Windows 8 Tutorial: Smart Files
Smart Files is a new feature on Windows 8.1 that allows you to view your SkyDrive files without having to download everything onto your computer. When you browse through your SkyDrive folder in File Explorer, you’ll see a column called Availability.
By default, all the files are listed as Online-only, which means that as long as you are connected to the Internet, you can view the files without actually having them on your computer’s hard drive. If you want a particular SkyDrive file or folder to be available offline, just right-click on it and select the Make available offline option.
Cloud drive services are becoming widely popular nowadays with services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and even Amazon Drive. Microsoft has its own version, SkyDrive with many recently improved features for a better cloud experience.
Similar to Google Drive and Gmail, SkyDrive works with a Microsoft account. You can register for the service with any email, or login using an existing MSN or Hotmail account. (On a side note, Microsoft has also revamped its email service Outlook which you can also use as a login.) SkyDrive starts you out with 7GB of free storage but you can get more with pricing plans costing up to US$50 a year.