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5 Questions about SkyDrive Pro!

​Hi, I’m Tejas Mehta, a senior marketing manager on the SharePoint team.

In July, we introduced the new SharePoint, which includes SkyDrive Pro. With the Preview in full swing, we wanted to provide some additional context on SkyDrive Pro. In this post, I’ll answer some of the common questions being asked by our customers and partners. Please keep in mind that when I mention SharePoint, I am referencing the new SharePoint Server 2013 version, currently in Preview.

1. What’s the difference between SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro

SkyDrive is for people to sync their personal files to the cloud and across their devices. SkyDrive is available free to individuals and is included in Office 365 Home Premium. With over 60 million users, SkyDrive has become synonymous with personal cloud storage. It enables access to documents across devices. In the new Office, SkyDrive becomes the default save location, making it easy to create, store, and share files with others.

SkyDrive Pro is a document storage service that organizations provision and manage for their users. It will be available as a service together with many Office 365 plans, and on-premises with the new version of SharePoint.

Like its consumer counterpart, SkyDrive Pro enables people to synchronize their work documents from SharePoint to the cloud, and also take documents offline when they’re on the go. People can access or edit their documents across devices; files are automatically synchronized with SkyDrive Pro when connected online.

After SkyDrive Pro is set up, you can save documents directly to SkyDrive Pro from Office desktop applications, or synchronize them directly from SharePoint.

2. Why did Microsoft choose the name SkyDrive Pro?

We wanted to make it extremely simple for individuals to differentiate between our consumer and business offerings. For individuals looking for free, personal cloud storage, SkyDrive is the solution of choice. For businesses that want personal cloud storage for their users as part of their full collaboration suite, SkyDrive Pro is the answer. Because SkyDrive Pro is a feature of SharePoint, users get the full benefits of coauthoring, versioning, workflow and all the rest of the great capabilities SharePoint provides for document management.

3. How is SkyDrive Pro different from SharePoint Workspace?

With these new investments in SkyDrive, Microsoft will no longer ship new versions of SharePoint Workspace, and SharePoint Workspace is not included in the Office 2013 release. SkyDrive Pro provides the capability for which most customers use SharePoint Workspace today—offline document synchronization. For customers looking for other SharePoint Workspace capabilities not found in SkyDrive Pro, SharePoint Workspace 2010 will continue to work with both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 environments—including SharePoint Online—and will run side-by-side with SkyDrive Pro.  An update to SharePoint Workspace 2010 is required to enable this side-by-side capability and can be found here

4. How much storage space do users get with SkyDrive Pro?

With SharePoint Online, each user will have 7GB of personal storage capacity allocated to them. For on-premises SharePoint 2013 implementations, the per-user storage capacity is a configurable parameter that administrators can manage.

5. How do I get SkyDrive Pro?

SkyDrive Pro is included in most Office 2013 and Office 365 offerings. In SharePoint, if you choose SkyDrive in the top navigation bar, you are taken to your SkyDrive Pro folder, where all of your work-related documents reside. If you choose SYNC at the top-right below the navigation bar, the files in this folder are synchronized with your local computer. It’s that simple.

SkyDrive Pro is also not limited to documents in your personal SharePoint library. You can synchronize any document library for which you have appropriate permissions.

SkyDrive Pro document folder viewed in browser

And after you start working with it on your desktop, you can see the power and accessibility of SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro. The screenshots below show that it’s also easy to differentiate between SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro on the desktop when they are added as Favorites in Windows Explorer. SkyDrive Pro appears as SkyDrive @ Contoso on Office 365 (we’re using Contoso as an example tenant name), and simply as SkyDrive Pro for on-premises instances.

SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro viewed with Windows Explorer
With SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint, your documents are always available for you to share and access, even when you are on the go. 

Give it a try!

Give SkyDrive Pro a try, along with the many other features the new SharePoint has to offer. Try the new SharePoint Online in the Office 365 Preview or SharePoint Server Preview, and please leave feedback in the comments below!