I was not really a fan of Microsoft's online storage and management service SkyDrive a few years ago, as it could not really compete with services like Dropbox that I used at that time. In the recent past, Microsoft has improved SkyDrive significantly, starting with desktop synchronization clients to feature improvements like larger file uploads and the impressive 25 Gigabytes of free storage that it offered its users.
One of the smaller changes introduced by Microsoft was a sharing option. The idea behind it was to share uploads with a select number of contacts. Microsoft did integrate email sharing, and Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posting into SkyDrive, to make the link sharing more comfortable to users of the service. A third option, get a link, was available as well which generated view only, or view and edit, links for selected documents.
Many users ran into issues with those links, as they were on the long sides of things. They did not fit into a Twitter post for instance, and made the link look messy and for some even suspicious.
Today, Microsoft is introducing an update to SkyDrive's Get a link feature. The Redmond company has teamed up with Bitly to provide SkyDrive users with options to create shortened links directly from within the Skydrive app. For that purpose, Microsoft registered the new domain http://sdrv.ms which all shortened urls will use that have been created on SkyDrive.
With Bitly come statistics for shared links, which you can access by adding + to the end of the short url. This can be interesting for some purposes, for instance when a link has been made publicly available on a website to look up the files accessibility statistics.
The standard links that SkyDrive generates natively when the get a link feature is accessed have been shortened by 40% as well, making them more accessible in return. While still too long for my liking, it marks a step in the right direction. All links support Facebook's OpenGraph technology, so that link previews are automatically shown when links are pasted on Facebook.
Microsoft's decision to integrate SkyDrive into Windows 8 seems to fuel much of the development at this point in time. We expect Microsoft to release additional feature improvements and new features in the not so distant future. (via)
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.