Blog Post

Smart Files in SkyDrive and Windows 8.1

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Description

We've noticed people's file storage needs are growing faster than their devices' ability to deliver enough space. To solve this, we designed smart files, which behave like regular files but only download the full file from SkyDrive when you need it. Smart files allow you to always have your files with you, without using all your bandwidth or local storage.

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    McHalls

    Nice! Smiley

  • User profile image
    Sonner

    Why do you not call it for what it is, url to a file with some cached data?
    Did you name it smart files to make people use it? So they feel smart using smart files?

    Now what about people with a download limit?
    If it will download cached info the moment you click a file it will add up pretty fast.

    Yay another program that will eat up your limited download.


    You wouldn't want to use skydrive.
    Microsoft have shown in the past that they are willing to violate your privacy to both look at your files and delete them.

    If they decide you have copyrighted or other protected material. Do they ask you if you got the dvd? No.
    Will they go the extra mile to verify you do not own the media? No. They do not care because you are not a big corrupt company throwing money at them.

    Your family photos could be considered childporn and you will get the police after you.
    Heck, even photos of your sexy wife could be deleted because they can be considered pornographic.

    Being a bit wiser now would you want to risk it?
    I would not recommend people to use skydrive.
    When your files are deleted, they are deleted without your notification.
    Use a backup you say, that would mute the point of "smart" files.

    You cant even encrypt the files with a custom encryption algorithm to keep spying eyes of them.
    Most if not all skydrive apps do not support it.

    "User experience" my *.
    I want my start menu back.
    Download a start menu app? I could use the same logic for metro. Why not allow download of metro if users need it?

  • User profile image
    GeoffC

    This presentation did not expose the Achilles Heel of Smart Files - and that is that the Search experience is broken.

    Yes, you can search on documents and have a reasonable chance of hits, but you can't search on photos, because none of the photo metadata is contained in the file placeholders held locally.

  • User profile image
    Mike Greenway

    How do I report a post as hate mongering? This site used to have differences of opinion here in the comments, but they weren't expressed in such a hateful manner. I would hope you don't let this site become a haven for the emotionally disturbed.

    Using sky drive is optional and it is free.

  • User profile image
    Mike Greenway

    @GeoffC: I'm just trying to understand, but at first it appears that what you said is contradicted by this video

    https://channel9.msdn.com/posts/OCR-search-indexing-in-SkyDrive-and-Windows-81

     

  • User profile image
    gduncan411

    @Mike Greenway: I was thinking about that post too. But since it didn't direct attack anyone and wasn't too too over the board (and no matter what I opinion of it was). I think people will see the post for what it is...

  • User profile image
    GeoffC

    @Mike Greenway:  - the video you refer to is about a Bing service on SkyDrive that does OCR on the images to produce text strings. So, for example, if you had a photo of a street sign, then the OCR service would result in a text string containing the contents of the street sign.

    What I'm talking about is image metadata, such as IPTC Core.

    The issue is that, at the moment, SkyDrive will store images complete with any metadata contained within the image files, but it won't expose more than a very small subset of the metadata (e.g. date taken), and it certainly doesn't index any of that metadata for use in searches.

    The result is that the search experience of smart files is broken, and that searching on images in Skydrive is useless.

  • User profile image
    Pablo

    Thank you.

  • User profile image
    Mike Greenway

    @GeoffC: I understand what you are saying but please look at 2Min 33sec on the OCR video. There he is clearly searching the local smart file metadata from the metro 8.1 SkyDrive app. for a word that is not a date or file name. I'm just trying to understand.

  • User profile image
    GeoffC

    @Mike Greenway: for the Camera Roll folder only, the OCR metadata is included in the local placeholder file on your PC, so it's picked up by the Windows Search Engine, and included in the index for local searching. For files such as Word documents held on SkyDrive, then as is stated here:

    "we [Microsoft] extract a few lines of text from the document and provide that to the search indexer on your device so that it can return search results that are more relevant to you."

    But the whole point that I'm trying to get across is that for image files, ONLY the OCR metadata is included in the placeholder files. All the rest of the image metadata is ignored, and hence cannot be searched for on your PC, and also cannot be searched for online in SkyDrive.

    It's broken.

  • User profile image
    GeoffC

    Interestingly, I've now had a couple of comments on my blog post from members of the SkyDrive team. I'm very pleased to learn that photo keyword metadata is gradually being included in the placeholder files. That will address the broken search experience.

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