A month ago, Microsoft announced that it had added optical character recognition to SkyDrive. This allowed people who upload photos to the cloud-based service to extract any text that might be in those images and see it more clearly on a pane on the right hand side of the photo. Today, Microsoft announced an extension of this SkyDrive feature that includes Windows 8.1 and its built-in Bing search functions.
In a post on the SkyDrive site, Microsoft stated that it is rolling out the new feature which will allow Windows 8.1 owners to search directly from their PC any texts found on the images contained on their SkyDrive camera roll. It states:
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.
The blog adds this new feature will work even if the photos have been set for "online-only" access. We are still waiting to see what new name Microsoft will pick for SkyDrive. The company was ordered by a U.K. court to come up with a new name following a trademark challenge from the Sky TV network.