Explaining SkyDrive Pro; Cloud Storage for the Business User


Michael Kophs

I talk to Microsoft cloud partners everyday and one of the most frequent questions I have received over the past couple of years is “when will Microsoft/Office 365 offer a cloud storage solution like SkyDrive (which has always been a consumer cloud storage solution) for the business?” 

Answer:  SkyDrive Pro, which will be included with most Office 365 subscription plans (after the 2013 update coming in the first half of the year)

Since we announced SkyDrive Pro earlier in 2012, there has been a lot of confusion on how the service actually works and how SkyDrive Pro differs from its cousin SkyDrive.  Here are a few clarifying bullets for you:

  • SkyDrive Pro runs on the newest SharePoint Online (currently in Preview) and SharePoint 2013 on-premises (going forward, I’ll only focus on Cloud solutions).  Basically, SkyDrive Pro replaces SharePoint MySites.  The SkyDrive consumer service does NOT run on SharePoint Online and does NOT have the rich content management features that SharePoint Online provides SkyDrive Pro (i.e. document versioning, alerts, document quick preview, Office integration etc).

  • Each SkyDrive Pro user gets 7 GB of personal storage.  This is a huge improvement over the 500 MB of storage that SharePoint Online MySite users receive today.  Each user’s 7 GB is still separate from the overall SharePoint Online pooled storage.
  • Here’s why you should be excited about SkyDrive Pro:  If you’re running the latest version of Office (2013), SkyDrive Pro offers built in sync capability, creating a local copy of your SkyDrive Pro documents.  Previously you needed SharePoint Workspace 2010 for this sync functionality.  Now its baked into Office/SharePoint Online!  Additionally, not only can you sync your SkyDrive Pro to a local directory, you can sync ANY SharePoint Online document library locally as well!!!

Here’s a screenshot of my synced SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint libraries in Explorer:


For more information on SkyDrive Pro, check out the following links:

Introducing SkyDrive Pro

5 Questions about SkyDrive Pro!

The New SharePoint

Info in Preview Help for SkyDrive Pro


Comments (5)

  1. You do not have to wait for SharePoint Preview to go RTM, I got SkyDrive Pro to work with my existing Office 2013 / SharePoint 2010 in my Office 365 subscription.

    I ran the SkyDrive Pro icon on my desktop and it asked for what library it wanted to sync. So I logged into Office 365 and went to my SharePoint, and found a library called "Shared Documents", copied the URL to the clipboard, and pasted into the SkyDrive Pro sync app. It immediately began to sync to my c:users{user name}SharePoint folder on my local PC. I have 100Gb of space on my Office 365 SharePoint, so I plan on using SkyDrive Pro to sync my database backups.


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  2. kuzco says:

    Can skydrive pro work as a standalone product (sharepoint 2013 on the server)? I have many users who are using office 2010.

  3. MCTNT says:

    I echo Kuzco comment as well. We were very excited about Skydrive Pro and were willing to use it for deployment / production … UNTIL the Office 2013 requirement. Now we are back to looking at other products. Thanks Microsoft.

  4. Michael Kophs says:

    MCTNT:  check out the standalone SkyDrive Pro Client:  http://www.microsoft.com/…/details.aspx

  5. Nelson Puello says:

    SkyDrive Pro does not support selective synchronization of folders. This is a severe limitation, and in my opinion quite silly when the consumer SkyDrive supports this feature and every other major file synchronization tool out there.