Microsoft SkyDrive is an online file storage and sharing service provided by Microsoft.  You may store up to 25GB in your SkyDrive folders.  Using SkyDrive, you can copy files to a location in "the cloud" and share them with others.  “The cloud” refers to some unknown yet accessible location not on your local computer.  You can share each folder and assign permissions on folder you create to a single user, a group of user or to all users, allowing them to Read, Write or Delete files in that folder.

In order to use SkyDrive, first sign up for the Live Mesh program.  You can do so at  Associate your Windows Live ID with the Mesh account and you will be required to enter your Windows Live e-mail and password.  If you don't currently have a Windows ID, there is a link on this page where you can create one.

Once signed up, you can access a SkyDrive account from several locations. 

Your SkyDrive page looks like the one below. 

By default, there are 2 folders: Documents and Public

Only you have access to the Documents folder, making it ideal for backing up files or making them available when you use a different computer.  Because a user must supply a username and password to view this folder, files stored here are protected from prying eyes.

Files in the Public folder can be viewed by anyone.  Copy files here that you want to share with the world.  Not only does this free you from the bother of e-mailing files to numerous recipients, it is a good way to get around the size limitations imposed by most e-mail systems.  Everyone is able to view (but not add to or update) all the files in this folder.

The permissions on the Public folder cannot be changed. 

If you require more granular sharing permissions, you should create a new folder.  To do so, click the ‘Create Folder’ link. 

On the Create Folder page, enter a name for the folder and select with whom you want to share the files in this folder.

The “Share with” dropdown allows you to specify users or groups of users with permission to view, delete or modify the files in this folder.  Only you can modify or delete the folder itself.  You cannot grant that permission to anyone else. The groups and users you specify must exist as contacts in your Windows Live account. Once you select users or groups with whom to share, you can specify one of the following two permission sets
• Can view files
• Can add, edit details, and delete files

After setting sharing permissions on a folder, you may go back later to alter those permissions.

Once the folder is created, you have the opportunity to add files to it by either dragging files from Windows Explorer or by clicking the Select files from your computer link.

To share the files in a folder, give them the file’s URL.  If you want embed a link to the file in a web page, the Embed option generates HTML to provide an HTML icon, link and description.  For example, the icon below is a link to PowerPoint slides covering SkyDrive and other Live services.

In this article, we showed how to share files using Microsoft SkyDrive.