separate hard drive kept in a small fireproof safe (with documents, its only a small one). I also use spinrite on hard drives that I purchase before putting them into use - a great little app (if not a bit slow, leave it on over the weekend..)

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Re: ?

This is reason #1,617 for not using Windows 8.

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Re: ?

<< Microsoft are going to have to think carefully from now on. They're rapidly turning Windows desktop into an "OS for Dummies" >>

I disagree with that. They are turning Windows into an OS whose sole purpose is to give Microsoft more money.

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Anonymous Coward

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@Danny - I hate to point it out, but RAID isn't backup. Neither is a periodic dump. Also, typically a document fire safe isn't rated for tapes or disks, it'll get too hot in there during a fire, you also tend to have to use power tools to get into them after a fire. I've always been highly suspicious of spinrite which for various reasons has "snake oil" written all over it.

Backup is automated, scheduled and versioned. Protection for a backup should be offsite and your disks deal with their bad sectors automatically, unless they're very old indeed.

Or your data could be punted up to a cloud service where someone understands data storage and backup and you stand a sporting chance of getting it back if your house burns down.

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Anonymous Coward

"for those who are blessed with a decent broadband."

"I don't think they mean it's the system drive. That doesn't make sense. I think they mean it's the drive where your collections (images, music, documents) are stored. Personally, I think it's a good idea - for those who are blessed with a decent broadband."

'Blessed with a decent broadband'... And therein likes the rub folks. I could understand if MS were silently syncing files in the background, but Skydrive used for active editing of works in progress, surely not?

There are always hiccups in net connectivity throughout the work day. This is especially so for home or retail net connections. There is no substitute for a local drive in terms of speed. If this news is accurate, then the routine Skydrive user better expect a sluggish file open dialog mirroring a local drive with bad sectors IMHO.....

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Bod
Joke

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"I have near-on 1TB of photos"

Isn't David Cameron going to put a stop to that? ;)

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Re: "for those who are blessed with a decent broadband."

Silently syncing files in the background is how SkyDrive works.

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Mushroom

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Backup is automated, scheduled and versioned

NO NO NO NO NO.

Automatic, scheduled, and versioned backups are automatic, scheduled and versioned.

Backup is simply the storing of data in more than one location. Anything more depends on your needs and wants.

Quit trying to define backup for everyone based on your personal prejudices.

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WTF?

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Yes, let's get Microsoft back to its old altruistic self when all it cared about was users' happiness and rarely bothered to even collect money for the software it gladly distributed for the common good.

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Re: "for those who are blessed with a decent broadband."

@AC12:22 "And therein likes the rub folks. I could understand if MS were silently syncing files in the background, but Skydrive used for active editing of works in progress, surely not?"

Silently syncing in the background is exactly how Skydrive works. Any active editing of the document is working with a local copy, so it's no issue if you have glitch broadband or whatever (you can even "save" to Skydrive whilst you're offline and it'll just sync up when network is available).

As a way of ensuring that documents are always available from any device you want, it's a neat solution. The placeholder feature coming in 8.1 will also help massively when one or other of those devices is storage constrained.

And whilst it isn't a backup, as such, having documents synced with a cloud repository does at least give the man in the street some chance of data recovery in the event of a catastrophic device failure. That will certainly be welcome to many people.

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Re: ?

Its a house. a normal everyday house. If it burnt down to the extent that the safe was compromised then photos are the LEAST of my worries. To be honest I wouldn't give a shit about them at that stage as my beloved gibsons will have turned to charcoal.

As for spinrite, ive had it recover bad sectors enough to get data off drives and tell me a drive was shitty before I used it, it has worked for me and that's all I care about really.

I know raid isn't a backup, it means if one drive on the nas dies I might have chance to replace it. Better than nowt. Yes I could use skydrive but with my 10/1 connection this would take a long time.

I couldn't be bothered looking at the UK prices but skydrive is $50 per 100gb per year? Wow, no thanks. Surely 7gb free C:\ is not too hot?

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Anonymous Coward

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@Steve - You're dead wrong. You just described an archive.

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Anonymous Coward

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@Danny - If you accidentally issue a "rm -rf *", or more worryingly don't notice a whole load of files being accidentally deleted, you'll not be getting them back, if you're relying on RAID.

I'm not suggesting that you use skydrive, it's good for small file collections that most people use. If you want to keep your stuff, back it up properly and take that disk offsite.

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Facepalm

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@Steve - You're dead wrong. You just described an archive.

No, an archive is storage of old data (which may or may not exist any more anywhere else) usually with an eye toward preservation.

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Over a conventional UK broadband offering, you'd be hard pushed to upload it anyway.

512Kbit ADSL upload -> 1/16MB per second

1TB = 1000000MB

16e6 seconds or roughly six months assuming a perfect connection.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "for those who are blessed with a decent broadband."

@EL Andy

"Silently syncing in the background is exactly how Skydrive works. Any active editing of the document is working with a local copy"

Thanks for the clarification!

"As a way of ensuring that documents are always available from any device you want, it's a neat solution."

If MS were to offer user-side Encryption and not just hold the keys for the NSA then I'd say fair enough ...

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Boffin

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I can think of many people who would like this feature. Not techies, but the sort of people who realise they need backup of some sort.

Anyone thinking this feature is in any way a backup solution is really, really stupid. No, cloud storage is not a backup solution if it is synched to local storage; it only means that when you delete stuff by accident, your data destruction orgy is replicated on the cloud as well. Same thing goes for those who think RAID is a good backup solution. It isn't.

