With the recent update of SkyDrive (November 2011) the sharing system has been completely restructured. Before, you could only specify sharing, or permissions, for primary level folders, albums, or files. Items inside folders took on the permission setting of the containing folder.
Now any item can additionally be shared individually. Photos and files still inherit the share settings from containing folders. Folders and albums pass their share settings to items inside.
Sharing has a new dialog with the recipients email address as the primary feature. A pretty email informing the recipients is automatically generated and sent.
Action items for a folder are mostly located in the information pane at the right. When “Share” or “Share folder” is clicked a new dialog comes up looking about like this:
The default selection is “Send email” and provides an address box – it links to your contacts so typing a few letters brings up the relevant part of your list. There is a place for a message. There are two sharing options, “Recipient can edit” and “Recipient must sign in to view” making sharing a bit complicated. Other sharing options are posting to Facebook or other services and “Get a link”.
There are three options in the “Get a link” portion of the dialog as shown in the illustration. They are “View only”, “View and edit”, and “Make it public!”. This last option corresponds to what was called “Everyone” in the past.
When a “Get a link” button is pressed the corresponding sharing setting is added to the sharing list and an URL is provided.
All these options add up to a rather complex sharing list, what with inheritances from containing folders on up the chain. Here is one example of the sharing information. It list the individuals that received share emails and the share settings from all containing folders.
Many folks have already complained about the complexity to Microsoft, so this sharing method is bound to undergo some more changes.
Remember the permissions page with the slider? The settings that were made there still apply, but in the new scheme you cannot select sharing with “Friends”. You must list them individually in the email option. Actually there is another option: You can share with the groups or categories that you have set up in your contacts folder. Just type the category designation in the email address field and they will all receive the invitation email.
SkyDrive is undergoing a lot of changes and more are bound to come. Windows 8 will use SkyDrive “natively”, whatever that means, and all users will have their own SkyDrive. Many folks have asked that Live Mesh be combined with SkyDrive. I am sure there are people at Microsoft trying hard to figure out how to do this and still maintain backward compatibility with the files and folders and sharing, not to mention previously set up URLs for files and folders. So, stand by for changes!
© 2011 Ludwig Keck