Top 5 Things to Know About OneDrive

By now you’ve probably heard at least something about Microsoft’s change from SkyDrive to OneDrive. Most people are like, yeah, whatev’s, but there’s some neat things that come along with this name change that are worth paying attention to.

If you’re not familiar with OneDrive yet, it’s a cloud storage solution that can operate all by itself, or can be integrated directly with your Windows 8 PC, tablet, or Windows Phone. It also has a version of Microsoft Office Web Apps that allows you to create, view, and edit Office documents right in your browser. You can get a free account here.

Here’s some fun things that come along with the name change of Microsoft’s popular cloud storage and app platform that you might not know about yet:

5. It plays nice with all the other kids in the sandbox: There are Android, iOS, and of course Windows Phone OS apps, so not only can you get access to your free 7GB of storage space on your laptop and desktop, but you can get direct access to OneDrive on your tablet and phone, even if it’s not Windows.

4. Keep those memories automatically: Camera Backup is now a feature with the OneDrive upgrade. All your photos can automatically be bounced up to the cloud—no selecting individual photos and having to share each one with your cloud service. Also, for a time, when you enable Camera Backup you also get 3GB of additional space for free.

3. Zippy video: Video delivered from OneDrive is now compressed on the fly to be appropriate for your current speed. For users on 3G phone networks, this means a much faster video experience with less buffer time.

2. Get more space: Refer a friend and get an additional half a gig of space when they sign up. Neat.

1. Organize your biz-mess: OneDrive for Business (ODFB) is a NEW separate standalone service that operates independently of Office 365. It’s great for small shops or big shops that want to get started in the cloud, but need to do it on a budget.

Here’s the super cool thing about ODFB: REAL TIME COLLABORATION in the Office Web Apps or in the Office client. Thrill to the sight of seeing your colleagues type in almost real time! Wonder as Mary Beth in HR deletes words out of your document for “legal reasons” right before your eyes!

Promotional pricing starts at—wait for it–$2.50 per user per month. Two dollars and fifty cents. Per User, Per Month. That’s ridiculous. And if you already have Office 365 and you don’t have the SkyDrive Pro option yet, you can get onboard for only $1.50 per user per month. (It’s a 50% discount as they release, but still, $5 and $3 respectively is a killer deal for secure storage you can access anywhere and includes real-time collaboration on stuff!)

OneDrive for Business is opening April 2014 and promotional pricing runs through September 2014. You can get more details here.

If you or your shop haven’t jumped on the cloud bandwagon yet, the new OneDrive release is a good time to do it. If you’re looking for a service that can integrate directly into your Windows 8 or 8.1 box, and has all the features that come as part of the package, I’m not really sure you can go wrong with OneDrive.

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