Backups store data in another media, and that media is usually not insta-synched with the changes in the main storage system. Because backups are used when you fuck up on the main storage system...

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Meh

It all seems rather neat

That is, if you like Windows 8; if you don't mind your default drive being tied to the availability of an internet connection; if you don't mind any old store app having (presumably) automatic access to it. I'm sure there will be many who will love it.

Not for me, though. I tried Skydrive out and decided I didn't like the close integration with my local drive that was encouraged. ie I didn't trust MS with my local privacy. This is one step further than that and I don't think I'll bite, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It all seems rather neat

"That is, if you like Windows 8; if you don't mind your default drive being tied to the availability of an internet connection"

NO!

You have to set up sky drive first. No Skydrive means storage on the local disk.

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@AC - Re: It all seems rather neat

Fair enough, provided you still have the 'default' choice even if you do set up sky drive.

I do wonder whether most users would be inclined to take advantage of the intended seamless integration with skydrive, given the requirement for an internet connection. My feeling is 'no'.

All that being said, I actually think it is a decent idea if you want to go down that route.

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Re: @AC - It all seems rather neat

@JustaKOS: Skydrive doesn't have a "requirement for an internet connection". In the most perverse circumstances you could theoretically save everything to the Skydrive without ever connecting to the internet at all, you'd just end up with everything saved on the local machine and never synced to a cloud location. It would "just work" and no differently from saving everything in your "My documents" folder. Obviously most people will connect to the internet though and thus most will get the benefits of the syncing technology, assuming that's what they want.

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@El Andy - Re: @AC - It all seems rather neat

I guess you're right technically, but it does seem rather pointless to use the SkyDrive as a purely local place to store your stuff - 'My Documents' would make more sense if you want to do that.

I suppose the point is whether or not you consider any fixed device to be your 'home' device - ie the one place where everything should be available all the time. If you don't care, then the cloud is the place for you. If you do care, then that device will really need an always-on internet connection if you choose to use skydrive.

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Yeah metadata, perfect!

MS must be implementing NSA's requirements.

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The one time....

You need that "file" and you're out of 3G/WiFi coverage (For example, in the UK) you're screwed.

Having read the article it's appears that this isn't a backup but the actual location for files now. I'm sure non-techies will be able to figure this out, once they can't get to them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The one time....

"You need that "file" and you're out of 3G coverage and living in a field miles from civilisation you can still find a wifi hot spot somewhere. Maybe thinking ahead and planning your day would help."

Sory it is 2013 and I can find a wifi hto spot somewhere around me, even in the middle of hadrians wall country I could find a wifi hot spot.

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Re: The one time....

It can store a local copy if you want and are going in areas like that. what about if you "really needed to check your email" ? Or "really needed to make a phone call" in a tunnel?? - sometimes, you gotta accept that you can't have everything all the time. Fact is its a nice feature to have and I will use it.

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Windows

Re: The one time....

@AC08:16

"Sor[r]y it is 2013"

...and I can find areas of the UK's second largest city where there is no mobile coverage and where the cafes definitely do not have wifi. Staffordshire Bull Terriers, yes, wifi, not so much.

And that within 1Km of the Rotunda. Funny old country.

Seriously: I thought the 'skydrive' folder worked like dropbox so you had local files synchronised with Web storage? No?

The Tramp: I use Windows 7 at work and I imagine that will continue for some years...

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WTF?

Re: The one time....

You may be sory but I get anoyed wen I find tat i dont ger purfect signal out here in the contryside, actually I don't, but methinks you could do with some company...

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Re: The one time....

Airplanes. Most anyway. Trains too.

And if you are not in your home country, 3G to sync might cost you your home.

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Facepalm

Re: The one time....

Sory it is 2013 and I can find a wifi hto spot somewhere around me, even in the middle of hadrians wall country I could find a wifi hot spot.

Sorry it's 2013, I have better grammar than you and I don't get WiFi coverage at our client's office. At all. And internet access is heavily restricted, services such as SkyDrive are blocked as they are bandwidth hogs and the internet link is better used for work stuff.

See? One size does not fit all! Curiously, this is the same problem MS is stumbling with on their TIFKAM approach...

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That damned cloud again

If the wisdom of MS is pushing us towards the cloud, we would probably be far better of using ChromeOS, at least it was written intentionally for the cloud.

MS are treading on very thin ice, if it breaks they will sink......

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WTF?

"The newly-revealed features will be welcomed by Windows users"

Welcomed?! Really?

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Re: "The newly-revealed features will be welcomed by Windows users"

An accidental cut-n-paste direct from the press release, I assume.

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These are all very good features... IFF you have very fast, cheap internet and IFF what you are storing is something that you'd not mind your mother seeing.

For all the others, these are TERRIBLE features... I DO have to pay for bandwidth, and quite a bit of what I 'store' is commercial-in-confidence type of stuff. I'd not like it if some bloke at the NSA thought that some 'Merkan company needed my ideas more than I did. So Thanks, Microsoft, but No Thanks from me. I'll use an OS that lets me store my stuff locally, on an encrypted drive...

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Happy

Like BitLocker then.

Facts. They're awesome.

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Unhappy

Now you see it, now you don't!

I'm sorry but this service has been discontinued.

Yours

Microsoft Support

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Re: Now you see it, now you don't!

...But you can still access your files if you upgrade to LiveCloudPlus™! ($10 / £10 a month, minimum 12-month contract)

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