SkyDrive Explorer mounts SkyDrive, will take on Dropbox

SkyDrive is an online storage tool that anyone can use. Microsoft essentially gives you 25GB of free cloud storage (50MB max per file). You can store files, share them, or just use it to back up important data. Until now, accessing SkyDrive required logging into your account via a web browser. Dragging files into SkyDrive from Windows Explorer can only be done using Internet Explorer, as it uses an Active-X plugin. This can cause non-IE users to easily get annoyed with the service.

Fortunately, there's a solution coming. Showcased on Lifehacker, SkyDrive Explorer is a free, simple, lightweight program that lets you add your SkyDrive to Windows Explorer. SkyDrive Explorer allows you to use SkyDrive just like any other networked drive. However, the current version is still limited, in that you can't move files and folders within it, can't copy from your computer to it, nor can you open files directly from the drive.

SkyDrive Explorer is still in its infancy, but will soon bolster many important features to bring it direct competition with services such as Dropbox. The only difference would be that the files are only accessible when connected to the Internet. Dropbox stores the files locally, still making it the ideal shared folder solution, albeit with much less free storage space (future SkyDrive Explorer updates may very well implement such a feature, but nothing has been said about it). The next release, coming in January 2010, will add support for the following:

  • Change share mode and content type of the folders
  • Copy folders and files into SkyDrive™
  • Files greater than 50MB support
  • Open files directly from SkyDrive™
  • Move files and folders within storage

These are the currently supported features:
  • View the structure and contents of folders in SkyDrive™
  • View files information (type, size, creation date in GMT format)
  • Create new root folders and subfolders
  • Copy files into the storage
  • Delete files and folders
  • Copy files from the storage to the computer
  • Copy folders and subfolders from the storage to the computer keeping their structure
  • Use Drag & Drop for files operations
  • Rename files and folders
  • Create links to SkyDrive™ folders on your computer
  • Copy URL of the selected object(s) to the Clipboard
  • Automatic check for the latest version
  • Bidirectional languages support
  • Selection of your preferred interface language

Download: SkyDrive Explorer v1.4


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35 Comments

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Pity it doesn't actually work!

Win7 - everything pretty standard. Puts the extra drive in Explorer - appears to accept "uploads" but nothing happens.

Uninstall didn't happen either - left the drive and needed Skydrive re-install (which allowed me to test it again) and then a thourough uninstall using Revo.

They are different products created by different dev team that sooner or later will merge in a single unified service. Mesh is in a beta stage while skydrive is a more mature service. Knowing Microsoft, this will not be strange that MS will kill skydrive and will use instead Mesh.

thats a limitation of your upload bandwidth or the skydrive service. That said, I just tested this and it seems more stable than gladinet. I will keep it installed and look forward to the promised features in the next version.

should have mentioned I have a 101/15 fiber connection. uploading to my FTP site maxes my 15 up. uploading to skydrive a 50 MB file takes almost 3 minutes. Uping to my FTP takes about 10 seconds or so.

I was thinking this. It's basically Live Mesh, except with vastly reduced functionality, and that it's Windows only (Mesh works on OSX too, and eventually mobiles too).

Majesticmerc said,
I was thinking this. It's basically Live Mesh, except with vastly reduced functionality, and that it's Windows only (Mesh works on OSX too, and eventually mobiles too).

Mesh already works on windows mobile

Majesticmerc said,
Says "Coming Soon for Mobile" on the mesh site, am I missing something?

You may have to search around for the cab file. I'm pretty sure it's available from the Live Mesh site, it is at least for me. It's also available in some 6.5 roms.

Rappy said,
stupid question I am sure but like with dropbox can you direct link with skydrive?

Yup. I make my own music and let my friends download it via skydrive.

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
Didn't even think about that. Good point. Dropbox works for MAC too, doesn't it?

Dropbox is for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Relativity_17 said,
SkyDrive itself has a web interface, where you can do everything that this tool does.

As the article states, if you had read it. The point of this tool is to get around the fact that you have to use the browser which has to be IE since the control on SkyDrive is an ActiveX control.

metal_dragen said,
As the article states, if you had read it. The point of this tool is to get around the fact that you have to use the browser which has to be IE since the control on SkyDrive is an ActiveX control.

And the point of my response was to note that even though this tool works on Windows only, you can still use Skydrive itself from any browser-capable platform, i.e. you can still use Skydrive to share files across multiple computers, even if they use different operating systems.

DrunknMunky said,
Shame it's Windows only, pretty useless for sharing anything across computers if you use multiple OS's.

True; this is no real competitor to Dropbox until then for me.

That's the awesome part, really. That you have a shared drive regardless OS. :)

And that through your standard file manager, not some junky web interface.

metal_dragen said,
As the article states, if you had read it. The point of this tool is to get around the fact that you have to use the browser which has to be IE since the control on SkyDrive is an ActiveX control.

But how do I access it from Google Chrome? it without IE for me....

DrunknMunky said,
Shame it's Windows only, pretty useless for sharing anything across computers if you use multiple OS's.

Who said that SkyDrive cannot be accessed via non-IE browsers? I have a Mac and I put my document backups on SkyDrive since 2 years ago. The drag-and-drop feature is available to IE only, but you can still use the basic upload page to upload your files.

But I don't want to have to visit a website, especially if I'm busy working. That's the beauty of DropBox. Also the iPhone application too. SkyDrive has a long way to go before I replace DropBox.

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
Didn't even think about that. Good point. Dropbox works for MAC too, doesn't it?

Dropbox works for Media Access Control?

?

nokiaxion said,
Dropbox works for Media Access Control?

?

That stopped being clever last decade. Now it just makes you look like a douche. You know what he meant.