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Microsoft released the long-awaited utility that connects Windows Explorer to a SkyDrive account so that files can automatically be synced. Like Dropbox, SkyDrive lets you choose where to create your local folder for sync purposes. It then adds a shortcut in the navuigation pane.
The green checkmark overlay shows synced files, which otherwise look and act exactly as if they were stored only locally.
Like its competition, SkyDrive syncs the contents of a single folder and its subfolders. But unlike either Dropbox or Google Drive, SkyDrive allows you to browse the file system of a connected PC. If your remote PC is on and this option is enabled, you can browse its file system and retrieve files you left behind, even if they're stored outside your synced folder.
This "Fetch" option is enabled by default. You can disable it during setup, or afterwards by right-clicking the SkyDrive icon in the taskbar, opening the Settings dialog box, and clear =ing the "Fetch files" option.
When you browse the contents of a folder filled with photos, the resulting gallery is visually arresting. A pane along the right lets you add or edit details. It also shows current sharing options.
Note that you can adjust the permissions for folders with muchmore granularity than you can in Dropbox. You can set up shared folders so that some users can view files but not edit them or add new ones. In a feature that's been part of SkyDrive for a long time, you can click to get a link and share a file or folder even with someone who isn't signed in with a Windows Live account.