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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