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Microsoft SkyDrive’s ‘Secret Sauce’ Makes it Storage-Friendly

SkyDrive

SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 has a secret weapon no one’s talked very much about. It’s actually pretty amazing, in that small sort of way that doesn’t change much, but still manages to completely alter how you use something. In fact, it might just make SkyDrive the best cloud service around. If you install Dropbox, SkyDrive, or even Google Drive on your desktop today, you’re going to sync the whole of your folder to your drive, at once, and keep all the files there whenever they’re synced. If you don’t have enough space, tough. Delete something you don’t have synced to the cloud, or just stop syncing. SkyDrive has a different solution. Microsoft calls this its “secret sauce”. Basically, SkyDrive makes files and folders you store in the cloud behave as though they’re stored there anyway, without taking up space on your computer. You can browse, inspect, and even preview them, even though the whole file isn’t taking up space on your drive.

Read the full story at Gizmodo.

Should You Upgrade to Windows 8?

Q:

Would you recommend upgrading a desktop that currently operates on Vista to Windows 8?

A:

I don’t recommend upgrading a computer to Windows 8 that’s more than a year or two old, especially if you intend to keep your data files and programs. If this PC is still running Vista, which came out six years ago, it’s probably too old to assure a trouble-free, satisfying upgrade to Windows 8. You can check by downloading and running Microsoft’s free Upgrade Assistant, from tinyurl.com/atwewxe. I also recommend you search through the support section of your PC maker’s website to see if the company supports the upgrade.

Q:

My PC with XP just died. I just bought an iPad for portability so I don’t see why I need a laptop. I gave one away because I didn’t like the feel of it. But I still use Office — particularly Publisher. Should I buy a Windows 8 laptop with a touch monitor or a desktop?

A:

It sounds to me like you’re not a laptop fan, and don’t feel you need one for portability. So I suggest you consider one of the new Windows 8 all-in-one touchscreen desktop computers.

Q:

Is the capacity of the iPad infinite? I’ve had mine three years and regularly delete emails. Is there a capacity limit and if so, how should it be dealt with?

A:

The iPad has finite storage. For some of its functions, like email and the calendar, you can control how much data it stores by going into settings and specifying how many messages it should show from each account, or how far back in time its calendar should sync with the calendar service it uses.

Otherwise, if you begin to run up against the device’s capacity, you’ll have to delete some apps or media or other content. You can check how much capacity you have available by going to Settings, General and then clicking on About.

Email your technology questions to Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.

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